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Crumpets

Crumpets

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I never saw crumpets in France but ever since coming to England I have loved them. There is something fantastically comforting about a toasted crumpet, spread with butter that melts into the little holes, either for breakfast or in the afternoon.

You will need metal crumpet rings and a wide, heavy-based frying pan, big enough to cook four or five at a time. The knack is to get the pan hot first with a good coating of oil – not so hot that you fry the crumpets, but hot enough to cook them all the way through slowly without burning the undersides. I usually manage to burn the first one! So cook one by itself first for a test run. You can always have the oven on at 200°C and then pop them in for a few minutes to finish off.

Ingredients

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  • 250g of plain flour
  • 10g of fresh yeast
  • 250g of whole milk
  • 20g of honey
  • 125g of water
  • 1 pinch of fine sea salt
  • 10g of malt vinegar
  • vegetable oil, for greasing the rings and the pan
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Method

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1
Put the flour in a large bowl. Break up the yeast on top and rub into the flour using the flats of your hands – as if you were washing your hand
2
Add the milk and honey and mix together to form a thick batter
3
Cover with a baking cloth or large freezer bag and allow to rest for at least 30 minutes until the batter bubbles up
4
Warm the water, salt and vinegar in a small pan then remove from the heat, stir into the batter and mix gently. Leave to rest, covered as before, for a further 20–30 minutes
5
Cook the crumpets in batches. Grease the rings and coat the base of the pan well with vegetable oil. Put the rings into the pan and place over a low–medium heat – you want the oil in the pan to be hot, but not sizzling
6
Use a ladle to fill each ring to just below the rim; cook for 10–12 minutes until the crumpets are light golden underneath but still quite white on top
7
Leave to cool and then toast them before eating with butter
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