Crumpets – Who What When and How
The crumpet is the queen of the toasted snack – versatile, comforting and utterly delicious
The crumpet is the queen of the toasted snack – versatile, comforting and utterly delicious. Brits have developed a reputation worldwide for their love of crumpets, a love that has travelled with them to the far corners of the globe.
This quintessentially British treat has become a food-cupboard staple throughout the nation and beyond – but for those who have never tried a crumpet, you may wonder ‘What is this strange creation that’s midway between an English muffin and pancake’. Well, because our mission is to export British happiness, no one is going to be confused about crumpets on our watch! That’s why we’re telling you everything you need to know about crumpets – the who, what, when and how.
The humble crumpet is thought to have originated in Wales and historically was cooked on a griddle when bread ovens weren’t available. In the early years, crumpets were hard pancakes, but the addition of yeast in the Victoria era saw them evolve into soft, spongy crumpets. From the 19th century, the addition of bicarbonate of soda created the crumpet we know and love today.
The ingredients used to create these wonderful treats are surprisingly simple. The unsweetened batter is made from milk, flour and most importantly – yeast. Yeast is responsible for the delightful little craters that are perfect for soaking up butter. Crumpet powerhouse Warburtons say a top tip for creating perfect crumpets is to leave the batter to ferment in a very warm place (about 40˚C) in order to form bubbles. After allowing the mixture to prove, crumpets are cooked on individual hot plates to cause the bubbles to expand, the steam generated pushes the bubbles up through the batter. There you have it – the secret behind the bubbles!
Are crumpets best enjoyed at breakfast, brunch or afternoon tea? The answer is crumpets are best enjoyed whenever you like! While they’re traditionally known for being Brits’ go-to afternoon tea-time snack accompanied with a cuppa -, there’s no reason you can’t enjoy these guys at any time of the day! Add an egg for breakfast, cheese for a savoury snack or smother with chocolate spread for dessert. This brings us nicely onto our next question, the HOW.
This British staple is typically served steaming hot straight out the oven or toaster. With their spongy texture full of nooks and crannies for absorbing toppings – the British crumpet is the perfect base for a wide variety of flavour combinations. Ranging from effortlessly simple to complex and gourmet, there’s no wrong way to enjoy your crumpet.
We don’t discriminate against crumpet toppings here at British Corner Shop, in fact, when we asked our customers whether they preferred sweet or savoury toppings, the results came in as about 50/50! Many opt for the simple yet classic: butter, butter and more butter. Popular sweet toppings amongst our customers included jam, honey, golden syrup, lemon curd, clotted cream and jam and peanut butter and banana (sweet and salty…YUM). Those in the savoury camp enjoy cheese, mrmite, BOTH cheese and marmite, fried or poached egg, bacon and (quite excitingly) pizza crumpets with tomato puree, cheese and pepperoni. Whichever way you eat your crumpet is completely fine with us – as long as you enjoy it with a smile.