This is the crumpet recipe released by Warburtons, the UK’s biggest commercial crumpet maker. It’s a dead ringer for store bought, with the signature holes, distinct rubbery texture, perfect for toasting. If you’ve ever wanted to know how to make a crumpet, this is going to blow your mind. The batter is so easy!
Warburtons is the UK’s biggest and most popular commercial crumpet producer. They make over 700 million of them a year.
To cheer up the UK public during lockdown, they shared their secret crumpet recipe for people to make at home. Though I doubt it’s the actual commercial batter recipe (they probably just adapted it for the home cook), the end result is EXACTY like store bought crumpets.
After many, many, MANY failed crumpet attempts over the years (even from notable chefs!), I am still shaking my head at how astonishingly perfect these crumpets are – and how easy they are to make!
What goes in crumpets
Here’s what you need to make crumpets. I always knew yeast was in the batter. The addition of baking powder was the key that made all the difference – from crumpet making fails to crumpet making success!
How to make crumpets
Here’s how to make crumpets in 3 easy steps:
- Mix water, flour and salt to form a sticky but stirrable batter. Then mix in yeast dissolved in a bit of water, baking powder and sugar to form a smooth batter;
- Leave in a warm place for 30 minutes until the surface gets foamy; then
- Ladle into rings and cook on the stove until bubbles pop on the surface and the top is cooked.
It is quite straightforward, but because homemade crumpets is a bit of a unique recipe, I’m going to add a bit more information about each step in the proceeding sections. If you’re not interested, jump to the recipe! (Or video – or Dozer )
The crumpet batter
The crumpet batter is literally a dump-and-mix job, though you do need to mix well for a couple of minutes by hand (or half that time using a handheld mixer) which I assume is to get good gluten formation to get that signature chew for any type of yeast bread, as opposed to being “cakey”.
Then once mixed, you simply put it in a warm place so it gets nice and foamy. This is the equivalent of dough rising so the crumpets rise when they’re cooking.
The crumpet batter won’t increase in volume very much – just around 10 / 15%.
Crumpet rings are a “thing”. They are around 9 cm / 3.5″ wide and about 2.5cm / 1″ tall. The ones I have are non stick, but they come in silver too.
But honestly, anything metal and round will do the trick – egg rings, biscuit cutters, scone cutters, even cleaned large tuna cans. Actually, it doesn’t even have to be round! Star shaped crumpets, anyone??
The secret to cooking crumpets perfectly is to start them off on a high heat to get those bubbles activated, then turn the stove down so the crumpet cooks through without burning the base. The cooking technique is one change I made to the original Warburtons recipe – they say to cook on medium high the whole time = scorched base.
Though store bought crumpets don’t have colour on the holey side, I like to flip to get a blush of colour on it and cook any residual raw batter.
And here’s a close up of the inside of the crumpets with the signature vertical “tunnels” from the holes!
Even better made the day before!
An essential step with crumpets is to cool them completely, otherwise they are kind of moist and “doughy” inside.
In fact, if you want an absolute dead ringer for store bought crumpets, they are best made the day before, or the day before! They keep for days in the fridge – I’ve kept them for 5 days and once toasted, they are perfect.
Can you freezer homemade crumpets?
They freezer perfectly too. Thaw or even microwave thaw, then toast as usual!
How to eat a crumpets
I realise that writing about how to eat crumpets may induce eye rolling from Crumpet-Eating-Experts. But bear with me – not everyone has been eating crumpets all their life!
Toasting is essential to make the golden base crispy. Then slather with butter (what do you think all those holes are for?? So the crumpet gets soaked with butter, from top to bottom!) then spread of choice.
What to put on crumpets
As far as what to put on crumpets (other than the mandatory butter) – honey is by far the top choice (think – hole seepage). My personal second choice is Vegemite (it’s an Aussie thing ), followed by jam. Other spreads like Nutella and peanut butter go great too – whatever you put on toast, you can put on crumpets!
Though if you want the ultimate crumpet experience, don’t go past butter and honey. That moment when you bite into the crumpet and salty melted butter and sweet molten honey squirts into your mouth…
UGH! I’m torturing myself at the thought. I’m off to toast another crumpet for morning tea! – Nagi x
Watch how to make it
Double rising agent is the key here for the signature holes – baking powder PLUS yeast. Just one doesn’t cut it, and baking soda doesn’t work as well.
- 150g (1 cup) white flour , plain / all purpose
- 200ml (3/4 cup + 1 tbsp) warm water , tap water (200g) (Note 1)
- 1/2 tsp salt , cooking/kosher salt (1/4 tsp table salt)
- 1/2 tsp white sugar
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp dried instant yeast (Note 2)
- 1 tbsp warm water (just tap water)
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter , melted
Place flour, water and salt in a bowl and whisk for 2 minutes (handheld electric beater 1 minute speed 5).
Yeast Mixture – Dissolve Yeast into 1 tbsp warm water in a small bowl.
Add Yeast Mixture, sugar and baking powder into bowl, then whisk for 30 seconds (or 15 seconds speed 5).
Cover with cling wrap or plate, then place in a very warm place for 15 to 30 minutes until the surface gets nice and foamy. It will only increase in volume by ~10 – 15%.
Grease 2 or 3 rings with butter (approx 9 cm / 3.5″ wide, though any ring or metal shaper will do, Note 3)
Brush non stick skillet lightly with melted butter then place rings in the skillet.
Turn stove on medium high (medium for strong stoves) and bring to heat (Note 4 for “sizzle test”).
Pour 1/4 cup (65ml) batter into the rings, about 1cm / 2/5″ deep (will rise about 60%).
Cook for 1 1/2 minutes – bubbles should start appearing on the surface.
Turn heat down to medium, cook for 1 minute.
Turn heat down to medium low, cook for a further 2 1/2 to 4 minutes. Bubbles will start to pop around the edges first, then in the centre. There can be wisps of smoke, but if there’s a lot, remove skillet from stove to cool it down.
Cook until the surface is “set” and it’s clear there will be no more bubbles popping! (At this stage you can help the final bubbles pop with a skewer!)
Remove rings then flip and cook the other side for 20 to 30 seconds for a blush of colour.
Transfer to write rack (golden side down) and fully cool.
Can be eaten once cool, but it’s even better the next day (Note 5).
How to eat crumpets:
Toast in a toaster until the base is crispy.
Slather generously with butter, then spread of choice (honey is perfection) and devour immediately!
200ml = 200g (handy so you can just pour straight in rather than measuring out separately!)
2. Yeast – I use instant yeast because it’s my standard but the original recipe calls for normal dried yeast (same amount). I haven’t tried with fresh yeast.
3. Rings – anything round like biscuit cutters, egg rings or even a cleaned empty tuna can. Though why restrict yourself to round?? Any cookie cutter will work here!
4. Pan heat – the batter needs to sizzle gently when it hits the pan, otherwise it’s not hot enough to get the bubbles happening. But if too hot, the crumpets will burn!
TEST by putting a dab of batter on the end of a butter knife and pressing it on the skillet. Sizzle = hot enough. There should not be wisps of smoke coming from the pan at this stage (too hot).
5. Texture of crumpets really becomes just like store bought if you leave them overnight, more of that signature “rubbery” texture (I realise that sounds totally off-putting but I don’t know how else to describe it!).
6. Crumpet height / size – makes 6 crumpets using 9cm / 3.5″ rings that are about 1.7cm / 2/3″ high (store bought height). If you want to go a bit trendy-bistro style and make thicker ones, use a heaped 1/4 cup (about 1/4 cup + 1 tbsp) for each ring – you will get slightly less holes on the surface (thicker = less holes) but can make them about 2.2cm / just shy of 1″ thick which looks very puffy and impressive – some trendy bistros charge upwards of $20 for house made thick crumpets!
6. Different cup sizes – cups and tablespoons differ slightly between countries (with the US having the greatest variance to the rest of the world). It’s best to make this recipe with the provided weights if you can, for absolute accuracy. But I did make it using US cups mixed with Aussie tablespoons and it works just fine. It’s actually a pretty forgiving batter – it’s the stove cook that makes the most difference.
7. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for 4 days, or freeze 3 months.
8. Nutrition per crumpet.
Life of Dozer
And every once in a while, his patience pays off and food I’m shooting falls to the ground….