Happy Birthday, Prince Charles! As the longest-serving heir apparent in British history, you may never become a king, but why don’t you have a crumpet with us to celebrate your birthday? Crumpets may look like English muffins, but don’t let their appearance fool you. English muffins are yeast–leavened bread, usually split and toasted for crispy edges. On the other hand, crumpets are fluffy, spongy, and more closely resemble pancakes,except with small holes where bubbles develop during cooking. Usually crumpets have pores on the outside crust, or in the center that are revealed when the crumpet is split. Either way, served with butter, jam and clotted cream, and you’ll have a product that is distinctly British.
Ingredients (yield: about 15-20 crumpets):
1½ cups warm water
1¼ cup warm milk
2 ½ T melted butter
3½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 ¼ tsp instant yeast
½ tsp sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
- Whisk all the above ingredients in a bowl until combined.
- Cover the bowl with a damp cloth and let it rest in a warm spot for 1 hour or more.
- Grease a pan and muffin rings (sometimes advertised as pancake or egg rings). If you don’t have muffin rings, clean used tuna cans with the tops and bottoms removed will suffice. I also used a doughnut pan on the stove top for a different shape.
- Heat pan with rings in it over medium-low heat. Pour about ¼ cup into each ring.
- Remove the ring after the crumpet has set enough to have it removed, around 3-4 minutes. Cook for another 5 minutes until the edges are set. Flip to cook the other side for another 5 minutes. Each side should be lightly golden brown (unless you like your crumpets pasty white).
- Remove the crumpets from the pan, and serve with butter, jam, and clotted cream.