Crumpet can be defined as a savory or a sweet snack made of bread. The basic ingredients used in the crumpet recipe include yeast and flour. In other words, crumpet can be defined as a bread which is the hybrid of a pancake and English muffin. Crumpets are most commonly eaten in United Kingdom and several other countries of the Commonwealth. Crumpet is also known as pikelet in the West Midlands and in the Yorkshire area.
A crumpet is cooked in a skillet or griddle, and served as a savory snack with butter. The bottom of the crumpet is smooth and the top contains various small holes. The dish is often served hot as soon as it is taken out from the skillet or griddle, and topped with cream or jam at times. A crumpet has little spongy texture and bland flavor, thus absorbing the butter very well.
Crumpet is believed to be an Anglo-Saxon invention and in their initial years, these breads used to be like hard pancakes, which were baked on a griddle. The crumpets eaten today have a soft and spongy feel, which became popular since the Victorian era, when the crumpet recipe began using yeast. In London and the Midlands, the makers of crumpet developed more holes in the bread by adding baking powder to the dough made with yeast. The aroma of crumpet is quite similar to a fresh, warm toast with a crispy exterior and a chewy interior. Often, these breads are filled with little bubbles on top with a filling of jam or butter.
Ingredients and Preparation
These breads are generally around 3 to 4 cm in radius with a 2 cm thickness. Crumpet owes its circular shape to the shallow ring which restrains its shape in the griddle or the pan, in which the crumpet batter is baked. In New Zealand and Australia, there are popular brands selling square crumpet, which can be cooked in any standard toaster before eating. The traditional crumpet recipe requires only a few ingredients which are fried in oil and involve no baking, even though the bread comprises yeast. The key ingredients that go into the making of this bread include flour, baking powder, dry yeast, sugar, salt, warm water and oil. The equipments include a frying pan and crumpet rings.
Crumpet is generally relished with tea or a casual snack. When it is meant to be eaten warm, then this bread is completely cooked and served straight from the pan. In other cases, the bread is left somewhat undercooked, so that it cooks up in its own heat when it is being cooled, after which it may be stored or eaten freshly toasted. Many prefer eating the crumpet hot with a spread or butter with an additional topping which can be sweet or savory. Some of the most popular second toppings used when serving these breads include melted cheese, poached egg, jam, honey, marmalade, salt, marmite, golden syrup, peanut butter, lemon curd, vegemite, hummus and maple syrup.
Popular Variations of Crumpets
In England, pikelet, a version of the crumpet is quite popular and uses the same batter as crumpet. The only difference being is its method of preparation which varies from region to region. For example, the pikelet in Midlands is without holes, whereas the ones made in Lancashire has holes, is thinner and wider. In New Zealand, Wales and Australia, these breads are more similar to pancakes and in England, these versions of crumpets are also called Scotch pancakes. The Scottish crumpet is another popular variety, which is basically a fruit crumpet folded over a Scottish pancake, bearing least resemblance to English crumpet.
Typically, a medium sized crumpet carries 86 calories with 2.48 grams of fat, 12.75 grams of carbohydrates and 3.22 grams of protein. Thus, one medium serving of this bread contains 26 percent fat, 59 percent carbohydrates and 15 percent protein.
Crumpet and St. George’s Day
Crumpet is one of the favorite snacks of British people and has been around since a long time. Being so traditional, it is ideal to be made on St. George’s day. This day is observed on April 23 of every year in honor of the English saint, St. George. The day is celebrated with a variety of classic English dishes, and the crumpet can be served as a traditional snack on this day.
Crumpet is a known antidote for hangovers as it can take away the feeling of hang over right after its consumption.
At times, crumpets are prepared in a distinct manner, where they are toasted over fire. British fiction often relates this concept of making the dish to pleasant and sociable rainy days.