Crumpet Fail No.1

Crumpets are the ultimate comfort food for me – all toasty and spongy and most importantly, outrageously buttery. Tea is an essential accompaniment. Many problems can be solved with a double round of brews and crumpets. Everyone has a favourite way to eat them – eggy crumps, Marmite crumps, jammy crumps, I could go on. When it comes down to it though, my favourite way to eat them is just pure and simple, nowt but batter and butter.

You can imagine how it pains me then that I have never, ever managed to make a decent crumpet and it’s not for want of trying I can assure you. I’ve followed recipes which use baking powder and those without, I’ve tried resting it once, twice or not at all. I’ve tried varying the heat levels and I’ve tried cooking them with and without rings.*

Every time the batter starts to cook however, the bubbles start to rise to the top and pop a few times and then something just…stops. Actually, it’s more than that – somehow, the holes manage to actually re-seal themselves. What is that all about?! Every time I end up with a stodgy batter patty with a pool of butter swimming on top. The fat cannot get in and this is bad, very bad indeed.

So, this is a plea for help people – share your secrets please! One of you must surely have the key to a good bit of crumpet?

*I’ve tried so many recipes that I haven’t bothered to list them all but if you type ‘crumpet recipe’ into Google I’ve basically worked my way through the first page.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

24 thoughts on “Crumpet Fail No.1

  1. I love making crumpets! I’ve had very little trouble making them so hopefully the recipe I use may be of use you…

    Its crucial to have a good heavy bottomed frying pan or skillet for even heat distribution! also a good quality crumpet ring helps… never scrub the rings as you want to keep them smooth as possible to avoid your crumpets sticking. I suggest a good long soak and a gentle rub down with a cloth…


    225g strong white bread flour
    225g plain flour
    3/4 tsp cream of tartar
    7g yeast
    500ml lukewarm water
    1tsp salt
    1/2 tsp bircarbonate of soda
    150ml lukewarm milk


    *sift the flours and cream of tartar and stir in the yeast and water. mix with your hand until smooth. beat well for 2 mins. cover and leave for 1 hour.

    *uncover and sprinkle with salt. beat for 1 min, cover and rest for 20 mins.

    *stir bicarbonate of soda into milk and gently stir into the batter.

    *heat the ungreased griddle/pan until very hot. Grease the crumpet rings and place them on the griddle to heat.

    *spoon/pour the batter into the rings until half full (2/3 spoonfuls)

    *when the surface is set and full of holes, (7-8 mins) remove the ring and flip the crumpets. cook for a further 2 mins, until golden.

    My recipe doesn’t suggest a temperature, however I find keeping the pan fairly hot has offered the best results. Remember to wipe clean and grease your rings between each use!

    Good luck! I hope you find this helpful :)

  2. Hi, try the masterchef australia recipe – tried them and they have worked every time. Keeping the yeast warm so it gets really frothy is also important.

  3. I am arriving way late to this crumpet party but Jenny’s right, it really IS all about only putting 1 or 1.5 tablespoons of batter into your crumpet ring.

    The crumpets will be much thinner than shop-bought ones, but I never think it’s good for morale to make comparisons of that sort… anyway you’ve probably nailed this by now. xx

  4. Like Dan (above) it’s the Gary Rhodes recipe I go for. He does say there that they should be fully cooked before you turn them to just colour the bottom. If there is still uncooked mix when you turn them – this would fill the holes up which is one problem you had. Like cooking american pancakes, the lowest heat possible is good, so they cook through before you flip.

  5. Sounds like a bicarb issue to me too – although you could try cutting some straws in half and pushing them into the batter when firm enough – that will ensure some nice butter wells!

  6. lol Helen,
    the ones I made for the underground tea were wonderful BUT did not have as many holes as the ones in the shops.
    The trick was to leave them far longer than you think before you turn them over I seem to remember.
    I did them on the lower heat plate on the Aga but they seemed to required a temperature somewhere between the high heat and the lower heat plate.

  7. The Ginger Gourmand – yes me too! I’ve been trying to make them for weeks now :(
    Lizzie – Yes could work but the holes seem to re-seal from underneath – can’t work it out at all.
    Sydney – Do it!
    Lisa – Thanks for the link – i’ll give them a a go.
    Wendy – No way! Not just me then…watch this space…
    Gastrogeek – yeah I am – they are ok but they seem to be growing very slowly and they are indeed very thirsty. I think they need to be grown under glass to be perfectly honest.
    Daniel – Thanks! No point pretending everything I cook comes out perfectly…
    Y – thanks again for the recipe :)
    Andrew – Thanks. I’m interested to see the results.
    Jenn – I will crack it eventually. I love crumpets too much to give up.
    Jenny – yeah I will try. It was hard to get them thinner because of the way the batter behaves – kind of like an egg white, sort of gloopy. I’ll bear it in mind though, thanks!
    Dan – That would be fantastic – very kind of you, thanks.
    Jane – Yes I did suspect that. I’ll give that a try too. I’m going to get very fat on crumpets!

  8. Helen, Gary Rhodes has a recipe for crumpets in his ‘New British Classics’ Recipe book. Never made them personally, but all of the recipes I have cooked out of the book over the years have been excellent, I can send you the recipe if you want it.

    Dans last blog post..I sold my soul, for some Abel & Cole

  9. I have made the Delia recipe (number 2 on google) a few times, and they always look good, but end up too greasy and yeasty. I should give them another go, it’s been too long.

    Maybe try making them thinner so the heat from the pan can travel up to the top and set the holes quicker?

    Jennys last blog post..Food Adventures in Florence: Part III

  10. Oh. My. God. I have been in crumpet fail mode for two months now. They are either stodgy or too yeasty. My summer hols start soon and I intend on devoting a large part of those 6 weeks to finding an answer to this problem. Time well spent, I say.

  11. I haven’t thought about crumpets in such a long time, and haven’t had them in even longer.

    Don’t have any advice on how to make them I’m afraid, but I may try now that I’ve got crumpets on the brain. Thanks for the trip down memory lane :)

    Sydneys last blog post..Pho (restaurant food)

  12. The picture of the crumpet cooking looks like it has much potential. Maybe stopping the cooking there and finishing them under the grill? I’ve not made them myself so that’s my only suggestion I’m afraid.

    (slathered in butter so that when you bite into it it drips down your chin, and covered in Marmite for me please)


  • 17 November 2015

    Making Hortopita with Fresh Filo in Rovies, Greece

  • 18 October 2015

    The Wye Valley: Mucking About In Hedgerows

  • 15 September 2015

    On Fear, Flying and Inflight Food

  • 02 September 2015

    The Super Maltini

  • 12 August 2015

    Panzanella Meets Caesar

  • 03 August 2015

    Iced Tea-Brined Fried Chicken with Jalapeño Slaw

  • View All