Crumpets are a joy I haven’t known very long. They don’t exist in Sweden (well you might be able to buy them in specialist English shops, but I’ve never seen them), so I discovered them when I was living in the UK. I don’t really know how to describe them, but a Swedish recipe online said they were “a mix between a pancake and bread” which I feel is a terrible description!
A crumpet is easily identified by its large holes on top and pancake-looking bottom. It’s cooked on a griddle – which explains the pancake-looking bottom – and mainly on one side. Apparently the first reference to a crumpet was in 1382, but it wasn’t until the Victorian era that yeast was added and they achieved the height that makes them different from pancakes (though apparently Scottish crumpets are much more pancake-like than English crumpets, which are cooked in a round metal ring to keep their shape).
Now I don’t like butter (I know – gasp!) so I don’t enjoy crumpets in the traditional English way. S on the other hand, does. That is to say he takes at least a teaspoon of butter and spreads onto a hot, toasted crumpet, making the butter melt into the holes. If you do like butter, I’d trust his judgement in that it’s really nice.
So what I do is I eat them with jam –enough to almost completely fill the holes. And whether you like butter or not, trust me when I say that’s really nice too.
When I first tried crumpets I liked them, but I don’t think I went head over heels for them. Now that I can’t (easily) get them though, I get real crumpet cravings. So much so that I asked S to buy some and bring over for me.
There are of course crumpet recipes out there (e.g. Paul Hollywood’s very own), but I don’t know if I could do it without a griddle. I don’t really know if I want to try with a normal pan, or if I don’t want to get my hopes up only to fail. It’s not a very complicated recipe though (although I don’t like working with dry yeast) and some recipes say you can use a frying pan.
Maybe it is worth a try?