Appears in
Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

  • About

crumpet a type of thick, perforated pancake made from a yeast-leavened batter containing milk. Crumpets are cooked on a lightly greased griddle, confined in ring moulds. Since the 19th century, the leaven in the batter has been boosted by a little bicarbonate of soda just before cooking. Batter consistency is important: the characteristic mass of tiny holes will not develop if it is too thick.

Crumpets are only turned briefly on the griddle, the underside taking on a pale gold colour and smooth surface, while the top remains pallid. This is intentional as they undergo a second cooking by toasting after which they are spread lavishly with butter on the holey side. Dorothy Hartley (1954) says that crumpets may ‘vary locally from large brownish dinner-plate size made with an admixture of brown flour in some mountain districts, to small, rather thick, very holey crumpets made in the Midlands’.