The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Sourdough Crumpets

bryoria's picture

Sourdough Crumpets

These are quite possibly the best thing I've ever made from my sourdough starter, and by far the quickest and easiest.  Crumpets are my most favorite storebought baked item - they are soft & chewy with big, open holes on the top for the butter and honey to seep into.  They are wonderful, and I had almost given up hope of making my own when I happened across this old recipe on the King Arthur website.

It worked like a charm!

  • For this batch I mixed 1 1/2 cups of my leftover 100% hydration starter (right out of the fridge where I'd been collecting it every time I made bread) with 1.5 teaspoons white granulated sugar, 3/4 teaspoon baking soda, and 3/4 teaspoon salt.  Almost immediately, it gets very, very bubbly. 
  • I poured the batter into 3.5" crumpet rings on my pancake griddle in a big dollop that slowly spread to fill the rings about 1/4 inch deep before rising. 
  • I only have 4 crumpet rings, so once the sides started to set, I removed the rings and poured 4 more while letting the first ones cook until there were lots of bubbles on top and the sides were getting dry. 
  • I flipped them briefly, and took them off the griddle.
  • I ate some hot right off the griddle (soooo good), and heated the rest up the toaster later on.
  • To serve them, spread with butter and honey and watch them disappear into the holes, saturating the crumpet with buttery goodness.  They are not crispy like english muffins.
  • 1 1/2 cups starter made 12 crumpets.

I have since tried this recipe with freshly fed sourdough starter, with less luck.  It seems to work best with the old leftovers I collect in my fridge over several weeks.  I also tried a half whole wheat version, but the texture just isn't the same as with 100% white flour. 

I'll be making these again!

The way they should be eaten!


Grenage's picture

I wonder if the older sourdough is more broken down, and newer dough could be used at a higher hydration?

sonia101's picture

Thanks for sharing, I'll have to try this :)

clazar123's picture

I am only familiar with storebought crumpets and they seem very similar (taste and texture) to the storebought English Muffins-bread-y and somewhat chewy. The only difference seems to be the appearance-crumpets are flatter and one side is holey, as if it was cooked on 1 side only.

So are homemade crumpets perhaps more like a yeasted pancake in taste and texture? I made this SD crumpet recipe and that is what they reminded me of. Very soft and quite delicious. A great way to use extra,old starter but very much like a tall pancake in taste and texture.

CAphyl's picture

I love this recipe.  I have made them as plain, banana, rasberry and blueberry crumpets.  So easy and delicious!  Thanks for this simple and easy way to use sourdough starter....

cow biscuits's picture
cow biscuits

Well now we have totally spoiled ever being able to buy crumpets from the shop again after tasting the homemade ones, and so easy too, much easier and quicker than using dried yeast. I did as suggested and used my discard jar straight from the fridge.

No problem with releasing from the rings as they pull away when ready to be flipped, even did some Mickey ears ones for the kids.

Brilliant, thanks

Hippytea's picture

I am definitely going to try this, looks like the easiest idea yet for using up excess starter.

Clazar - I'm in the UK, home of crumpets, and they shouldn't be bready, they should be springy, chewy and emphatically full of holes, like a sponge. Large holes should be their defining characteristic, and there should be no regular crumb in between - the holes and springy dough *are* the crumb.

What you say about them being 'bready' explains the fact the web is full of people asking what the difference is between crumpets and English muffins. Sounds like your problem is sub-standard crumpets. If you can mix them up, someone's doing it wrong.

Eta the ones in the shops here also have a distinct, vaguely sour flavour, similar to sourdough. This makes me think they may in fact be made of a sourdough type starter, or at least are purposely imitating it - and that makes me wonder if using up excess starter is how they originated. All I've heard about bakeries pre WWII suggests they commonly maintained levain-type starters rather than using commercial yeast.

Hippytea's picture

These are brilliant!

Only criticism is they are salty. Next time I would half the salt. Also, wrestling a vigorous, glutinous starter into a cup measure is challenging. Weight measure would be better (I make it about 350g).

Now I am confused as to why any sourdough instructions say 'discard starter' when they could say 'make crumpets'.

bryoria's picture

I've been reducing the salt in my subsequent batches, too. They really are the best way to use up old starter, aren't they!!

Crumpets the way they should be eaten!

Hippytea's picture

Definitely. I tried sourdough waffles at the weekend, but they didn't make my skirt fly up, and you need to think 12 hours ahead. I like the immediacy of this.

'Help! Ermintrude's escaping from the jar again!'

*slurp* *plop* *sizzle*

'Crisis averted!'

ditaviz's picture

I fed my week-old starter with "Ruch" flour (typical Swiss flour with very high extraction rate), let it bubble for about 10 hours at RT, and then fed it again and put it in the fridge overnight. In the morning proceeded to crumpet away... The starter, being high in bran and very fresh, was more doughy than battery, so I just added quite some water (I had about 1.5 cups of starter, and ended up adding almost a cup of water). It works well with almost no salt (about 1/2 teaspoon for the whole), but with 1.5 teaspoons of soda. I've never been happy with my fresh-yeast or dry-yeast crumpets, but this are delish!  And I do produce a lot of sourdough!  Will try with rye next time... The first ones I flipped too soon, so their holes are hidden... as I often cut them in half, I think I'll go for this "method" next time... those were the best, very moist and evenly cooked!

no idea why the pics are upside down... sorry about that!

Paladine's picture

Hmm I just tried making some mix from my refrigerated discarded starter but it didn't froth up at all when I added the baking powder.  Is the starter supposed to be at room temperature before you mix it?

bryoria's picture

Hi Paladine, the recipe calls for baking soda, not baking powder. Baking soda should give you a big, immediate reaction once it hits the acidic starter. Hope that is all the problem was - you can easily fix it next time!

Paladine's picture

Hi Bryoria,

I meant to say Baking Soda just a mistype.  But I think it could be to do with the flours I had in my discarded starter - I just found out there was quite a lot of rye in there (the packaging is in Polish so I didn't know).  I just started a new starter with just white flour (550 TYP) so hopefully in a couple of weeks I will have some nice crumpets.

Thanks :)

bryoria's picture

Very weird that the baking soda didn't do anything! Hope your refresh will do the trick. The crumpets are worth the wait!