We became enamored with them during our recent trip to the UK. I'd attempted to buy them here in the States a few times in the past, but they were tasteless and had the consistency of a damp sponge. No amount of butter or jam could ever revive an American store-bought crumpet. But when we first arrived in London our host served us some for breakfast and the difference was... scrummy! They were light and fluffy, and taller than the American versions. Butter found its way into all those little holes with great alacrity, and they were slightly crunchy when we toasted them.
When we got home we quickly finished off all the packages of British crumpets we'd stuffed into our rolling suitcases. I desperately searched for a recipe online to make the real ones. I went out and bought a set of muffin rings. I racked up four miserable, flat and sticky failed attempts before finding this crumpet recipe that works for me. Plus the author has a great sense of humor. She's included photos of failures most often committed in an effort to save you the time of repeating them, and also what crumpets are supposed to look like each step of the way.
For those Yanks who've never seen a real crumpet, it's something between a pancake and an English muffin. They rise with yeast and then you cook them in a cast-iron frying pan or a griddle. Since our kitchen is currently torn up awaiting the final phases of our home renovation,* I opted for the frying pan method, atop a hot plate. The results of the fifth attempt were excellent.
I'll continue to adjust and tweak this recipe, especially once I buy an actual griddle. I'd like to create the ultimate healthy, gluten-free, spelt-flour, vegan crumpet that actually tastes good, but for now, we're both happy with these tasty treats.
*Renovation update: we've jumped in with all feet. Counting the cats, that's 24 feet.