Crumpets are a British classic which are often eaten buttered for breakfast or as a snack for any time during the day.
They also work really well with toppings such as jam or something more savoury like bacon and eggs or cheese.
Crumpets are traditionally made using a batter which is poured into rings and cooked on a griddle until they’re cooked through. As they cook bubbles rise up through the mix which creates the holey and fluffy texture which crumpets are known for.
Although crumpets arrive in our shops ready cooked and will not make you unwell if you eat them unheated, they do need to be toasted or heated further to enhance the texture and taste. A crumpet straight from the packet is not very appetising and has a firm almost rubbery texture.
Read on to find out more about why crumpets taste better toasted, along with tips on the best way to toast crumpets along with an alternative to toasting if you don’t have access to a grill or toaster.
Why crumpets taste better toasted
Crumpets need to be toasted or at least heated to enhance their flavour and texture.
When you buy crumpets they’re very pale and firm, by toasting them and adding colour you create flavour and the browner they go (but not burnt) the more flavoursome they will become.
As well as flavour, toasting or heating a crumpet enhances the texture inside and out, by creating a crispy outside and a soft and fluffy middle.
When butter is spread onto a hot crumpet it will melt into the middle and become spongy and buttery, which is what makes a crumpet so yummy and also unique.
How to toast a crumpet
Crumpets can be toasted in either a normal toaster or under a grill, below are the best toasting methods for each type:
Toasting a Crumpet in a Toaster
Although crumpets are smaller than most bread types, they should fit comfortably in pretty much any toaster.
If your toaster is very deep, you may struggle to get them out again, so be prepared to fish them out with something non-metallic with the power off.
Crumpets take a little longer than some bread types to toast, depending on how dark you like them. To get a good colour they will need toasting on a medium to high heat for around 3-4 minutes (although toasters do vary).
Toasting Crumpets Under a Grill
To toast crumpets using a grill, place them onto a grill pan or baking tray and toast each side (underside first) for two to three minutes until golden brown and heated through.
By toasting the underside first the top will be hottest when they’re ready which will help the butter to melt through properly.
TIP: Not sure if you have all the necessary bread baking equipment at home? Check out my recommended picks below (Amazon links):
- Scale: Nicewell 22lb Digital Kitchen Scale
- Mixing Bowls: OXO Stainless Mixing Bowls Set
- Pastry Scraper: OXO Stainless Pastry Scraper
- Loaf Pan: OXO Non-stick Loaf Pan
- Kitchen Thermometer: ThermoPro Digital Thermometer
- Stand Mixer (optional): Kenwood Kmix Stand Mixer
Can you Toast a Pikelet?
A pikelet is a flatter version of a regular crumpet and just like a standard crumpet, the taste and texture of a pikelet is much better if it’s toasted or at least heated before serving.
It can be difficult to toast a pikelet in a regular toaster because they’re so thin and can slip down the side and get stuck. They’re also difficult to get out of the toaster once they’re cooked.
Because it can be difficult to toast pikelets in a toaster, the best way to toast them is by cooking them each side for a minute or two on each side (underside first) under a grill until lightly golden and heated through.
Because it’s much thinner than a crumpet, if a pikelet is toasted too much it can become dry and hard and not so fluffy in the middle.
Just like a crumpet, a pikelet goes well with butter and jam but works well with savoury toppings too.
How to Toast Crumpets Without a Toaster or Grill
If you don’t have a toaster or grill and you want to toast your crumpets or pikelets, an excellent alternative is a frying or griddle pan, using the following instructions:
- Heat a dry pan (no need for oil butter) over a medium-high heat.
- Place the crumpet or pikelet underside first onto the hot pan.
- Use a fish slice or spatula to lightly press down on the crumpets as they cook to help them brown.
- Cook for a minute or two on each side until golden brown and heated through.
Just before they’re ready I like to put some butter on the top to help it melt through, this produces delicious hot crumpets which are crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside.
For some more interesting ways to toast crumpets, you can also use the following methods:
- Stab one with a long fork or skewer and toast over a campfire.
- Toast using the hot plate on an Aga or similar type oven.
- Toast on top of a log burning stove.
- Place over a fire on a grill rack.
Toasted crumpets make a great snack or breakfast when you go camping and are quick and easy to cook using the campfire method.
Just take care not to let them burn and keep an eye on them as they cook.
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