Skip to content

Baked sourdough crumpets

March 31, 2020

Anyone with a sourdough starter will likely have made crumpets. They’re an easy, rewarding entry point to sourdough, and they turn build-ups of fed starter into breakfast rather than waste.

But while I love crumpets, I have a pet hate for babysitting things on the stove. So when I was gloriously gifted 7 crumpet rings, I wanted to develop a go-to crumpet that I could make with a big batch of sourdough starter – which I develop quickly, because I never “discard” any dough with each feeding (I just let it build up). After months of experimenting and rave reviews from friends, my gift to you is crumpets all ready at the same time, that you can freeze for a steady toasted supply for days after.

Purists might say baking disqualifies these from being crumpets. And true, the tops of these seal over – but this means that when split, you get double the nooks and crannies. There’s also extra bonus crispiness on the bottoms when they’re toasted.

Altogether, smeared with butter and toasted, these are a crispy, soft and pillowy expression of “milk and honey” – but not so much they aren’t as flexible as toast. They are a hug to whoever enjoys one in the morning before the day begins.

I’ve lost count of how many batches it took to get to this, and that’s why this post is unashamedly long – knowledge from months of crumpet making is included, plus years of sourdough tending. The lack of these notes in most online recipes does a disservice to sourdough – you need a fair bit of knowledge upfront. Sourdough demands you engage your senses rather than blindly following a recipe. That means someone needs to tell you the signs to look, smell, and feel for, and how to use time and temperature as ingredients (thanks Ken Forkish!). Once you’ve made these crumpets successfully though, they’ll be super easy to keep churning out. I hope they’ll become a new routine for you. And that you’ll discover some “signals” you can apply to other sourdough recipes too.

Baked sourdough crumpets recipe

Makes 7 x 10cm crumpets, more or less depending on crumpet ring size. 

Equipment needed:

  • Completely flat baking tray
  • Crumpet rings around 1inch high (grease even if you’re using non-stick)

Ingredients:

  • around 10g butter or coconut oil to grease the baking tray and crumpet rings
  • 550g 100% hydration active white sourdough starter – this means equal weight of flour and water, and active means it has at least risen from when it was last mixed. Note it should not smell like alcohol – if it does you need to feed it until it no longer smells like alcohol. If you’re not used to mixing dough, I’d also advise you bring to room temp so the dough will be more fluid-feeling and easier to mix and pour.
  • 50g plain yogurt – I haven’t tried coconut yogurt but you can give it a go as long as it’s a bit tangy.
  • 1/2 tsp or 3g table salt
  • 2 tsp or 16g honey (eyeballing this is fine, you can also use light brown or raw caster sugar)
  • 100g white flour (bonus if it’s stoneground wholegrain flour)
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda, sifted (5g)

In a large mixing bowl that will easily accommodate double the sourdough starter volume, mix the starter, yogurt, salt, honey, and flour and baking soda thoroughly – go for an extra minute even when no streaks of flour are left (so you’re guaranteed not to get a streak of baking soda – HIGHLY unpleasant eating!). When you stop mixing and leave the batter for a few seconds, the mixture will look and feel a bit bubbly when you lift the spoon out.

Generously grease baking tray and crumpet rings with butter/coconut oil, and arrange the rings on the baking tray – leave a couple millimetres space between them. This is best to do after mixing, while the dough has a chance to rest and the additional flour has a chance to hydrate.

Pour the dough into the crumpet rings, filling them halfway. You may need to “cut” the dough with the edge of your spoon/spatula if it was cold to get it out. If it was room temp it should be more like batter.

Let the dough rise until almost double in height and even bubblier (the bubbles are also bigger). If you used cold dough: Pop your tray in the oven, turn it on to max heat for a minute (or 20 sec if your oven heats super-fast), then turn off. This will warm it up. If you used room-temp dough: this shouldn’t take more than an hour or two at room temp depending on your starter, but if they’re a bit slow your starter might just be too fresh – speed things up with my oven trick for cold dough.

Heat oven to 150C (300F) and bake crumpets for 15 minutes, rotating the tray half way. At 7 mins the tops should be dry – now check the edges aren’t brown (if so your oven is running hot). After 15 mins the bottoms should be lightly golden, but not brown (they will burn when you toast them if you go too dark now). If not your oven might be a bit under temp – note this and bake a few mins longer until lightly golden. Let sit a minute (no longer, or you’ll lose a lot of crispness) before dislodging them from your baking tray with a spatula. Cool on a rack until warm enough to shimmy out of the rings. They might need a bit of coaxing (this is why butter or a solid fat is important for greasing!), but they should come out – push from the top, near the edges.

Split in half with a sharp knife (as in, can cut a tomato cleanly without being serrated), and toast if you want crispy bottoms, or eat fresh and soft.

What to eat with these crumpets

Basically, anything you’d have with toast – and these are great defrosted in the toaster (I put mine through the lowest setting, twice, flipping in between because I have a shit toaster). If I’m too lazy to make bread with my sourdough, I’ll have avo on crumpet and it’s still delicious! Spreadable ricotta and honey is one of my faves, especially with some chopped stone fruit, fresh or dried. Tahini and date (or maple) syrup would be a great vegan alternative if you end up making these vegan with coconut yogurt and oil (also good if you’re trying to reduce your dairy intake).

Also, they are great as burger buns! Sometimes I make a special omelette in the crumpet rings too to fit snugly inside (you could do the same with a burger).

Modify this recipe!

I developed these crumpets to taste extra-special on their own, because I almost exclusively eat these or bread from my starter. So to make these taste more substantial, I added yogurt – the sourness helps further offset that alkaline baking soda flavour. This means you’ll get delicious crumpets even if your starter is on the fresh side, and not sour enough to balance out the soda). Honey adds extra depth. And if you can find it, stoneground wholegrain flour makes these healthier, toastier and nuttier.

I’ve made this with many variations – so honestly feel free to experiment and adapt to however many crumpet rings you have (this is why I included metric measurements). Or your schedule, and starter (depending on your starter, it may not like being risen in the fridge for instance). This is simply a (hopefully solid) point to jump off from. Feel free to let me know where you land (as long as it’s delicious!).

No comments yet

Stir the pot with a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: