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Crumpets, Pikelets and English Muffins

By: Elizabeth Hinds - Updated: 1 Oct 2012 | comments*Discuss
 
Crumpets Pikelets Muffins English
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Crumpets, pikelets, Scotch pancakes and English muffins: all traditional British tea-time treats but what's the difference? That's a good question!

They're all cooked on a griddle or bakestone (a heavy-based frying-pan can be used as an alternative) but crumpets and muffins are both yeast-based.

To make crumpets, you need egg rings (available from kitchen or hardware shops) or, if you can get them, special crumpet rings, and they need to be well-greased.

Crumpets

  • 225g (8oz) strong white flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 sachet fast-acting yeast
  • 1 teaspoon caster sugar
  • 275ml (10fl oz) milk
  • 55ml (2fl oz) water

Warm the milk and water together in the microwave to hand-heat. Sieve the flour and salt into a bowl. Stir in the Sugar and Yeast. Gradually add the milk, stirring to give a smooth thick batter.

Cover the bowl with a tea-towel and leave in a warm place for about 45 minutes or until the batter is light and frothy.

Heat a greased griddle. Place the greased egg rings on the griddle and pour about 1 tablespoon in each (depending on size - you might need a little more). Cook over a medium heat for 4-5 minutes. Bubbles will start to rise and burst giving the crumpets their characteristic appearance. Remove the egg rings and flip the crumpets over to cook on the other side for a minute or two.

Serve warm with loads of fresh butter.

Thinner than Scones but thicker than pancakes, Scotch pancakes are also known as griddle or drop scones.

  • 225g (8oz) plain flour
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1 level teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 level teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 5 teaspoons caster sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 150ml (5fl oz or ¼ pint) milk

Sieve together the flour, salt, cream of tartar and bicarb. Stir in the sugar. Make a well in the centre and add the beaten egg and some of the milk. Whisk well. Add enough milk to make a thick batter.

Heat a greased griddle. Pour the mixture onto the griddle a tablespoon at a time. Cook until little bubbles rise and burst then flip the pancake over and cook the other side until golden.

Serve warm generously spread with butter.

Depending on where you live, pikelets may look like thin crumpets or fat Scotch pancakes or something in-between! They appear to be most popular in New Zealand, Australia, Wales and Staffordshire!

Welsh Pikelets

  • 110g (4oz) plain flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 75g (3oz) butter
  • 275ml (10fl oz or ½ pint) milk

Melt the butter. Sieve flour into a bowl. Add the melted butter and the beaten eggs. Gradually add the milk to make a smooth batter. Leave to stand overnight if possible.

Heat a greased griddle. Pour the mixture onto the griddle a small cupful at a time. Cook until little bubbles rise and burst then flip the pikelet over and cook the other side until golden.

Serve warm and thickly buttered.

  • Alternatively top with maple syrup, jam and cream, or honey and yogurt.
  • Try adding sultanas to the mix before cooking.

English Muffins

  • 450g (1lb) strong flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon caster sugar
  • 1 sachet fast-acting yeast
  • 225ml (8fl oz) water
  • 120ml (4fl oz) milk

Put the water and milk in a jug and microwave to hand-heat. Sieve together the flour and salt. Stir in the sugar and yeast and then mix in the warmed water and milk.

Thoroughly knead the dough, which will be sticky. Cover the bowl with a tea-towel and leave in warm place to rise until doubled in size. Best results are achieved if you leave it overnight to rise.

Knock back the dough and divide it into 8 pieces. Roll each piece in extra flour and then shape into a flattened bun. Place the buns onto a baking sheet and lay another baking sheet on top. Leave in a warm place for about 20 minutes.

Cook on a pre-heated greased griddle, over a moderate heat, for about 10 minutes a side.

  • Keep cooked muffins warm by wrapping in a tea-towel.

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