One thing that all the blogs, websites, and cookbooks seem to agree upon is that crumpets and English muffins are two different creatures. Where they all disagree is exactly how.
After all, crumpets and English muffins are both griddle cakes - meaning they were originally made on the stove top in a cast-iron griddle pan. They're both round and generally biscuit-sized. They both have a spongy texture full of nooks and crannies for absorbing melted butter and other delicious toppings. They're also both considered to be a breakfast, brunch, or tea food, but not the kind of bread you'd serve with dinner.
But then things start to get confusing:
• Crumpets are always made with milk, but English muffins never do. (Though there are a few recipes that beg to differ.)
• Crumpet batter is just that: a loose batter. English muffins are made from a more firm dough. (Sometimes.)
• Crumpets are made only using baking soda, where as English muffins are made with yeast or sourdough (and occasionally a little baking soda to help things along).
• Crumpets are cooked only on one side, so the bottom is flat and toasted while the top is speckled with holes (delicious, butter-absorbing holes...). English muffins are more bread-like and are toasted on both sides. (This one is actually a definite!)
• Crumpets are served whole with the jam and butter are spread right on top. English muffins are split before serving. (Unless you happen to like your crumpets split.)
As long as it serves as a vehicle for melted butter and jam, we're pretty equal opportunity when it comes to breakfast baked goods! Call it a crumpet or an English muffin, we'll give it a try either way.
Any crumpet or English muffin aficionados out there? What do you have to say?!
(Image: Emma Christensen)