Both crumpets and English muffins are great breakfast choices wherever you are in the world, but no more so than when you’re in their homeland, the UK.
The only thing is, how do you know which of these classic British delicacies to try, when you’re too busy asking what the difference is between them?
Here’s your answer to this monumental British food dilemma:
Crumpets are cooked from a batter, but English muffins differ because they’re made from a dough (more like a bread). Crumpets are mainly cooked on one side and have a distinctive bubbly appearance, whereas English muffins are beautifully uniformed.
So, that takes care of the main differences between crumpets and English muffins, but there’s also the matter of some additional minor differences, or similarities you might say, which is really why you’re here in the first place.
There’s also the crucial matter of how to make both.
So stick around. That way, you can make a well-informed decision over which to munch, before your British lunch.
The Differences Between Crumpets & English Muffins
So, are crumpets the same thing as English muffins? No, crumpets are an entirely different British breakfast treat to English muffins, although they’re reasonably similar. Except, they’re not.
Here’s some more key differences:
- English muffins are most often made with yeast, hence the statement that they’re more like bread (although some crumpet recipes also contain yeast).
- Crumpets are typically made using yeast and baking powder, which produces their unique bubbly appearance during the cooking process, whereas English muffins only contain yeast.
- English muffins are normally or cut into two (horizontally) before eating, whereas crumpets are served whole (or cut vertically).
- The word Crumpet has been known to be used as a term of affection, or offence (depending on how you look at it). ‘English Muffin’ on the other hand, isn’t exactly a well known term of endearment (but could be used all the same – probably depends on your bravery and target audience).
Whilst English muffins and crumpets are highly different, it’s now time for some of those similarities:
Crumpets and English muffins are both traditionally known as griddle cakes, because they were classically cooked using a cast-iron griddle. These days, griddle-pans or simply frying pans are most often used for crumpets and ovens for English muffins.
- They’re both round in shape.
- They have a similar soft texture.
- They’re both most commonly eaten at breakfast time in Britain (or brunch). Hot from the oven or heated, alongside a nice cuppa, obviously.
- They’re both friends with a serving of butter, until they brutally melt it within seconds.
What To Eat With Crumpets?
It’s clearly best (or just most conventional) to eat only butter with crumpets, although other ideas include jam, honey, chocolate spread, peanut butter, baked beans and cheese, poached eggs, or dare we say it, Marmite.
What Do The British Put On Their Crumpets?
It’s well known and barely debatable that we Brits mainly put butter on our crumpets, plus any other choice of topping. Or, as our friends at British Corner Shop say: “butter, butter and more butter.”
What To Eat With English Muffins?
Butter by itself is perfectly acceptable to eat with English muffins, but most traditional is to have them underneath some good quality ham, poached eggs and hollandaise sauce, which gives you a certain dish named Eggs Benedict.
Eggs Florentine is the other classic dish traditionally linked with English muffins, where they’re topped with spinach, poached eggs and hollandaise sauce. But really, English muffins can be eaten with whatever you like.
Do Crumpets Taste Like English Muffins?
It’d just be wrong to say that crumpets taste like English muffins, but both their flavour profiles are naturally similar due to the ingredients used when making them. They’re both pretty plain or neutral in taste, but the real magic happens when they’re topped with butter and whatever else you fancy.
Then again, The Kitchnn suggest that “crumpets tend to be softer, and milder in flavor.”
Which is Healthier: Crumpets or English Muffin?
Tastessence.com mention that crumpets have less calories, but that English muffins are healthier due to lower fat content and zero cholesterol.
Let’s see if this is right, using nutritional content from Britain’s most popular crumpet and English muffin producer (Warburtons):
Warburtons Nutrition Information
|Typical Values||Crumpets – Per 100g||English muffins – Per 100g|
|Energy||739kJ / 176kcal||964kJ / 228kcal|
– of which saturates
|0.8g / 0.2g||2.1g / 0.4g|
– of which sugars
|35.3g / 2.0g||42.1g / 2.9g|
Data source: Warburtons Crumpets and Warburtons English Muffins
Going by this evidence, on balance, you could probably say that crumpets are healthier than English muffins.
Crumpets vs English Muffins: Which Is Best?
As you’ve probably guessed, the only real ways to compare the differences between English muffins and crumpets are these:
- Buy and try them for yourself
- Find somewhere to eat in Britain!
- Or, use these recipes to make them at home…
English Muffins Recipe
- 300g/10½ oz strong white bread flour, plus extra for flouring
- 6g fast-action yeast
- 6g salt
- 15g/½oz caster sugar
- 15g/½oz softened butter, cut into small pieces
- 1 medium free-range egg (about 22g/¾oz), lightly beaten
- 170ml/6fl oz milk (should make a soft dough – you can add up to about 30ml/1floz extra if needed)
- oil, for greasing
- 15g/½oz semolina or polenta, plus extra for dusting
- Tip the flour into a large mixing bowl. Sprinkle the yeast on one side of the flour and the salt into the other side of the flour. Add the sugar, butter, egg and milk, then mix all the ingredients together to form a soft dough.
- Turn the mixture out of the bowl onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 10 minutes, or until soft, smooth and stretchy.
- Lightly grease a large bowl with oil. Place the dough in the oiled bowl, cover and leave to prove for about one hour, or until doubled in size.
- Dust the work surface with a mixture of the semolina/polenta and flour. Tip the dough out onto the work surface and roll out to about 2.5cm thick.
- Lightly dust two baking trays with half of the semolina or polenta.
- Using a 9cm/3½oz straight-sided cutter, cut out eight muffins. Place four muffins, evenly spaced apart on each of the dusted baking trays. Dust the remaining semolina or polenta over the top of the muffins.
- Leave to prove for another 30 minutes.
- Preheat the hot plate or a heavy-based frying pan on the hob to a very low heat. Griddle the muffins for approximately 5-6 minutes, then flip over and griddle for another 5-6 minutes on the other side.
Recipe courtesy of the BBC.
A Recipe For Crumpets
- 2½ tsp dried yeast
- warm milk
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
- 2 tsp sea salt
- 2 tsp caster sugar
- 470g plain flour
- ½ tsp baking powder dissolved in 60ml warm water
- vegetable oil, to grease
- butter or cheese, to serve
- In a bowl stir together the yeast and 240ml warm water and let it stand for 5-10 mins. Add the warm milk, butter, salt and sugar. Add the flour and stir until the batter becomes smooth. Let stand for 30 mins.
- Stir in the baking powder dissolved in water, leave to rise for 20-30 mins.
- Grease a heavy-based frying pan with a little vegetable oil and heat over medium-low heat. Lightly grease 4 x 9cm diameter crumpet rings. Spoon batter into the rings so it comes halfway up the sides. Reduce heat to low, cover with an upturned deep frying pan to give the crumpets space to rise. Cook until the tops look dry, about 10-12 mins.
- Flip them over and cook for 5 mins until golden and firm. Repeat with the remaining batter. Serve toasted with butter or with cheese melted under the grill.
Recipe courtesy of the BBC.
English muffins and crumpets are different, albeit they do have some similarities, like the fact that they’re both GREAT British breakfast choices (see what we did there).
The main difference is that one’s a bubbly character while the other is a fluffy (yet more bready) figure, both with the ability to melt hearts as quick as butter.
Other differences include how they’re cut and served, plus, what’s typically piled on top. Evidence shows (albeit only from one particular commercial brand) that crumpets are healthier.
Also, you probably won’t woo anyone by calling them an English Muffin, but tradition in Britain says there’s a chance when it comes to Crumpet.
Anyway, we digress. Probably wise that you just stick to reading about British breakfast items, or even better, where to eat yours when in Blighty…
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