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Jan 20, 2010 08:14 AM

What's the difference between a crumpet and an English muffin?

I'm not English, nor British, nor pretend to be ...

But I'd like to be enlightened as to the difference between a crumpet and an English muffin, assuming there is one.

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  1. A crumpet is like a thick pancake with lots of holes in it (the better to hold the melted butter and Seville orange marmalade). It's cooked on the bottom only (needs toasting to be good). A bit wet in texture. You toast it whole. I want one right now!
    An English muffin is drier and is cooked on both sides, which are usually dredged in cornmeal at least in the US. You split it horizontally (preferably with a fork) before toasting it.

    2 Replies
    1. re: buttertart

      That's pretty much what I wanted to say. The crumpet is kind of spongy and made from a batter whereas the English muffin is more bready and made from dough.

      Ooo, I just realized I have some in the freezer at home. But, alas, I am at work. Now I really want a crumpet with butter and strawberry jam.

      1. re: Sooeygun

        Salted butter and thin-cut bitter orange marmalade for me please.

    2. Man oh man.. in Toronto, in the 1960's, you could find crumpets everywhere. The baker (we actually had home delivery in those days!) always had them in his tray. I had never seen, or even heard of, an English muffin until McD's introduced their breakfast here.

      Toasted crumpets with butter and some crunchy peanut butter were a real treat - as buttertart notes, the holes capture all the melted butter, and the heat makes the peanut butter even creamier, while the nuts provide a great textural counterpoint.

      But most stores don't carry crumpets these days. Pity.

      3 Replies
      1. re: FrankD

        Most stores in Toronto? Say what? They're in every supermarket in Calgary, and I'd be shocked if that weren't the case in Toronto.

        1. re: John Manzo

          I haven't found a grocery store in Toronto that doesn't carry them. At least those in the Loblaw family (No Frills, Valumart, Loblaw, etc) that is.

          1. re: Sooeygun

            Maybe FrankD meant freshly baked crumpets? I've only had the packaged ones, but I bet bakery-made crumpets would be better...

      2. well I am not going to agree with buttertart. For me a crumpet is nothing like a thick pancake because a pancake is sort of sweet and soda tasting and a crumpet is neither sweet nor tastes of baking soda. And in my opinion it is toasted both sides. It is kinda wet and spongy in texture and airy and butter melts right through to the base.
        An English muffin is not English for starters, we never had them in England till more recently.

        2 Replies
        1. re: smartie

          I agree: a crumpet is nothing like a pancake. It's a spongier, wetter version of what Americans call an English Muffin.

          1. re: pikawicca

            Stop - you're both wrong.

            First, smartie, buttertart did not say it was "toasted" on one side; she said it was "cooked" on one side, which is true. The bottom has a flat smooth base, and the top is full of airholes. I understand where bt is coming from; if you cooked a pancake for a long time without flipping it, the bottom would be flat and the top would be full of holes. I do agree that the taste is different.

            And, pika, an English muffin bears as much resemblance to a crumpet as pita bread does to naan, which is to say "not much". They're both breads, but the resemblance ends there. English muffins have a crumbly interior; crumpets don't. People cut English muffins in half; crumpets, no. People make sandwiches out of English muffins; if there's a crumpet sandwich in existence, I've never seen it. Crumpets exist solely to convey butter and the spread of your choice warmly into your mouth. Crumpets have a long history and tradition in the old Empire, and the phrase "tea and crumpets" has entered the vernacular. "Coffee and an English muffin"? Not so much.

        2. A Crumpet is made from a yeasted batter sort of like a pancake (but in a metal crumpet ring on a griddle). An English Muffin cut from a rolled dough (like a biscuit dough) then cooked on a griddle. They are both delicious when homemade and fresh.

          I like butter and Lyle's Golden Syrup on my crumpets and only butter on my English Muffin.

          4 Replies
          1. re: fmed

            A concise description (of course the rolled dough is yeasted, unlike the usual biscuit dough, and yes I am aware there are such things as angel biscuits that have both chemical leavener and yeast).
            Crikey! How many crumpets can you fit in your toaster/angels dance on the head of a pin? For that matter, where are pancakes sweet, other than from what you put on them? I meant as kindly noted by FrankD that a crumpet looks like a thick pancake cooked on one side and all holey because of it, not that it paricularly tasted like pancakes.
            I also grew up in the '60s, in southwestern Ontario, where crumpets were indeed available in grocery stores and they are also fairly amazingly available in my Brooklyn, NY supermarket. I also never saw an English muffin except on visits to the US and still think of them as an American food. (They are very good toasted with cream cheese, as eaten in my Iowan husband's family.) Do they even have them in the UK?
            Now would someone please get the kettle on and make a nice pot of tea, and someone else toast the breadstuffs of choice, and we can all settle down to enjoy them?

            1. re: buttertart

              to an English palate pancakes are slightly sweet as are many American breads. It is a common complaint amongst ex-pats.

              You can get 2 crumpets into one side of a toaster, although they are always better under the grill (broiler) and turned. They then steam slightly while grilling.

              English (sic!) muffins appeared in England in the 80s. Before that maybe they were just called muffins though I had never seen one except in the US.

              1. re: smartie

                The recipe I use for pancakes has no sugar in it, but I expect commercial pancake mixes have it in them.

            2. re: fmed

              English Muffins are not cut from a Dough like Biscuits. They are a Yeasted batter that is poured in to a Ring and cooked on a Griddle on both sides.
              There are recipes that call for forming the batter by hand but these doughs are not Hydrated enough to yield the proper texture.

            3. Wolfermans (online/catalog) sells crumpets and every other breakfast food. They are definetly sweet. A cross between a pancake and a waffle. They have a lot of different flavors. I dont know if they are authentic but they are good.

              2 Replies
              1. re: snowwish

                If they are sweet, they aren't authentic. The recipes I have seen have only enough sugar as food for the yeast. Say 1 tsp for a dozen crumpets.