Gordon Ramsay's Secret For Making The Perfect Crumpet

What's the first thing that comes to mind when you hear someone mention crumpets? Perhaps a treat to nibble on while having tea with the queen? Less likely is imagining someone as hot-tempered as chef Gordon Ramsay dining on the delicate bread. But it actually makes complete sense; both Ramsay and crumpets are quintessentially British. In one form or another, crumpets, which MasterClass shares is a name derived from the Welsh word for "griddle cakes," have been a favorite in England for over 700 years. (Ramsay has worked much more quickly, becoming a British favorite in only 24 years!)

In a YouTube video on his channel, Ramsay shared his recipe for a homemade crumpet topped with a rich strawberry sauce. Though crumpets are traditionally made as small rounds, Ramsay created a skillet-sized crumpet that can be sliced and shared as an end-of-brunch dessert. The technique to make crumpets is not very complicated, but it still takes some practice to achieve the ideal texture: light and spongy, with lots of tiny holes. Large or small, Ramsay stated that one of the most important steps in getting that right is to be very gentle with the crumpet batter after it rises. 

These two ingredients give crumpets their signature, airy texture

In his YouTube video, Gordon Ramsay shared a bit of nostalgia for the crumpets he had as a child. "The smell and the taste of amazing crumpet, it never leaves you." Though at first glance, crumpets may look very similar to English muffins, the latter is thicker, more bready, and are typically served sliced in half. Crumpets are made from a wet batter, and, after griddling, are light, with a holey texture on both sides — no slicing needed. 

Ramsay demonstrated in his video that the milk-based crumpet batter contains yeast, needing time to rise after mixing as a result. However, the batter also contains baking powder, which works twice in baked goods — first producing gas bubbles when mixed with wet ingredients, then again when it hits the heat. As Ramsay picked up the bowl of risen batter, he noted that "it's aerated, it's nice, it's light." The mixture was full of bubbles, and that was when the most care was required. "Don't knock the bowl," he said, "because it can sort of push out all that air." Those air bubbles are what create the beautifully spongy texture that you want in a crumpet. 

With a gentle touch and a little practice, you can make jolly good crumpets, deliciously topped with Ramsay's caramelized balsamic strawberry sauce or simply toasted with butter.