What has four ingredients, takes just about 10 minutes to make, tastes so good you want to cry, and uses discard sourdough starter — the stuff you always reluctantly throw away during feeding? Sourdough Crumpets, raise your hand!

I admit it — I’ve fallen in love with this recipe. And like any newfound flame, the passion is all-consuming. My sourdough starter, formerly neglected for weeks at a time, is now getting thrice-weekly feedings just so the discard can meet my family’s crumpet needs.

With their crisp golden exterior and wonderfully soft, sponge-like crumb within, sourdough crumpets are enormously compelling.

Two sourdough crumpets on a plate; one buttered, one spread with jam.

Enjoy them warm, fresh off the griddle.

Three sourdough crumpets, split to show their hole-riddled interior.
Holey moley! These split sourdough crumpets are ready to toast and butter.

Or split your crumpet, toast, and spread both halves with butter, which of course melts into all those little holes: even more holes than you’ll find in an English muffin.

Their flavor — buttery, with the rich (but not overwhelming) tang of sourdough — can swing either way: sweet dolloped with jam, savory filled with egg and cheese. The whole package is sublime.

Wait; did I mention you can go from cold discard starter to warm crumpets in like 10 minutes? No joke. Follow along here and I guarantee by the end of this story you’ll be headed to the kitchen to feed your starter!

1 cup sourdough starter in a glass bowl.

Start with unfed starter

Begin with your unfed starter, straight from the fridge. Or from the counter; this recipe is just as easily made with room-temperature starter.

Don't have any starter? Make your own following our popular sourdough starter recipe. Or save yourself a week of feedings by purchasing our fresh sourdough starter, which will be good to go within 24 hours of delivery.

Pour 1 cup (8 ounces, 227g) starter into a medium-sized bowl. Stir in 1 teaspoon sugar and 1/2 teaspoon salt.

Preheat a griddle or skillet

Heat a griddle or a large frying pan over medium-low heat; 300°F is perfect. Lightly grease the surface with cooking oil (if your pan isn't non-stick), then melt a pat of butter atop the oil, if desired. While not strictly necessary, butter adds wonderful flavor, as usual.

Ready your rings

Lightly grease four English muffin rings (1" high and 4" across). Yes, you really do need rings to contain this batter; crumpets have to rise up, not spread out.

Hot griddle brushed with vegetable oil and butter, holding four English muffin rings.
Butter foams atop a thin layer of vegetable oil on the hot griddle, while muffin rings sit ready to receive their crumpet batter.

Place the rings on the griddle.

Sourdough crumpet batter, billowy and bubbly and ready to scoop.

Stir in baking soda

Stir 3/8 teaspoon baking soda into the starter. Use a spatula to quickly but thoroughly distribute the soda throughout the batter, which will rise up and bubble a bit, becoming almost billowy.

Four muffin rings on a hot griddle filled with cooking sourdough crumpet batter.

Cook the crumpets

Immediately (really; you don't want the batter to deflate) divide the batter evenly among the rings. Each ring will hold a generous 1/4 cup of batter; a slightly heaped muffin scoop is the perfect tool for this task.

Four sourdough crumpets cooking on a griddle.

Cook crumpets for about 5 minutes, until the tops are set and full of small holes. They’ll appear liquid and bubbly at first, but their tops will gradually become somewhat opaque and partially set.

Sourdough crumpets on a griddle, ready to flip over.

Once this happens, carefully flip the crumpets over, remove the rings (they should pop right off), and continue to cook for about 3 minutes, until they're golden on the bottom.

Side view of four sourdough crumpets on a griddle showing their height.
Are sourdough crumpets not a thing of beauty and a joy forever, or what? At fully 1" tall, they're quite impressive. 

Sigh blissfully and enjoy

Enjoy the crumpets warm, split and spread with butter and jam. Or toast to brown and crisp them before serving.

A sourdough crumpet split, warmed, and spread with butter, raspberry jam on the side.

I just fed my starter yesterday, but think how happy it'll be if I feed it again today. And how delighted I'll be to take the starter I'd otherwise discard and make yummy sourdough crumpets!

Looking for more ways to use your discard sourdough starter? Check out our delicious collection of sourdough discard recipes.

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About PJ Hamel

PJ Hamel grew up in New England, graduated from Brown University, and was an award-winning Maine journalist (favorite topics: sports and food) before joining King Arthur Flour in 1990. Hired to write the newly launched Baker’s Catalogue, PJ became the small but growing company’s sixth employee.PJ wa...
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