Sourdough piklets (and crumpets)

Sourdough piklets (and crumpets)

It looks like sourdough has became very popular since the beginning of lockdown. I can see freshly baked sourdough bread almost on every other instagram post. Music to my ears, or rather feast for my eyes. If you follow my blog you probably know that I was a dedicated sourdough baker long before it became so fashionable. For me however sourdough is not just about bread. It has more uses than you can imagine. If you don’t believe me check out my recipes for sourdough ciabatta, waffles or pita breads. The is more though, way more. Today I am sharing with you my recipe for sourdough piklets. I love these humble, unsweetened cakes made freshly in the frying pan, They are simply amazing served fresh, still warm, with butter melting into those little holes covering the surface. If you live in the UK you can get mass produced crumpets (piklets bigger version) almost everywhere. Some are ok, some barely passable. But since I made my own version there is no way I am going to buy piklets or crumpets in the supermarket.
I like to think that hundreds of years ago piklets were made in a very similar way to what I present in this recipe. Imagine an old lady putting the batter into the cellar before bedtime so it’s fermented and ready to be cooked for breakfast. Now you can replicate this! There are more benefits though. This recipe will give you another opportunity to utilise excess starter that would otherwise be discarded. Then there is health benefits. What you use in this recipe is just flour, water, milk and salt. Nothing else. No additives, no preservatives. You would need to start this recipe 24 hours before you cook.

Makes 16 – 20 piklets (depending on how big they are)


  • 50g sourdough starter (here you can find how to grow your own sourdough starter)
  • 400g strong white flour
  • 280g water
  • 280g milk
  • 8g salt
piklets on a pan


  1. Put the starter, 100g flour and 100g lukewarm water in a large bowl. Mix well, cover with clingfilm (or shower cap) and leave for about 8 – 12 hours at room temperature. This will create an active pre ferment (levain). After 8 – 12 hours the pre ferment should be active with little bubbles visible on the surface.
  2. Mix the remaining water and milk and bring it to lukewarm temperature (you can use microwave or mix hot water with fridge cold milk).
  3. Add the remaining flour to the bowl. Make shallow well in the centre and add a little bit of the water and milk mixture.
  4. Mix using the balloon whisk adding milk-water mixture gradually until all ingredients are combined. You should end up with a thick batter.
  5. Cover and leave for 1 – 2 hours at room temperature.
  6. Mix in the salt, cover and leave overnight (8 – 12 hours) in a cool place (garage, shed or fridge).
  7. The batter should be now really active with bubbles visible on the surface.
  8. Grease a heavy based frying pan (I prefer cast iron as it retains temperature better) and put it on a medium heat.
  9. Drop 2 spoonfuls of the batter into warmed pan and cook for about 3 – 4 minutes or until the surface is almost completely dry with lot of little holes visible. The trick is to keep the pan on a medium to medium low heat so your piklets can cook all the way through without burning their bottoms.
  10. Turn piklets over and cook for another 1 – 2 minutes.
  11. If your first 2 piklets are too dense with not many holes on the surface mix in 1 teaspoon baking powder into the batter to give it extra boost and continue cooking.
piklets with maple syrup

Serve warm with topping of your choice. My favourite combo will be butter and apricot marmalade but maple syrup or peanut butter are good choices as well.

For crumpets you will need stainless steel pastry rings. Grease the rings, put them in the pan and fill half way with the batter. The batter should stay in the ring, if it dribbles out it is too thin and you need to whisk in some extra flour into the batter. Crumpets will cook a little longer but after couple of minutes you should see plenty of holes on the surface. Cook for about 5 – 6 minutes until the surface is just set. If the cooked base is too dark, reduce the heat. Now gently remove crumpets from the rings (be careful, they will be hot!) and cook them on the other side for 1 – 2 minutes until golden.

Sourdough crumpets

If you don’t have your own sourdough starer but still want to make your own piklets skip to step 2 of the method. Use all of the water and milk in step 2. Use all of the flour in point 3 and add 5g active dried yeast to the dry ingredients before mixing in the liquids.

You can freeze leftover piklets and crumpets for a quick breakfast on another day. Simply pop in the toaster until warmed through.

piklet with butter

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