Inside the Factory, April 7, 2024, Smithsonian Channel USA, “Crumpets”

Inside the Factory

In this episode of Inside the Factory, airing on the Smithsonian Channel USA, viewers will be taken behind the scenes to uncover the secrets of crumpet production. Crumpets, a beloved British classic, are made using a precise combination of ingredients and clever chemistry to create their famous “holey” texture.

The episode, hosted by Gregg Wallace and Cherry Healey, takes us inside a factory that produces an impressive 432 million crumpets every year. Crumpets are a staple in British cuisine, and this episode will reveal the science behind their unique texture and flavour.

The process begins with a specific flour mix, which includes thirteen varieties of wheat. Unlike bread, crumpets require a reduced protein flour to achieve the perfect soft and crispy texture. The batter is a precise combination of flour, water, yeast, and a little bicarbonate of soda, mixed at high speed to activate the yeast.

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The batter then undergoes fermentation, optimising the yeast and creating carbon dioxide bubbles. When poured onto hot plates, the first side to cook sets, and the steam from the bubbles escapes, leaving the iconic holes.

The episode will also explore the cooling process, where temperatures are lowered to prevent mould and condensation. The crumpets are then scanned and analysed by robots to ensure they meet the exact specifications.

The factory, with its automated machinery and dedicated staff, produces an astonishing number of crumpets, supplying supermarkets across the country.

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Inside the Factory: Crumpets will satisfy viewers’ curiosity about the beloved breakfast treat and reveal the magic behind its creation.

Inside the Factory airs on the Smithsonian Channel USA at an unspecified time on Sunday, 7 April 2024.

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