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Stir together the yeast and 240ml warm water in a bowl and leave to stand for 5-10 mins. Add the warm milk, butter, salt and sugar, then tip in the flour and stir until smooth. Leave to stand for 30 mins.
Dissolve the baking powder in a little water, then leave to rise for 20-30 mins.
Oil a heavy-based frying pan with a little vegetable oil and heat over medium-low heat. Lightly oil four 9cm crumpet rings. Spoon batter into the rings so it comes halfway up the sides. Reduce heat to low, cover with a lid, or an upturned deep frying pan to give the crumpets space to rise. Cook until the tops look dry, about 10-12 mins.
Flip them over and cook for 5 mins until golden and firm. Repeat with the remaining batter. Serve toasted with butter or topped with cheese, melted under the grill.