With a little advance planning to let the dough rise, crumpets are as easy to make as pancakes, but they’ll elevate any brunch menu or turn a simple Sunday morning into a celebration.
Sprinkle the yeast over ¼ cup warm water. Let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes.
Add 1½ cups of warm water and 1 cup of warm milk to the yeast mixture. Add the flour, butter, sugar, and salt, and beat 5 minutes. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour. The mixture should be very bubbly.
Dissolve the baking powder and baking soda in the remaining 2 tablespoons of warm water. Stir into the crumpet batter and mix until combined. Cover and let sit 20 minutes.
Heat a large griddle or cast-iron pan over medium-low heat. Grease the pan and rings lightly with butter. Pour a scant ½ cup of batter into each ring. Turn the heat to low and cook until holes have formed and the top is dry, about 10 minutes.
Unmold (use an offset spatula to run around the edge of the ring, if needed) and flip to the other side. Cook until lightly golden, about 1 minute. Transfer to a cooling rack. Repeat with the remaining batter.
Serve warm or toasted with plenty of butter.
Note: You can use English-muffin or crumpet rings (metal rounds 3 to 4 inches in diameter) for this recipe. A large metal biscuit cutter will also work well.