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What Is a Toad in the Hole?
Put simply, toad in the hole is Yorkshire pudding with sausages baked into it. The basic Yorkshire pudding mix can be used for sweet or savoury dishes simply by adding ingredients to create your preferred flavor profile.
Before diving into the ingredients, I'd like to draw your attention to a few basic things you must do to get the perfect Yorkshire pudding. If you don't keep these tips in mind, you won't get the 100% authentic and traditional Yorkshire pudding that's paired with roast beef and eaten across the UK on Sundays.
My Four Top Tips for a Perfect Yorkshire Pudding
- Use an oil that has a high smoking temperature. Oils start to smoke at varying temperatures, and it's best if you use an oil that can get really hot. Lard is best. However, any cooking fat or cooking oil will work.
- The fat must be hot when you pour in the batter—I'm talking spitting hot. If you can slide your oven shelf out and pour the batter in (using a Pyrex jug is a great way to pour the batter) and then quickly shut the door again, that's perfect. If you have to take the fat out of the oven, then you must be ready to immediately pour the batter mix over the sausages and return it to the oven as quickly as possible. Some people will even take the dish out of the oven and put it onto a hot hob while they're doing this so the fat doesn't cool.
- Once you have the Yorkshire pudding mix in the oven, do not open the door for at least 20 minutes. This will ensure your Yorkshire puddings rise high and become crispy on the sides.
- To make a toad in the hole, you do need an oven, whether it's a standard oven, a tabletop oven, or a halogen oven. It can't be made in a microwave, or I'd eat them more often!
The 'No Weighing' Yorkshire Method
While you can find many recipes for a basic batter, the easiest and traditional one is the 'No Weighing' Yorkshire pudding recipe. It's a simple cup recipe for toad in the hole batter. With no weighing ingredients required, these instructions let you put this dish together more easily.
- Using just one measuring cup you just need an equal volume of eggs, flour, and milk. This means that any size cup can be used to measure ingredients.
- The rest of the ingredients for this savoury pudding can be selected from the list below, but the steps below show how to create the batter.
|Prep time||Cook time||Ready in||Yields|
1 hour 5 min
1 hour 35 min
Serves six people
- 1 cup eggs, about 4-5
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup milk
- A pinch of salt
- 1 tbsp lard or cooking oil/fat
- 1lb (450g) sausages
- Mix the eggs, flour, milk, and salt together in a bowl. Whisk them to add air into the mix. The more air you can get in, the better it will help the dish rise in the oven.
- Once your mixture is smooth and lump free, refrigerate it for an hour or so. This isn't an essential step, but it makes the finished toad in the hole taste better. Feel free to skip this step if you don't have time to rest and cool the batter.
- About an hour before you're ready to serve toad in the hole, put the sausages with the lard and place them in a hot oven, about 220°C or 425°F.
- Let them cook, turning them at least once so they get coated in the fat. The sausages need to be mostly cooked before you add the batter. Try cooking them most of the way around and turning the sausages over to expose the last remaining area, before adding the Yorkshire pudding mix. This way, that part will brown during the final 20 minutes of cooking time.
- Take the batter out of the fridge, add in a tablespoon of water, and give the mix one final beating.
- Remove the dish from the oven and pour the pudding batter over and around the sausages as evenly as you can. The batter should come up to about 1/2" or two-thirds of the way up the sausages.
- Return the dish immediately to the oven and let it bake for 20 minutes without opening the door.
- The toad in the hole should be cooked. The sides should have risen and become brown and a bit crispy (not burnt). The bottom should still be light-coloured with a light brown top, but set. If it needs more time, turn the oven off and leave it inside for another 10 minutes. Check on it every few minutes to see it's progress.
- Serve immediately!
Savoury Toad in the Hole Variations
If you want to make an easy toad in the hole, it doesn't take a lot of extra effort to create a slightly different version. You can make it savoury by adding the right ingredients to the basic batter mix.
- Herby Onion: Caramelize some onions. You can do this by cooking them with the sausages or by softening them in a frying pan or skillet first. Mix the onions with the sausages and lay them out neatly. Add a few teaspoons of mixed herbs into the batter mix before you pour it over the sausages.
- Cheese and Chives: Cut up some chives or spring onions and mix them with grated parmesan cheese. Add them to the batter just before you pour it over the sausages.
- Sun-Dried Tomato and Chopped Basil: Chop up sun-dried tomatoes and some fresh basil. Sprinkle these into the dish just before you pour the batter.
- Leek and Tomato: Slice leeks and tomatoes in any shape and way and size you like. Add the leeks and tomatoes to the sausages about halfway through the cooking process or just before you pour the batter over the sausages.
- Pork and Apple: Use pork sausages instead of beef sausages. Peel, core, and cut up two cooking apples. Add them to the sausages so they have the same amount of time to cook.
All of these variations are simple toad in the hole recipes too!
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