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Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Toad in the hole - My first ever attempt at cooking this classic British meal.

For many years now I have  used Aunt Bessies Toad in the Hole or ASDA brand but thought I'd have a go at making my own from scratch. I have never made Yorkshire Pudding or Toad in the Hole ever before. For those that don't know, "Toad in the hole" is just a Yorkshire Pudding with Sausages embedded in it. I will describe making both below.
At this time of year why not serve your Yorkshire pudding with Turkey and cranberries !

The results were really good and I have made both Toad in the hole and Yorkshire Puddings several times now. If you fancy having a go at making them here is what I did.

Don't worry you don't have to be a trained cook to follow this, its very simple. I have written down very detailed step by step instructions. Read though them now before you start so you know its going to go well for you.

Andy's Yorkshire Pudding Recipe - Serves 4
350ml of semi-skimmed Milk.
250g of Plain Flour (I used Homepride Plain Flour 1Kg)
4 Large Free-range Eggs (I used Asda own brand free-range eggs)
Olive Oil (I used Asda Extra Virgin Olive Oil)

You will also need
A deep baking tray about 12" x 9" x 1.5" deep (i.e standard 33cm roasting tin). A4 sized !
Electronic measuring scales
Electric stick Hand Blender

1) Pre-heat the oven to 220C (Gas mark 7)
2) Pour some Olive oil into the baking tray until the entire base of it has about 2mm of oil covering it.
Put the tray onto the top shelf of the oven and leave it to get very hot while you prepare the batter mix as follows.
3) Using a small jug measure out 350ml of Milk.
4) Crack open the four large eggs and put them (White and Yoke) into the milk. (How to crack an Egg) Add a pinch of salt to the mix.
5) Using an electric stick hand blender, mix the milk and eggs for a minute, try and get as much air into the mix as possible by moving the blender up and down and around in the mix.
6) Using scales measure out 250g of plain flour. While plunging the stick mixer in and out of the milk/egg mix start adding the flour into the mixture slowly bit by bit.
7) Once all the flour has been added continue to mix for a minute, ensure that its fully mixed in and there are no lumps left at the bottom.
8) Leave this mixture to rest somewhere cold for 5 mins.
9) Once the oven has reached full temperature, remove the baking tray with the hot oil in it and immediately pour in all the mix and put the baking tray back on the top shelf of the oven. You should try and do this in less than 30 seconds.
10) Now leave it in the oven for 30 minutes. You should notice that after about 10 minutes the Yorkshire should start to rise. It's quite magical seeing it rise up out of the roasting tin.
Keep an eye on it towards the end of cooking.
11) You should be able to remove it from the roasting tin with little effort at all.
12) Personally I serve this with Chicken breast, French cut green beans, Stuffing, Mashed potatoes and lots of gravy.

Some Tips to help you.
Try and get plenty of air into the batter mix, this is what helps it rise.
You are best to only remove the hot oil from the oven for a few seconds in order to pour in the mix.
Do NOT leave the oven door open for ages otherwise the results will not be as good.
By "top shelf" I mean the second set of slots down, the very top one would be too hot and it would hit the roof of the oven.
My oven is a fan assisted oven, every oven is different so keep an eye on the pudding during the last 10 minutes of cooking to ensure it does not burn the top of it.
Don't be tempted to open the door during cooking otherwise it will deflate and never recover !
Use an Electronic Cooking Timer. rather than guessing 30 minutes.
I would say this pudding serves about 4-6 people if you are having meat and veg with it.

Here is what my Yorkshire Pudding looked like :
My Yorkshire Pudding
Click here for a larger photograph of my Yorkshire Pudding.

As you can see its risen out of the roasting tin. The corners of the Yorkshire pudding are 5 inches high.
Quite often it will almost touch the top of my oven as you can see here.
Yorkshire Pudding

Fourth attempt at making Yorkshire Pudding :
Yorkshire Pudding

Don't know what Toad in the Hole is? See Wikipedia Toad in the Hole.

Andy's Toad in the Hole recipe - Serves 4-6
This is pretty much the same as above but we are going to add Sausages to the batter to create the classic meal Toad in the Hole.
You will need all the same ingredients as for my Yorkshire Pudding but also some sausages.
How many and what type is down to personal preference.
For a roasting tin of 12" x 9" I would suggest 8 to 12 sausages depending on how many people you are serving it to. The first time I made this I actually used 6 Vegetarian Quorn sausages and 6 Cumberland sausages.
I suggest part cooking the sausages for about 6 mins in a frying pan with Olive oil, this will make them look better when you cook them in the oven later. Once you have precooked the sausages like this, put them into the hot oil and back in the oven for 3 mins then remove the roasting tin and pour over the batter mix as per my Yorkshire Pudding instructions.

Slam it in the oven on the top shelf for 30 minutes.

This is what my first attempt at Toad in the hole looked like. This is half of it before the Gravy.
I used 12 Sausages altogether, 6 Vegetarian Quorn sausages and 6 Cumberland and apple sausages. This was far too much for two people, this is a large steak plate and its too big to get half of it on the plate!
My Toad in the hole
The wine is Gallo White Zinfandel Rose Produced by Ernest and Julio.

Second attempt at Toad in the hole, this one has 8 sausages in it but was still far too much for two people. I woud say it serves 4-6 people depending on how greedy you are :)
My Toad in the hole second attempt

I hope you enjoyed this and that it inspires you to have a go at making it yourself.
It always tastes better when you make it yourself compared with shop bought frozen ones.
Leave a comment if you followed my recipe and say how they turned out for you.


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