Gran became an expert in making the most out of a few ingredients and stretching cheap cuts of meat into extravagant meals. Toad-in-the-hole was one of those meals, and of course, like many things, it stemmed from her Yorkshire pudding batter. The first time I saw my gran pull toad-in-the-hole out of the oven, I remember how wide my eyes were, dazzled by the hugely puffed and golden casserole dish with sausages poking out like turtle heads reaching out of their shells. It was a meal fit for a crowd, and a special treat on a Sunday (a day traditionally reserved for roasts in Britain). All everyone wanted was a corner piece of the casserole, a crispy edge, holding onto a fatty pork sausage with more eggy-soft, spongy Yorkshire pudding underneath. Comfort food at its finest. —Miranda Keyes
Test Kitchen Notes
"Toad in the hole" may not be the most appetizing or appealing recipe name we've ever heard of—though it is one of the most fun—but not only is this treat hearty, delicious, and fun to make, you don't need any fancy ingredients, and you'll most definitely impress when you pull the Yorkshire puddings out of the oven. Some eggs, milk, flour, and sausages can go a long way. Whether you make the Yorkshire puddings on their own, or pour the batter around the sausages to make the "toads," you really can't go wrong either way. Get the kids involved, and everyone will soon fall in love with this British classic. Serve with mashed potatoes, gravy, and steamed vegetables alongside.
Miranda Keyes, who developed this recipe, wrote about the history of the dish in her own family, which could become part of yours too: "It took a few years for my mum and I to get Gran's Yorkshire puddings consistently perfect. When they come out just right, we ohh and ahh at their massive size and burnished tops—they’re a sight to behold. But when I started to make them on my own, years later, I realized they weren’t as easy as they looked. Sometimes they deflated, didn’t rise, or became soggy and underbaked. As much as I watched my gran cook growing up, I never had a solid, written recipe for her Yorkshire puddings. But like many techniques and classic dishes, I found that each time I made them they got better and better, requiring patience, practice, research, and many phone calls with my mum."
Featured in: Recreating Gran's Sunday Recipes (& Other Things She Never Wrote Down). —The Editors
- Cook time 50 minutes
- Serves 4
pork sausages (if you can find British banger-style sausages, use those and increase to 8, as they tend to be smaller)
- Heat the oven to 400°F. In a large bowl, whisk the flour and salt. Make a well in the flour mixture and crack in the eggs. Whisk to form a thick paste.
- In a small bowl, combine the milk and water. Gradually pour the milk mixture into the flour mixture, whisking until smooth. The consistency of the batter should be between table cream and whipping cream. At this point, you can turn the batter into Yorkshire puddings by baking them in a 12-cup muffin tin for 25 minutes, or proceed to make Toad in the Hole (which I highly recommend).
- In a 13x9-inch baking dish, toss the sausages and oil to coat. Bake for 15 minutes.
- Remove the sausages from the oven. Pour the Yorkshire pudding batter in between the sausages. Continue to bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until the Yorkshire pudding is golden brown and the sausages are cooked through.