There are three things I love about Toad in the Hole. Firstly, it is so easy to make, secondly it tastes great but mostly I just love the silly name… And I think it might be part of the reason that my kids love this dish.
What’s in a name?
Before I continue to the recipe, I just had to take a few minutes and consult the fountain of all knowledge Wikipedia to find out more about the bizarre name of the dish, and this is what I found:
The origin of the name “Toad-in-the-Hole” is often disputed. Many suggestions are that the dish’s resemblance to a toad sticking its head out of a hole provides the dish with its somewhat unusual name. It is also sometimes called frog in a toad. An 1861 recipe by Charles Elme Francatelli does not mention sausages, instead including as an ingredient “6d. or 1s. worth of bits and pieces of any kind of meat, which are to be had cheapest at night when the day’s sale is over.” An even earlier recipe is found in Hannah Glasse’s 1747 The Art of Cookery, where she presents a recipe for Pigeons in a Hole, essentially Pigeons cooked in a Yorkshire pudding batter. A wartime variation on the original uses pieces of Spam in place of sausages.
TOAD IN THE HOLE
As I wrote above this is a really simple dish to make. Essentially it is just sausages (best quality pork sausages you can afford) cooked in Yorkshire pudding. It is normally served with onion gravy and vegetables of your choice.
Begin the dish by making a Yorkshire pudding mix. I find this the best recipe for this dish:
Preparation time: 2 minutes
Cooking time: 25-30 minutes
- 3 oz flour
- 1 egg
- 3 oz milk
- 2 oz water
- Salt and pepper for seasoning
- Sift the flour into a bowl and make a well in the centre.
- Break the egg into it and beat, gradually incorporating the flour.
- Beat in the milk, 2 fl oz (50 ml) water and seasoning (an electric hand whisk will do this in seconds).
Note: Some people say you should let the batter rest for a half hour or so, personally I have found there is no need to leave the batter to stand, so make it when you’re ready to cook the pudding.
Now that you have made your Yorkshire pudding batter it is easy to turn it into Toad in the Hole. Simply cook six sausages in a roasting tin, in an oven that has been pre-heated to GM7/425°F/220°C, for 10 minutes. I prick mine first to allow the fat to run out (you’ll see why in a minute). Once the time has surpassed add a tablespoon of vegetable or some other flavourless oil to the pan and place the pan on the hob over a direct heat, and heat the oil until it is shimmering and just starting to smoke, then quickly add the Yorkshire pudding mix and replace the cooking tin into the oven. Cook for 30 minutes, and enjoy!