Sorry I’ve been so quiet lately. It’s been a hectic couple of weeks. In South Africa we just had the last in a five week stretch with public holidays and long weekends, so we’ve spent quite a few days participating in some form of debauchery. Food, wine and sleep. It was lovely. Yesterday was the last public holiday, the next one being only in June, so everyone is mourning a little bit. Now we go back to full 5 day work weeks. How utterly pedestrian, right?
I wanted to share with you my attempt at the British Classic: Toad in a Hole. This is not the egg in toast version. This is a fluffy, golden batter, called Yorkshire Pudding, enveloping plump, fragrant pork sausages – bangers. I’ve wanted to try this for a very long time, it has always looked like my idea of Sunday comfort food. I’ve never had it, or Yorkshire Pudding on it’s own even, so I had no idea what it was meant to taste like. And the beau couldn’t remember from his gap year in England more than a decade ago. So we were flying blind, but brave nonetheless. I figured it would probably be best to use a British recipe, and I found one that looked do-able on BBC Goodfood. I skipped making the gravy, I was just in it for the carbs and meat. I don’t know if I would call this attempt a success, because I think the Yorkshire Pudding came out wrong. It was beautifully puffy, but the inside was almost like instant pudding’s consistency. We finished it, because we do love bangers, and the batter wasn’t inedible. I’m not sure what the texture should have been, or how I went wrong. I poured over the comments and googled until my vision got blurry – but I’m still at a loss. So, if you have any suggestions, that would be really helpful! So here we go!
- 100g plain flour
- ½ tsp English mustard powder
- 1 egg
- 300ml milk
- 3 thyme sprigs, leaves only
- 8 plain pork sausages
- 2 tbsp sunflower oil
- Make the batter: Heat oven to 220C. Tip flour into the large mixing bowl and stir in the mustard powder with a good pinch of salt. Make a well in the centre, crack in the egg, then pour in a dribble of milk. Stir with a wooden spoon, gradually incorporating some of the flour, until you have a smooth batter in the well. Now add a bit more milk and continue stirring until all the milk and flour has been mixed together.
- The batter is ready: You should now have a smooth, lump-free batter that is the consistency of double cream. Tip it back into the jug you measured your milk in, for easier pouring later on, then stir in the thyme. Use scissors to snip the links between your sausages, then drop them into a 20 x 30cm roasting tin. Add 1 tbsp of the oil, tossing the sausages in it to thoroughly coat the base of the tin, then roast in the oven for 15 mins.
- Cook the batter: Take the hot tray from the oven, then quickly pour in the batter – it should sizzle and bubble a little when it first hits the hot fat. Put it back into the oven, then bake for 40 mins until the batter is cooked through, well risen and crisp. If you poke the tip of a knife into the batter in the middle of the tray it should be set, not sticky or runny.
The only thing I changed from the original recipe, is that I added onion slices into the baking dish with the sausages. It looked gorgeous, and I was really excited. I expected the batter cook into a doughy, bread-y maybe waffle-y consistency. I was disappointed that it hadn’t, but like I said, I’m not sure what it’s supposed to be. Win or fail? Dunno, but I might try it again, if I can figure out how it’s meant to be, or with a different recipe. Any tips?
What recipes have you tried lately? Any help with this Toad in a Hole?