Toad in the hole

  • Serves: 2-4
  • Preparation time: 15 minutes
  • Cooking time: 40 minutes
  • Total time: 1 hour

Ingredients

  • 6 quality sausages
  • 150ml/5fl oz. milk
  • 150g/6oz plain flour
  • 2 eggs
  • Salt
  • Rosemary sprigs (Optional)
Toad in the hole

Toad in the hole is a classic British dish, consisting of sausages in a Yorkshire batter – a simple batter made from flour, eggs, and milk.

Toad in the hole is a simple, pleasing family favourite, but to make the most of it, you must use good quality sausages – I would recommend a good pork and leek, or pork and sage sausage – as they make a big difference.

The dishes unusual name is thought to have come from its appearance of toads peeking their heads out of the water. Toad in the hole also has a few interesting variants; “pigeon in the hole” from Hannah Glasse's 1747 book, The Art of Cookery, or a more recent variant from World War II of “spam in the hole”.

Other than the quality of the meat used, the other important factor is to make sure you use a very hot oven – or the batter won’t rise.

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 220°C/425°F or Gas Mark 7.
  2. Place the sausages in a deep baking tray, or a casserole dish and drizzle over some sunflower oil – enough to cover the bottom in a thin layer a few millimeters (Or ⅛in deep) deep and put the tray in the oven for about ten minutes or until golden brown.
  3. Whilst those are cooking, add the milk and half the flour to a bowl, and whisk the mixture until smooth, then add the other half of the flour and whisk further.
  4. When the batter is smooth whisk in two eggs and a pinch of salt.
  5. When the sausages are browned, pour the batter mix over the sausages, and if you have some rosemary, add a few sprigs to the batter too.
  6. Return the dish to the oven for about 25 minutes – or until the batter has risen and is crisp and golden. For best results, avoid opening the oven too soon, as the batter mix is temperamental and may not rise as well.
  7. Serve hot with a creamy mash, gravy, and some green vegetables.
In her book The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Simple (1747) Hannah Glasse. re-invented and renamed the original version, called Dripping Pudding, which had been cooked in England for centuries to “Yorkshire pudding” as it’s most commonly known today.

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