Toad in the Hole

Another recipe for Lisa:

Toad in the Hole is a terrible name. To the uninitiated it probably sounds disgusting. Toad in the Hole looks strange too. Rows of browned sausages set adrift on a golden sea of Yorkshire Pudding. I made “Toad” for dinner on Friday because it’s fast – and fascinating and appealing to kids – even the picky kind. I love this kind of British comfort food – it can be delicious if you don’t cut corners and buy average sausages. I always go to A & J Meats up on Queen Anne if I’m going to make Toad in the Hole.

Kids find the name intriguing. Like other odd British food names, (Spotted Dick, Bubble and Squeak, Bangers and Mash, Potted Tongue come to mind) the name Toad-in-the-Hole makes for wonderful kid dinner table conversation. Why is it called that? What if it really was toads?! – ew! How does it puff up? I can’t think of any kid who doesn’t groove on all the puffy foods in this category: popovers, Yorkshire Pudding, Dutch Babies. Even though the puffy pancake is mostly unfamiliar territory to Americans I haven’t met even a picky kid who doesn’t want to give Toad-in-the-Hole a try. A big doughy and crispy raft with sausages on top and some lightly steamed green beans. It’s easy and just the thing.

For me, Toad-in-the-Hole would be perfect with a hot cup of tea with milk. Ketchup is ok with this if you must.


English Food, Jane Grigson

Serves 4-6, takes about 50 minutes start to finish

  • 3 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 pound excellent quality pork sausages, nothing too exotic in the flavoring department
  • 1 3/4 c flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups of milk
  1. Set the oven to 425 F.
  2. Separate the links of the sausages using kitchen scissors.
  3. Heat a non-stick pan over medium-high heat for a minute or two.
  4. Add 1 tbsp of canola oil to the hot pan; when it shimmers, add the sausages. Spend about 5 minutes getting a good crisp exterior.
  5. Set the sausages aside on a plate.
  6. Put 2 tbsp of the canola oil and any leftover drippings from the sausages in a 9×13 baking dish and put it in the oven. Now proceed quickly with the batter in the next three steps; the oil needs to be hot, not burnt.
  7. Mix the flour and the salt in a medium sized bowl.
  8. Make a well in the middle and break the eggs into it.
  9. Add a little milk and, beginning in the center, stir the ingredients into a batter while gradually pouring in the rest of the milk.  The batter will be creamy and pourable.
  10. Remove the baking dish from the oven and pour about 1/4 of the batter into the pan to make a thin layer that completely covers the bottom. You don’t have to be exact.
  11. Bake for 5 minutes.
  12. Remove from the oven again, and place the sausages on top and pour in the rest of the batter.
  13. Bake a further 30-35 minutes until the batter is all puffy and brown. Now would be a good time to prepare any vegetables.
  14. Call the kids to come and see as you take it out of the oven – the golden finale is dramatic!

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