Classic English Toad in the Hole Recipe (2024)

The classic English (British) dish Toad-in-the-Hole has a long history dating back to at least the 18th century. Its exact origin is somewhat debated, but it is widely considered to be a British invention. The dish gets its whimsical name from the practice of cooking sausages in a Yorkshire pudding batter, which causes them to resemble toads peeking out of a hole.

The original recipe was simpler and used fewer ingredients than modern versions. It was typically a way to make a small amount of meat, such as sausages, go a long way by incorporating it into a batter. The Yorkshire pudding batter was already a well-established part of British cuisine, traditionally served as a side dish with roast meat.

The first recorded mention of Toad-in-the-Hole was in the 18th century, where it was known as “Toad in a Hole.” One of the earliest written recipes for the dish can be found in Hannah Glasse’s cookbook “The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy” in 1747. In her recipe, she suggests using any meat that was left over, such as minced beef or mutton, though sausages are now the most common choice.

Over time, the dish evolved, and sausages became the primary ingredient. It became a popular and economical family meal in England and later spread to other parts of the United Kingdom. Toad-in-the-Hole gained further popularity during the Victorian era and has remained a beloved classic in British cuisine.

The dish’s enduring appeal lies in its simplicity, hearty nature, and the way it combines the rich flavors of sausages with the light, fluffy texture of Yorkshire pudding. Today, Toad-in-the-Hole is often served with gravy and various side dishes, making it a comforting and filling meal that continues to be enjoyed by many in the UK and beyond.

Tips for making a Classic English Toad-in-the-Hole Recipe

Making a classic English Toad-in-the-Hole can be a delightful experience, but it requires some attention to detail to achieve the perfect result. Here are some tips to help you make a delicious Toad-in-the-Hole:

  1. Use Quality Sausages: Choose good-quality sausages with a high meat content and good seasoning. Pork sausages are traditional, but you can use your favorite type, such as beef or Cumberland sausages.
  2. Preheat the Pan and Baking Dish: It’s essential to preheat the pan and baking dish in the oven before adding the sausages and batter. This will help the batter puff up and form a crispy exterior.
  3. Prick the Sausages: Pricking the sausages with a fork before browning them in the pan helps to release excess fat and prevents them from bursting during cooking.
  4. Make a Smooth Batter: Ensure your Yorkshire pudding batter is smooth, free of lumps, and well-rested. Allow it to rest for at least 30 minutes, which helps the batter achieve the desired rise and texture.
  5. Don’t Overcrowd the Sausages: Leave enough space between the sausages in the baking dish. Overcrowding can affect the pudding’s ability to rise properly.
  6. Handle Batter Carefully: Be quick and careful when pouring the batter over the sausages in the hot dish. The batter should sizzle when it hits the hot fat.
  7. Avoid Opening the Oven: While the Toad-in-the-Hole is baking, resist the temptation to open the oven door. This can cause the pudding to deflate. Wait until the suggested baking time is almost up before checking its doneness.
  8. Serve Immediately: Toad-in-the-Hole is at its best when served fresh from the oven. The pudding will be light and crispy, so aim to serve it right away.
  9. Serve with Gravy: Although gravy is optional, it’s a popular accompaniment that adds depth and richness to the dish. Prepare a simple gravy to serve on the side for extra flavor.
  10. Customize Your Recipe: Toad-in-the-Hole is a versatile dish. You can add herbs, spices, or vegetables to the batter for extra flavor. Experiment with different types of sausages and personal touches to make it your own.

A Toad-in-the-Hole can be a bit of a showstopper with its puffed-up, golden appearance when done right. With these tips and a little practice, you can create a classic and delicious English Toad-in-the-Hole that’s sure to be a hit at the dinner table.

English Toad-in-the-Hole Recipe

Toad-in-the-Hole is a classic English dish consisting of sausages baked in a Yorkshire pudding batter. It’s a hearty and comforting meal that’s perfect for a cold evening. Here’s a traditional Toad-in-the-Hole recipe:


For the Yorkshire Pudding Batter:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup whole milk

For the Sausages:

  • 8 good-quality pork sausages
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

For the Gravy (optional):

  • 1/4 cup beef or chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Preparation Direction:

  1. Preheat your oven to 425°F (220°C). Place a 9×13-inch baking dish or a similar-sized ovenproof dish in the oven to heat.
  2. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour and salt for the Yorkshire pudding batter. Make a well in the center and add the eggs. Gradually whisk in the milk until you have a smooth batter. Allow it to rest while you prepare the sausages.
  3. Prick the sausages with a fork. This helps them release excess fat during cooking.
  4. In a large ovenproof skillet or frying pan, heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Add the sausages and brown them on all sides for about 5 minutes. You don’t need to cook them through at this point, as they’ll finish cooking in the oven.
  5. Once the sausages are browned, carefully remove the hot baking dish from the oven. Pour the sausages and any excess fat from the pan into the heated baking dish.
  6. Quickly pour the Yorkshire pudding batter over the sausages in the baking dish. The batter should sizzle when it hits the hot dish.
  7. Place the baking dish back in the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the pudding has risen and is golden brown.
  8. While the Toad-in-the-Hole is baking, you can make a simple gravy. In a small saucepan, heat the stock over medium heat. In a separate bowl, mix the flour with a little water to create a smooth paste. Whisk the paste into the hot stock and continue to whisk until the gravy thickens. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  9. Once the Toad-in-the-Hole is ready, remove it from the oven and serve hot, with the gravy on the side.

Toad-in-the-Hole is often served with mashed potatoes and green vegetables like peas or broccoli. It’s a beloved British classic and a delicious, filling meal.


Classic English Toad in the Hole Recipe (2024)


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