Saturday, January 23, 2010

Toad in the Hole

Did i catch your attention with the title? If so, good! If not, you need to read it again because who wouldn't go, "what the heck is a toad in the hole? and who the heck puts toads in their food?!" with a dish name like that! I know because that was my reaction when i first saw it. But unlike you, who obviously continued reading, i didn't bother to find out what the recipe consisted of since the name already grossed me out a little. But when i finally revisited my cookbook last week, i found out that Toad in the Hole was just a simple English dish of sausages baked in Yorkshire pudding. Apparently, the people back in the days thought the sausages looked like toads peeping out of a hole-- hmmm, REALLY? I get pigs in a blanket, or even tiger bites pig... but toad in the hole? That's pushing it, buddy! But who knows, maybe sausages looked differently back then... or maybe they used crumbled sausages which created rough bumps resembling a toad's skin? Whatever their rationale was, i guess it doesn't really matter anymore cuz they have successfully "marketed" the dish with that name anyway. An ordinary sausage bake such as this would never have made it to my dining table if it wasn't for its bizzare name that made me look twice. And after giving it a try, it turned out to be quite tasty. All the steps are very simple with the only downside of its long baking time (about 1 hour total). Other than that, Toad in the Hole makes a perfect breakfast or brunch casserole.

Toad in the Hole
Derived from Miranda Shearer's "Cheap as chips..." and
  • For the TOAD:
  • 6 thick pork sausages
  • 6 slices of bacon
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil

  • For the BATTER:
  • 125 grams all-purpose flour (about 1 cup and 2 tablespoons)
  • 2 eggs
  • 150 ml milk
  • 150 ml water
  • 1 teaspoon wholegrain mustard
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Preheat the oven to fan 200C/conventional 220C/ gas 7.
  2. Sift the flour and a make a well in the center and crack in the egg. Beat lightly,then gradually pour in half the milk and water, beating all the time to form a smooth,thick batter. Continue for 2 minutes,then stir in the remaining liquid [picture 1]. (The batter can be made several hours ahead of time, although contrary to popular opinion it is not improved by standing.)
  3. Wrap a bacon rasher around each sausage then put them, spaced apart, in a large roasting tin (preferably metal) [picture 2]. Scatter over the onion and drizzle with oil [picture 3]. Bake for 15-20 minutes until the bacon and sausages are starting to colour and the onion is tinged brown at the edges.
  4. Remove from the oven and quickly pour the batter over the sausages [picture 4]. Return to the oven for a further 35-40 minutes until the batter is crisp and well risen [picture 5, 6].
For the Gravy:
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion , thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons wholegrain mustard
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 300 ml chicken or vegetable stock
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. While the Toad in the Hole is baking, make the gravy. Heat the vegetable oil in a small pan, add the onion and fry gently for 5 minutes until softened and lightly coloured [picture 1].
  2. Stir in the flour and cook for 1 minute [picture 2].
  3. Add the mustard, Worcestershire or soy sauce and stock and bring to the boil, stirring [picture 3].
  4. Simmer for 15 minutes, then taste and add more salt and pepper if necessary [picture 4].
  5. Serve the toad with cabbage or broccoli and lashings of gravy.
Toad in the Hole with Gravy


  1. mmm, my mom used to study in the UK so she's especially fond of this! Maybe I should be the 'lovely' daughter that I am and make it for her so she can relive her youth again! :) And how did you take those gorgeous photos of the food in the oven? Mine always looks blurry. Maybe it's because the 'window' is dirty... :)

  2. @Vic: lol, you definitely should, it comes together easily :D I'm a sloppy baker so i'm not afraid to open up the oven while my food is baking...which explains the clear oven pictures XD

  3. Haha, for once, I knew what the recipe was! Well, sort of... I knew it wasn't literal, but I couldn't remember exactly what the ingredients were.

    I've never made this - come to think of it, I've made very few British recipes.... Still, anything with sausages can't taste bad - and your pictures certainly make it look good!