Those of you who have been following along from the beginning on Rhubarb & Ginger will recall what a torrid time I've always had, with yorkshire pudding. Don't ask me why, but I just seem to be incapable of producing a yorkshire pudding batter that will rise satisfactorily.
Hence, when hubby started yearning for a Toad in the Hole, my heart sank. Two or three times I've attempted this retro classic and not one of them has finished satisfactorily. On one spectacular occasion, the batter refused to rise and set like some malevolent swamp around the poor sausages. The best I've ever achieved consisted of a risen edge with swamp-like centre. Either way, it's not good.
So, knowing hubby's good track record with all things floury (he's not known as the "Artisan Bagel Baker" for nothing), I suggested he might like to have a crack at producing a Hole suitable for several toads.
Probably because he's had first hand experience of my spectacular difficulties with yorkshire pudding in general, he thought this was a good idea. Hence, last Friday, there he was in the kitchen surrounded by bags of flour, bottles of milk and a small mountain of chipolata sausages.
He made use of an allrecipes.co.uk recipe from the interestingly named "stablespy". This recipe gave a bog-standard yorkshire pudding batter and dealt with the whole process like as though it was the easiest thing in the world.
Well, it appears that - to hubby - making a Toad in the Hole indeed IS the easiest thing in the world! Hurrah!
As you can see from the photographs, his touch with all things floury does extend to making yorkshire pudding batter. The toad is beautifully risen, browned evenly and delicious. The chipolatas (they were on special offer) weren't burned (mine always burn on their ends) and everything was flipping gorgeous.
So, in honour of the occasion, here's the recipe that did the job. Unfortunately, I can't let you have use of hubby to cook it for you, as he's busy. Yes, incredibly busy. Far too busy to come and do your cooking. ::: nods ::: Yup.
TOAD IN THE HOLE (serves 4)
8 pork sausages (or a whole shedload of chipolatas)
1 tbsp vegetable oil
225g plain flour
250ml milk (we used whole milk)
salt and pepper to taste.
1. Pre-heat the oven to 200deg C/Gas Mark 6.
2. Pour the oil into the bottom of a deep baking dish and arrange the sausages over it in a single layer. Bake for 10 minutes in the pre-heated oven.
3. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, eggs and half the milk until smooth. Gradually mix in the rest of the milk until a smooth batter is achieved. Season with salt & pepper.
4. Remove the sausages from the oven and pour the batter over them until the sausages are three-quarters covered. Return to the oven and bake for 35 minutes, or until the centre is risen and browned.