If this isn't winter comfort food, I don't know what is. While stews and casseroles are ideal in the winter, the downside is they take a long time to cook.
Toad in the hole is much quicker and it does the same thing - warms the cockles of your heart.
This has to be one of my favourite winter meals. Crispy batter and tasty sausages served with lashings of gravy. It's easy to make.
Making the Batter
Many recipes suggest that you need to rest the batter for 30 minutes before using, but I have to admit I never do that. Having tried both resting the batter and not, and not having seen any discernible difference, so I just don't see the point.
What is essential for success though, is to make sure the tin is very hot when the batter goes in.
This is also true when making Yorkshire pudding as the batter is the same. Open the oven door, pour the batter in quickly, return to the oven and get that door shut as quickly as possible.
Full cream, semi-skimmed or Skimmed Milk?
In general, I do not specify which type of milk I use in recipes as often it makes little or no difference to a recipe. There is no point in going out and getting a specific milk for a recipe if it makes little or no difference to the end result.
However occasionally it does and after much experimenting, trying to perfect my Yorkshire pudding batter recipe, I have found the type of milk you use will affect the lightness of the batter.
So I recommend that you use skimmed milk for this dish. Alternatively if using Semi-skimmed milk use 225ml (8floz)milk and 75ml (3floz) water and if using full cream milk use 200ml (7floz) milk and (3½ floz) 100ml water.
The toad in the hole
Toad in the hole is, of course, only as good as the toad. Well, not real toad but the sausages. Make sure you buy good quality sausages with a high meat content.
Why waste your time going to all that trouble of making a batter (even though it's not that much trouble) only to use cheap and nasty sausages. The dinner will be spoilt.
I use sausages from my local butchers in Suffolk, but you can buy good quality sausages from supermarkets too. It's well worth paying that little bit extra for.
All you need to complete the meal is a few fresh vegetables on the side and, don't forget, gravy.
I have been known to use an instant gravy but if I have some left over from the Sunday roast I will use that. If you are planning to make toad in the hole during the week it's not difficult to make extra gravy on the Sunday.
Alternatively, you could use my onion gravy recipe. Just cook the onions in a little oil or butter then continue as per the recipe.
Step by Step Toad in The Hole
Toad in the Hole
- 140 g plain flour
- ¼ tsp salt
- 3 eggs
- 300 ml skimmed milk or mixture of milk/ water (see note below)
- 2 tbsp rapeseed oil
- 8 good quality pork sausages
- Preheat the oven to 220℃ (200℃ fan)/400°F/gas mark 7. Place the flour in a mixing bowl with the salt and make a well in the centre.
- Drop the eggs into the well and add about 100ml/4fl oz (½ cup) milk. Using a balloon whisk, beat the eggs and milk together gradually incorporating the flour. Continue whisking until you have a smooth thick batter.
- Gradually beat in the remaining milk and set aside until required.
- Heat the oil in a large shallow baking dish for 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and gently tilt the pan so that the oil coats the base and a little way up the sides of the dish.
- Add the sausages and return to the oven for 10 minutes.
- Working quickly, remove the dish from the oven and pour in the batter all in one go. Quickly return to the oven. Bake for 25-30 minutes until the batter is puffed up, golden brown and crispy.
- Serve immediately.