It is thought that the traditional Yorkshire Pudding first got its name
in 1747, when Hannah Glasse wrote a cookery book called "The Art
of Cookery Made Plain and Simple", which included the Yorkshire
Pudding recipe; although no-one really knows how far back the original
recipe goes, it is safe to say that some form of "batter"
or "dripping" pudding, as it was previously named, has been
cooked for centuries.
A 2008 ruling by the Royal Society of Chemistry states that:
"A Yorkshire pudding isn't a Yorkshire pudding if it is
less than four inches tall"
The pudding was originally flatter than today's version and was cooked
in a tin beneath the meat, which was being roasted on a spit over a
fire so that it could catch all the drippings from the meat; in early
days, this was as much out of necessity as anything else because the
human body actually needs dietary fat to facilitate the absorption of
certain vitamins; however, as sources of fat were more difficult to
obtain at the time, particularly in the North of the country, the extra
drippings from the meat supplied a welcome and needed supplement.
The traditional Yorkshire pudding was usually made in a large tray,
rather than the individual puddings that we are familiar with today;
it was often served with thick meat, or onion, gravy before the main
meal, in order to fill hungry bellies, so that less meat and vegetables
were required for the main meal.
How To Eat:
The traditional way of eating these sumptuous, plump delightful delicacies
is with the Sunday roast beef; however, any meat will do; when hungry,
I really can't think of a better sight than patiently watching and waiting
for these mouth watering golden beauties to slowly rise in a hot oven
and when served are totally irresistable.
Today, many people prefer individual-sized Yorkshire Puddings, made
in 4 or 12 hole Yorkshire Pudding tins, a bit similar to muffin tins
but generally shallower, rather than baking one large Yorkshire Pudding;
they can also be eaten cold, as a dessert course, spread with a little
jam or sprinkled with dried fruit, similar to way pancakes are eaten.
The main ingredients for Yorkshire Pudding batter are, Eggs, Milk and
Plain Flour; using lard instead of oil usually makes them tastier; due
to experimentation Yorkshire Puddings now come in many varieties, like
Toad in the Hole, also known as as "The Poor Man's Roast";
this is where sausages are placed in the batter before it goes into
the oven to bake; you can also add small pieces of bacon and herbs such
as freshly chopped sage or thyme.
A popular batter mix is a one-third cup of milk and a one-third cup
of flour per egg.
Cooking Yorkshire Puddings:
When cooking Yorkshire Puddings there are basically five things you
have to remember:
1 - Never, ever, use self-raising flour, or any kind
of raising agent or baking powder; doing so will achieve flat, soggy
2 - Make sure the batter is of the right consistency,
a little thicker then unwhipped double cream, and as smooth as possible.
3 - Make sure you have about 3mm (1/8 inch) of very
hot fat in the bottom of the tin, as the fat begins to smoke, add the
4 - Never, ever, open the oven door for the first 10
minutes of cooking time and after that, only enough to have a peek at
what's happening, if you really have to, the aim is to allow the puddings
to rise and go brown without them collapsing.
5 - Enjoy them, with a thick gravy, I always do!
A Basic Yorkshire Pudding Recipe:
You will need 1 large Tray or
2 four hole Yorkshire Pudding tins and the following
2 medium, to large, Eggs
Approx 180ml (6fl.oz)
100g (4oz) of
½ level teaspoon of Salt
& if wanted spicy ½ level teaspoon
1 teaspoon dried Rosemary,
Sage or Thyme -
Up to quarter of a pound of Pure Lard; don't
worry you wont use it all.
1 - Preheat the oven to 220C, 425F, or Gas Mark 7;
put enough lard in the Tray or tins, to cover the base to a depth of
approx 3mm (1/8 inch) and place in the oven to get very hot.
2 - Break the Eggs into a measuring jug, add enough
Milk to make it up to 300ml (10fl.oz) and whisk together.
3 - Add the Flour, Salt/Pepper and Herbs and whisk
until very smooth with no lumps.
4 - Carefully remove the Tray or Tins from the oven,
making sure that the fat is very hot first and then fill as follows:
a - For a large Tray, pour the batter
into the centre of the tin, filling it up until is is about 2/3rds full.
b - For the 4 hole tins, pour the batter
into the centre of the holes, filling them up until they are about 2/3rds
5 - Return the Tray, or Tins, to the hot oven as soon
as possible. you do not want the lard to cool down, and bake them until
the Yorkshire Pudding(s) has/have risen and turned golden brown.
a - For the large Tray this could take
b - For the 4 hole tins this could take
Serve hot with your Sunday
roast and enjoy; do not forget to have some hot thick gravy ready.