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A British Classic - Toad in the hole - with a twist you will love. Toad in the hole with bacon wrapped sausages.

Updated on October 2, 2013

Where does toad in the hole come from?

Toad in the hole is a traditional English dish that is really simple but delicious. It consists of sausages in a yorkshire pudding batter. It goes really well with a mixture of vegetables and gravy.

Where toad in the hole came from is a topic of debate as no one knows for sure. What people know is that it has been around for hundreds of years. But here are some ideas of where it may have got it's name:

  • The dish resembles a toad sticking it's head out of a hole. This is what a lot of people do state as the origins of the name now, even if the ends of the sausages don't actually stick out at the top so it is difficult to see this.
  • Other names it is rumoured to have, although these less popular beliefs, are 'frog in the hole' and 'Jimmy toad'.
  • A recipe by Charles Elme Francatelli in 1861 does not mention sausages however, it does state the basic ingredients with any kind of meat. This recipe was described as 'English cooked again stewed meat'. In Italian it is 'Lesso rifatto all'inglese. It was also referred to toad in the hole in this first book of modern italian cuisine of nineteenth century.
  • An even earlier similar recipe is found in The Art of Cookery by Hannah Glasse in 1747. The recipe however, was for 'pigeons in a hole'.

So this is a simple recipe that has transformed over time from one that you could add any kind of meat to one that we tend to think of as just sausage.

The twist that I really love is to add 'pigs in blankets' (sausages wrapped with bacon) to the batter to add more taste and textures to this great meal.

It is a great favourite in my house and so simple to make that anyone, no matter their culinary skills can easy make.


For the batter:

  • 150g (5oz) plain flour
  • 2 large eggs
  • 150 ml (5 fluid oz) milk
  • 150 ml (5 fluid oz) water
  • Ground pepper

For the filling:

  • 6-12 organic pork sausages
  • 6-12 slices of smoked bacon.

Other things you will need:

  • Olive oil
  • Gravy

This is basically all you need to make this delicious meal

This is a firm family favourite that is so easy to make and is delicious.

So how do you make it?

To make the filling:

  1. Preheat the oven to 220°C or gas mark 7.
  2. Wrap each individual sausage tightly with a slice of bacon and add place these on a baking tray.
  3. Drizzle a little olive oil over them and then place in the oven.
  4. Cook for around 15 minutes or until the bacon looks nice and crisp.

To make the batter:

  1. While the sausages are cooking, mix the milk with equal amount of cold water.
  2. Sieve the flour into a bowl.
  3. Make a well in the flour and add the first egg to it.
  4. Beat this into a mixture before adding the second egg and repeat beating it.
  5. Next add a little of the milk and water mixture and whisk until any lumps are removed.
  6. Gradually add more of the milk and water mixture until you have a consistency of single cream.
  7. Sprinkle a little ground black pepper in to season.

To make the toad in the hole:

  1. Remove the sausages from the oven and place evenly into an oven dish. This must be at least 5cm (2inches) in depth to contain the liquid.
  2. Pour over the batter.
  3. Return to the oven for 30-25 minutes or until the batter has risen and is golden brown.

Serve straight from the oven with a selection of vegetables and gravy.

5 stars from 1 rating of Toad in the hole with a twist
Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 45 min
Ready in: 1 hour
Yields: Serves 6 people

In the first part of this hub you learnt that toad in the hole was originally a recipe for many types of meats. It has evolved over time so we tend to think of it now with just sausages but I think we can be more imaginative and create some spectacular meals, easily and cheaply.

  • Yorkshire pudding is traditionally used with beef. So instead of using sausages in this meal why not add beef strips instead?
  • In england yorkshire puddings are served with any traditional 'sunday' meal (meat and vegetables) because it is so nice. Why not add a little mint sauce to your batter to add some added taste. Mint sauce is traditionally used with lamb but again, it is so nice a lot of people use it with a lot of meats.
  • Once you have poured the batter over the sausages why not add wedges of red onion and sprigs of fresh rosemary to float on top of the mixture. This adds some great tastes to your meal.
  • Why not experiment with the sausages you use. Cumberland sausages or traditional Irish sausages add suttle hints of flavours that go really well with this excellent dish.
  • While making the batter, why not add some rosemary and sage into the mixture to create a herby taste to your toad in the hole.
  • Why not make individual toad in the holes for your guests. Add one or two sausages to the mixture in small baking tins.

This recipe is great to add in any sort of left over you have. In the current climate where we are all struggling with paying the bills, wasting food is a crime. Why not experiment on your own to see what sort of ingredients you can add to this easy to make batter which tastes delicious.


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