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Popovers--an Amazing Roll that Puffs Up Like a Balloon (Also Known as Yorkshire Pudding)

Updated on October 21, 2016
Popovers in a real popover pan (which is not needed to bake lovely ones)
Popovers in a real popover pan (which is not needed to bake lovely ones) | Source
To serve, cut them open while steaming hot and butter the hollow insides.
To serve, cut them open while steaming hot and butter the hollow insides. | Source

Popovers are a delicious hollow roll that towers to a majestic height. They rely on eggs for leaven, and the large proportion of eggs in the batter gives them a marvelous flavor.

When my children were young, popovers were a favorite for weekend breakfasts or after-school snacks, always served slathered with lots of butter. Kids love the way they poof up like balloons in the oven—turning crispy on the outside and moist and eggy on the inside.

Popovers are one of those wonderful recipes that will allow you to almost effortlessly astound your friends with your cooking abilities. They are great served on movie nights and to study groups.

Popovers are a treat that must be made at home and served hot out of the oven. They are not available from bakeries because these tall, hollow rolls quickly deflate when they cool.

There is no need to run out and buy a special popover pan—although various kinds are available. Popovers can be baked in a muffin pan, or even in ceramic coffee mugs. They don’t “pop” quite as high in a muffin pan, but I’ve seen some towering specimens that were baked in coffee mugs.

Many recipes are intended for making a half-dozen, since most popover pans have only six cups. My opinion on this: Unless you are only cooking for one or two people, six is not enough.

I usually serve popovers as a standalone treat or for breakfast. But "popovers" is really just the US name for Britain's famed Yorkshire Pudding--a dinner item to accompany meats.

This recipe is intended for making a dozen popovers in the family’s 12-cup muffin pan. Halve the recipe if you only want to make six.

Ingredients

4 eggs

2 cups milk

2 cups flour

½ teaspoon salt

Preheat the oven to 425°. Butter or grease thepan and put it in the oven to heat while you mix up the batter.

Beat the eggs slightly and add milk. Then add flour and salt. Beat vigorously for two minutes. (It’s easiest to do this with an electric mixer, at medium speed.) Pour the batter into the hot muffin pan (or the container of your choice), filling each cup about two-thirds full. Bake for about 30 minutes.

Depending on your oven—and how you like your popovers—you may find that you prefer to bake them for a slightly shorter time. (I personally prefer them very moist and not too brown—so I consider mine to be done after 20-25 minutes.) Have a peek at them after about 20 minutes and decide for yourself.

Some people like to cut a tiny slit in the sides of popovers, to allow steam to escape. The thinking on this is that it will keep them from deflating too quickly. Actually, nothing keeps them from deflating. If there were a way to achieve this, popovers would be sold in bakeries and served in restaurants—and would make these bakeries and restaurants famous.

Tips:

I have never had a problem with popovers failing to “pop”—except for when I put baking stones in the oven and left them there for a bread-baking project. I was very surprised by the popover failure after baking them successfully for 20 years. So I took the baking stones out of the oven, and I was once again a success in the popover department.

Yet some people seem to find popovers to be tricky. One common suggestion is that both the eggs and milk used in the recipe should be room temperature, but I never found this necessary.

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    • blueheron profile image
      Author

      Sharon Vile 7 weeks ago from Odessa, MO

      Thank you! I've never made Yorkshire pudding. I just saw a recipe for it once and thought, "Those are popovers."

    • tonymead60 profile image

      Tony Mead 7 weeks ago from Yorkshire

      I think popovers use more eggs than traditional Yorkshire puddings do, which gives them that extra lift. Interesting recipe and very well presented.

    • blueheron profile image
      Author

      Sharon Vile 2 years ago from Odessa, MO

      I am always happy to hear that someone is baking popovers! (Makes me want to come over.) I think you can add cheese to popovers if you want. I don't recall ever doing this, but I think I've seen recipes for it.

    • GmaGoldie profile image

      Kelly Kline Burnett 2 years ago from Madison, Wisconsin

      I have this recipe from Julie Gans (via the Danny Gans website) and was wondering about the ins and outs. I don't believe I have ever had this before so I am looking forward to making it.

      I was going to make it ahead of time (silly girl!) and thanks to you, you saved me the heartbreak.

      Wonderful hub! Thank you!

      PS The recipe I have is the same but also calls for cheese - any suggestions on adding that ingredient?

    • sujaya venkatesh profile image

      sujaya venkatesh 3 years ago

      pop into my mouth

    • blueheron profile image
      Author

      Sharon Vile 3 years ago from Odessa, MO

      Thanks for the pin!

    • CrisSp profile image

      CrisSp 3 years ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

      This sounds interesting and easy to do. I know I have the ingredients in the pantry. Will try it for sure. Thanks for sharing.

      Passing along the goodness and pinning.

    • Suzanne Day profile image

      Suzanne Day 3 years ago from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

      That's a good idea, will have to try!

    • blueheron profile image
      Author

      Sharon Vile 3 years ago from Odessa, MO

      I've read of people stuffing them with whipped cream or scarmbled eggs.

    • Suzanne Day profile image

      Suzanne Day 3 years ago from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

      These look like a great breakfast dish. I can easily imagine adding bacon, chives, cheese and parsley to them and slathering them with butter, like you said. Great photos and a great hub! Voted awesome and thanks for the useful recipe.

    • blueheron profile image
      Author

      Sharon Vile 3 years ago from Odessa, MO

      Another choice item, in the baked goods department, is madeleines. (This involves buying a madeleine pan, unfortunately.) Super fast and easy, and ladies at your writers club meeting will be impressed--except that my writer's club ladies are all at an age where they fear eating anything without an ingredients list. (I'm there too.) One of my daughters told me recently that she was puzzled about my infatuation with madeleines, and I had to explain about Marcel Proust eating them in "Remembrance of Things Past." She is still puzzled, I think.

    • blueheron profile image
      Author

      Sharon Vile 3 years ago from Odessa, MO

      I really should have looked into the history of popovers before I wrote the hub. According to James Beard, they are a purely American invention--even though they are similar to Yorkshire pudding. Their first known appearance in a cookbook was in 1876. I'm pretty sure my mother's recipe came from the Woman's Day Encyclopedia of Cookery from the 1960s--although she also had a Betty Crocker cookbook from the 1940s or 1950s. I'm always surprised that no one seems to have heard of them.

    • WiccanSage profile image

      Mackenzie Sage Wright 3 years ago

      OMG I so want to eat these, like right now. They look awesome. Maybe I'll make them for the holiday next week. Much more exciting than boring old dinner rolls.

    • Bishop55 profile image

      Rebecca 3 years ago from USA

      I can't wait to make these. Pinning, sharing, voted up. They sound wonderful and really easy!! Thanks for this recipe. I had never heard of these before now.