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Yorkshire Pudding - a British Staple.

Updated on July 23, 2015

Roast Dinner with Yorkshire Pudding


Yorkshire pudding is a staple for any British Roast Dinner. Made with egg, flour, milk and fat, its fluffy, crispy texture makes it a favorite with many. Some love gravy poured over it, some like to dip the pudding in gravy, whatever your preference it’s hard to find a reason not to like them.

Where does the Recipe Originate From?

The origin of the pudding is unknown, although there has been some attempts to officially recognize the dish as Yorkshires own. In 2007 the MP Anne McIntosh campaigned for Yorkshire puddings to be given the same protected status as Greek Feta Cheese, to protect its Yorkshire roots. There is however no evidence to suggest it was first created in Yorkshire.

How old is the Recipe?

The first recorded recipe of the pudding was a book written in 1737. Titled The Whole Duty of a Woman the recipe was called A Dripping Pudding. In 1747 the famous food writer Hannah Glasse included the recipe for what she called Yorkshire pudding in her book The Art of Cookery Made Plain. This catapulted the name and dish into the hearts of the British public.

Reason Behind the Pudding

Today the pudding is served as part of the roast dinner meal and is included on the main plate. In its origins the pudding was created to make use of the fat dripping off the meat while it was roasting. This served two purposes, meat was expensive so every part of the meat needed to be used even the juices. Also the pudding was served before the main meal, often with gravy to satisfy the appetite so less meat would need to be consumed. In early recipes the pudding is often called dripping pudding, it would be cooked underneath meat that was cooking on a spit. It would have been cooked in square pans and cut up into squares for eating.

Why it is Called a Pudding?

In modern recipes the word pudding often refers to a sweet desert type of food, served after the meal. Historically pudding was a meat type of food, other examples of this today are black and white puddings. Although less common today, sometimes leftover Yorkshire pudding is reheated and served with jam or syrup, the recipe being very close to that of a pancake.

Individual Yorkshire Puddings baked in a Cake Tray


How it is Used Today

Today Yorkshire pudding is served with any meat. Often cooked in individual portions in cake tins, it is part of the main meal. It is no longer considered a cheap way to stretch a meal but as a favorite part of the dinner. There are also a variety of modern recipes that use Yorkshire pudding. One example of this is Toad in the Hole. Sausages are placed in the batter mix in a large dish and baked together, served with onion gravy.. Other recipes include baking an oversized Yorkshire pudding and filling them with gravy, meat, vegetables etc.

Batter Ready to be Cooked


How is it Made Today?

Modern Yorkshire puddings are often made in small portions. The batter is mixed and left to stand. A small amount of oil is put into each section of the pan and put in the oven to heat up. Hot oil is the key to a good pudding. Once the oil is very hot the batter is added and placed in the oven. It is important not to open the oven while the puddings are cooking to ensure a light fluffy. As any oil can be used it is easily adapted to a vegetarian option.

Alternatively for those is a hurry there are many commercially produced puddings available. Since 1995 frozen puddings have been available to purchase in Britain and take just a few minutes to heat up and serve.

Frozen Puddings


Frozen Puddings


In the US there are also packet mixes for Yorkshire pudding, where egg and water are added to make the batter.

Pudding Mix


Traditional Recipe from Delia's Complete Cookery Course (1978)

3oz/75g plain flour
1 egg
3fl oz/75ml milk
2fl oz/55ml water
Salt and freshly milled pepper
2 tablespoons beef dripping(for the roasting tin)

Delia Smith recommends using a roasting tin

Fluffy, Crispy Puddings



1. Sift the flour into a bowl, make a well in the centre, break an egg into it and beat it, gradually incorporating the flour, milk, water, and seasoning. You don't have to leave the batter to stand.

2. About 15 minutes before the beef is due to come out of the oven, increase the heat and place a roasting tin on a shelf adding the dripping. After fifteen minutes place the pudding tin over direct heat and pour the batter into the sizzling hot fat.

3. Put the tin on the highest shelf in the oven, for about 20 minutes. serve as soon as possible to avoid loss of crunchiness.

Modern recipe from Jamie's Food Revolution 2008

3 eggs
1 cup of all-purpose flour
Pinch of salt
11/4 cup of milk
Vegetable oil

Whisk the eggs, flour, salt and milk together in a bowl. Pour the batter into a jug and put to one side to rest for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to the highest temperature. As it is warming up put a muffin tin on top of a baking tray on the top shelf in the oven. When the oven is at the highest temperature take out the muffin tin and put a tablespoon of vegetable oil to each muffin hole in the pan. Return the pan to the oven until it is Smoking hot.

quickly fill each hole with batter and place back in the oven. Leave the door shut for 15 minutes and do not open. Remove the pan after 15 minutes and serve as soon as possible.

jamie Oliver - how to Make Yorkshire Pudding.

So what makes Yorkshire pudding so popular? Try it yourself and find out!

© 2014 Ruthbro


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