Toad in the Hole


You know that something with a name like this is going to be good and this truly is! The traditional recipe itself is very simple but the method for making it is not, so I developed this "cold oven cheater method" which is much safer and easier. The end result is an amazing flavor and texture combination of fatty sausage links, crispy, puffed, and tender Yorkshire pudding, and delicious onion gravy. And the gravy is so good you'll want to eat it on just about anything (and everything!)

Prep Time:
15 mins
Cook Time:
40 mins
Additional Time:
1 hrs
Total Time:
1 hrs 55 mins
4 servings

The one thing almost all other Toad in the Hole recipes have in common is the instruction to make sure your fat is smoking hot in the oven before adding your batter. They say this is critical, and if your fat isn't dangerously hot, your Toad in the Hole won't puff up, leading to profound disappointment and lingering shame. Well, I'm here to tell you, and show you, that's not true.

Since I've had great success with popovers started in a cold oven, I decided to use that technique here. It worked out as wonderfully as I'd expected, and after 30 short minutes, I was looking at what my British friends would call a "proper" Toad in the Hole. Yes, I was absolutely chuffed.

To be clear, I'm not saying the classic (and much more terrifying) method won't produce something slightly more puffed and/or crispy around the edges — but I am saying that the difference really isn't enough to make me want to kneel in front of a 500 degrees F oven while quickly trying to pour batter into dangerously hot oil before all the heat escapes. So to summarize, while this method isn't proper, is still went down a treat, which is why I hope you give this a try soon. Enjoy!

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For the batter:

  • 4 large eggs

  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt

  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 2 pinches cayenne pepper

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour

  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

  • ¾ cup whole milk

  • ¼ cup cold water

For the sausages:

  • ¼ cup vegetable oil

  • 4 links pork sausage

For the onion gravy:

  • 2 tablespoons butter

  • 1 large red onion, minced

  • kosher salt to taste

  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

  • 2 cups chicken broth

  • ¼ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar

  • 2 tablespoons Onions, spring or scallions (includes tops and bulb), raw

  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh chives, or to taste


  1. Prepare batter: Combine eggs, salt, pepper, cayenne, 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon flour, and milk in a large bowl; whisk thoroughly until batter is very smooth and no lumps remain. Whisk in water. Cover and let rest at room temperature for 1 hour.

  2. Prepare sausages: Heat vegetable oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add sausages and cook until browned, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Remove from the heat and transfer to a buttered 9x12- or 9x13-inch baking dish. Pour oil from the skillet over the sausages; brush oil with a pastry brush all over the bottom and up the sides of the dish.

  3. Start onion gravy: Melt butter in the same skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and salt; saute until soft and starting to brown, 5 to 6 minutes.

  4. While onion is cooking, pour batter in and around the sausages. Place in the center of a cold oven and turn temperature to 500 degrees F (260 degrees C). Set oven timer for 30 minutes.

  5. While toad in the hole cooks, finish onion gravy: Stir in flour and cook for about 2 minutes. Whisk in chicken broth and return to a simmer. Add Worcestershire sauce and balsamic vinegar and simmer until gravy thickens up and reduces, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to low and stir in green onions. Taste and adjust seasoning.

  6. When timer goes off, remove toad in the hole from the oven; it should be browned and puffed. Spoon gravy over the sausages and garnish with green onions and chives.

  7. Serve with extra gravy.


Chef's Note:

I used British bangers but any pork-based sausage will work. You can use lard or clarified butter in place of vegetable oil, and any onion in place of red onion.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

491 Calories
31g Fat
37g Carbs
17g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 4
Calories 491
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 31g 39%
Saturated Fat 9g 47%
Cholesterol 228mg 76%
Sodium 1062mg 46%
Total Carbohydrate 37g 13%
Dietary Fiber 2g 7%
Total Sugars 5g
Protein 17g
Vitamin C 4mg 19%
Calcium 101mg 8%
Iron 3mg 18%
Potassium 295mg 6%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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