Toad in the Hole for Bonfire Night

Toad in the hole

Toad in the Hole, the most popular and traditional of childhood English dishes, is nothing more than sausages cooked inside of a Yorkshire Pudding batter (batter similar to American popovers). Having not lived in England for a while now, I don’t know if its popularity has waned or not, but back in the day, it was a popular presence on many tables for evening tea.

The origin of the funny name is a matter of discussion, but traditionally refers to the sausages resembling toad or frogs peeking out (I personally don’t see that at all, but that’s me). Food history claims that it wasn’t always sausages that were cooked in the batter but any kind of leftover meat. I’m thinking that all the leftover meat started ending up in delicious shepherds pies and cottage pies and they started using bangers to add to Yorkshire pudding batter. The the best part of the Toad in the Hole is the Yorkshire pudding and I would find plenty of excuses to make it as often as possible.

To top it all off, I never ate this in England as a child. It wasn’t made at my home and it wasn’t a restaurant staple, and even if it was, I couldn’t eat it. Indian cuisine isn’t much for sausages and the like, though we do have dried kebabs and meats. So, growing up there wasn’t much in the terms of bangers and mash, or toad in the hole or even sausage rolls (not to mention most of these were pork based which we don’t eat).

Toad in the hole

Here’s the wonderful thing about growing up and having your own kitchen, you can cook what you want! All the things I couldn’t have as a child but was so curious about and yearned to try, I have remade with substitutions for my children and in the process, satisfied every one of my cravings.

The reason I chose to share this is because I didn’t post any Halloween recipes. As a child, Halloween wasn’t a common holiday in England and so I never participated. I was an adult when I moved to America so still, it wasn’t a holiday that interested me. As a mother, I just didn’t encourage the whole Halloween thing and my children have never taken part in anything Halloweeny. That’s a decision we made as parents, and I have my own ideas but I won’t get on my soap box today!

There was no Halloween in the UK back then but it seems to be thriving today. What we did have; Bonfire Night or Guy Fawkes Night which commemorates the unsuccessful attempt by Guy Fawkes to blow up the buildings of the House of Commons on November 5th, 1605.

Toad in the hole

So, come November 5th, I would insist we go to the bonfires held in parks or open air fields filled with the smell of roasting chestnuts and smelly, grilled onions, hamburgers and sausages. We would watch the fireworks, warm our bodies by the bonfires and twirl sparklers. It was just a fun night for children and adults alike, although my father would probably beg to differ.

Every now and then, a friend would throw a party and then it was even more fun. One of my teachers used to have an annual bonfire party which was a most coveted invitation. Since his daughter was a friend, I had that most important of invites. The highlight of the party was always the fireworks which were made by my chemistry teacher; they were quite impressive. All in all, it was a great boost for the confidence of many, young teenage girls to be invited to this party thrown by a teacher and to hob nob with other teachers ( I’d like to add, this was a private school in England and not the norm!)

So, back to this Toad in the Hole, it’s perfect for a Bonfire Night party or even just an everyday dinner at home. I’ve always wanted to have a Bonfire Party for my children, but there is always something else going on and for years now I’ve been lamenting to my husband about having a bonfire and party with lots of appropriate party food. One day.

Until then, I just make this for dinner and we sit around our fire place.

toad in the hole

Toad in the Hole

Calories: 4365

Fat: 252g

Sausages cooked in a Yorkshire pudding batter
  • 8 sausages/hot dogs (I used uncured hot dogs)
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves or other herb of choice
  • 3 tablespoons oil, use less if sausages are fatty
Yorkshire Pudding Batter
  • 1½ cups milk, organic
  • 6 eggs, organic
  • 1½ cups/225g all purpose/plain flour
Onion Gravy
  • 1 large onion, chopped or sliced
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons all purpose/plain flour
  • 4 cups/1L chicken or beef stock
Yorkshire Pudding Batter
  1. Place all the ingredients for the batter in the order listed into a blender.
  2. Whisk until completely blended and smooth.
  3. Can whisk by hand if needed.
  4. You can make the batter ahead and let it sit in the fridge.
Toad in the Hole
  1. Preheat the oven to 425℉/220℃.
  2. In a 9x13 roasting tin, place the sausages and the oil, toss round to coat all the sausages.
  3. Place in the oven to brown.
  4. Once the sausages have browned, carefully pull out the tin from the oven.
  5. Pour the Yorkshire pudding batter all over the sausages.
  6. The batter will begin to puff up.
  7. Sprinkle the thyme leaves all over.
  8. Place in the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, until the batter is puffed up and golden.
  9. Make sure the batter is cooked all the way through in the middle also.
  10. Check by inserting a knife; should come out clean.
Onion Gravy
  1. To make the onion gravy, caramelise onions in the butter.
  2. When they are golden, add the flour and cook a little.
  3. Pour in the chicken or beef stock and whisk until smooth and thickened.

toad in the hole

Enjoy this with its traditional accompaniments of mash potatoes, a green vegetable and onion gravy.

Are there any foods you weren’t allowed or couldn’t eat as a child that you have reinvented in your own kitchens today?

Hope your weekend is going great!!

  1. Nazeen, even if I am a bit late to the party, I still love this recipe that looks like absolutely perfect comfort food for the children!
    What a fun read this was today with a wonderful recipe – I like to see recipes on blogs that I have never seen on another blog before – although I have seen recipes for “Toad in the Hole” in cookbook, I never saw this dish featured in such a lovely way on a blog!
    TheKitchenLioness recently posted..St. Martin´s Day Celebrations and Pastries – Sankt Martin and MartinshörnchenMy Profile

  2. Add me to the list, Nazneen, who’ve heard of this dish but never tried it. I always thought it a variant of bunny/rabbit in the hole, which is a piece of sandwich bread, with a hole in its center, that is fried with an egg to fill the hole. Toad, rabbit, what’s the difference or so I thought. Toad in the hole is very much different and would be a welcome treat anytime. Thanks for sharing all 3 recipes with us, as well as giving us a mini-history lesson for Bonfire Night. 🙂
    ChgoJohn recently posted..Roasted Arctic Char with Fennel, Onions, and PotatoesMy Profile

  3. I’ve seen something like this on TV shows but definitely not so sophisticated looking as yours. I love all the components in this recipe and the onion gravy would be delicious with it. I didn’t post Halloween recipes either Nazneen…I cannot even think of it…they freak me out! Hope you had a great weekend:-)
    Sugar et al recently posted..Easy and Healthy Pumpkin and Rosemary BreadMy Profile

  4. I have heard of this but never tried it! We love popovers (and this also reminds me of another favorite, Dutch baby pancakes) and boy, would my son be thrilled to find the sausages in this! I think it would be a hit in my house. It looks really good and I really want to pick off those crispy edges. Also love the mashed potatoes and that gravy alongside. Who needs Halloween candy when you can have this! : )
    Monica recently posted..Almond-hazelnut cupcakes with ganache frostingMy Profile

  5. Toad in the Hole, Nazneen! I remember this dish well. I had a friend when I was growing up who had an English mother and I’m pretty sure she made this just about every Friday night. I thought it was fantastic and wished my mother would make it. We didn’t have Halloween when I was growing up. It just wasn’t a celebration that NZ participated in. But we did have Guy Fawkes night with firecrackers and big bonfires and so much fun. I was so upset when we moved to Oz and I found out no one had even heard of Guy Fawkes night – my most favourite night of the year outside of Christmas and Easter! xx
    Hotly Spiced recently posted..Kingsley’s Australian SteakhouseMy Profile

    • Yay! Somebody who knows what this is!! Now, how come Oz doesn’t know Guy Fawkes but NZ does? Then again, I think Oz tries not to be too British?I love Bonfire Night, it used to be so much fun with fireworks and food. I really want to start doing that here for my children so they know a bit about GB.

    • Really? They served this on a plane? Interesting. It must’ve been to get a rise out of people and peek their curiosity a bit :). It’s actually pretty tasty if you use quality ingredients.

    • Kids love this dish! Maybe your boys may like it? It is very easy and you can make the batter ahead and throw it together at the last minute.

    • I figured many people had heard about it but unless you’re in the UK, nobody had probably tried it. It’s really quite easy and tasty considering its just sausages and some batter. Hope you try it, John.

  6. I have never had Toad in the Hole and first heard about it recently watching a British mini-comedy called Posh Nosh. (It is VERY silly.) I think I would skip the toad part and just have the Yorkshire pudding. 🙂 LOVE that – my mum used to make it for all the holidays (never popovers), and it is wonderful! I am so glad to have your recipe!
    David recently posted..An Old Flame RekindledMy Profile

    • I love silly British comedies! I haven’t heard of that one though, where is it on? I’m like you, I eat around the sausage because I love Yorkshire puds. If you use a sausage you like, then this will be a treat for you!

  7. I don’t see any toads peeking out either, so you’re not the only one!
    Never had toad in the hole & will likely never have it on my travels so I wouldn’t mind whipping this up one evening. I’m sure my kids would enjoy this.
    Needful Things recently posted..Of Friends and GranolaMy Profile

    • Haha! Yes, your kids would enjoy this! Many time we have to adjust recipes to fit our guidelines, but it always turn out better!

    • I’ve always wanted to do a bonfire here because the weather is perfect for it! Even if it means just lighting up my a Weber and standing around it!

  8. Man does does look good. Sausages in Yorkshire Pudding? Why have I never had Toad in The Hole????? And with onion gravy????? ohmy. And by the way, I had roasted Chestnuts for the first time on my trip to Germany. I’m in love with them.
    Lea Ann (Cooking On The Ranch) recently posted..BarbacoaMy Profile

    • If you have favourite sausages then you would thoroughly enjoy this dish! It’s classic British pub food. Thanks Lea Ann, I hope you make it!

  9. What a different and interesting dish, Nazneen! I remember eating a baked savory pancake casserole with sausage (that we called pizza) when I was a child in Brazil. It looks similar to this dish…although it was less flavorful than this one seems to be. Lovely thing is to see you sharing things from your home, England!
    Denise Browning@From Brazil To You recently posted..FBTY New Design, Logo,and Awesome Features… Plus, a $ 30 Giveaway!!!My Profile

    • Thanks Denise! I’m sure it’s available in different countries under different names. It’s pretty tasty, especially with the onion gravy.

  10. Toad in the hole is now served in some Michelin starred pub / restaurants here in the UK. It is popularly tweeked, wrapping the sausages in bacon or adding herbs etc to the batter. I love toad and onion gravy, perfect for Guy Fawkes night. We’re having fireworks tonight with chilli con carne, hot dogs and other portable food, easy to stand around the bonfire with. GG
    Glamorous Glutton recently posted..Guinea Fowl Ballotine And Porcini RisottoMy Profile

    • Thanks for the info, GG! I knew you’d let me know how it was faring in the UK these days. Everything classic is making a comeback and is hip again! This was a dish that fascinated me as a youngster but I could never try it! I’m still not much for sausages or hotdogs though so I eat all the Yorkshire pud!

  11. I have never had toad in a hole. I don’t like the look of it, no offence daaahling. I don’t eat pork, so in the UK, this dish is off limits for me, so I like it that you used hot dogs. If you made it, I would try it, but honestly I prefer my hot dogs in a bun with mustard LOL… uncultured American that I am!
    My mother in law makes an Indian version of “sausage roll” which is pretty awesome. Its super spicy, and totally yummy. Not sure if you would like it though, as its got ground meat LOL :)… silly girl!
    Have a wonderful weekend.
    *kisses* H
    Heavenly recently posted..What to Bring Back from your Paris VacationMy Profile

    • If you don’t like sausages this is not something you will enjoy. I just like the batter bits myself! Your mil must make curry puffs! I love those, I just make my ground meat stick together and clump 🙂