Friday, August 3, 2018

Toad in the Hole

I can’t believe I’ve never presented this recipe for Mystery Lovers’ Kitchen. According to my computer search, I’ve referred to it in passing many times, but never as a complete recipe. But it’s quick and easy (and crunchy and a little salty greasy and all those good things), and I’ve made it countless times over the past decades.

The ingredient list comes from a cookbook I’ve had since before I was married, one that contains several of my all-time favorite recipes, including lamb stew (which I can now make in my sleep), Bubble and Squeak, and Toad in the Hole. (You can tell it’s been well-used from the state of the cover).

But somewhere along the line I made one important change in the recipe. The original called for a square baking dish (no material mentioned), but long ago I discovered it came out more crispy if I simply baked it in the cast-iron skillet I used to fry the sausages. Straight from stove-top to oven.

There are only a couple of important factors to remember: (1) a hot oven, (2) a hot skillet, and (3) enough grease. (I learned the last point the hard way, when my husband tried to drain off the grease before adding the batter and putting it in the oven—it came out like a thick pancake after baking. You really do need the grease, whether it comes from fatty sausages or as in this case with the bangers—yes, again—you have to add a tablespoon or two if you want it to puff up and be crunchy.)

Toad in the Hole


1 pound small pork sausages (see note above: if all pork, cook them long enough so that the fat renders; if less fatty, add some cooking oil to the pan)
1 cup whole milk
2 eggs
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
freshly ground pepper
1 Tblsp butter, melted


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

In a cast iron skillet, saute the sausages until they’re lightly browned. (Another note: the actual number of sausages is not critical, and will depend on their size and the number of people you want to serve—just don’t crowd them in the pan because the batter needs room to expand).

In a food processor or blender, place all the other ingredients and blend about 1 minute until the mixture is very smooth.

Pour the batter over the sausages in the hot pan, then cook uncovered in the oven for 30 minutes. The batter will puff up and become crisp and golden brown.

Look! It's rising!
The toads have come out of their holes!
Eat immediately—this dish doesn’t keep well.

Murder at the Mansion is still clinging to the top 15 books on Pub Alley Fiction Mystery Bestsellers!

For more information and buy links, see my website at


  1. I love this dish. I will need to try to prepare it myself.

  2. I have read of this dish but never eaten it. The photos look like such fun with that great rise in the batter. Looks like something easy to try that my husband will love. Many thanks for sharing the recipe.

  3. Thanks! I have a package of sausages just waiting for another way to be used. And who can resist fast, easy and greasy? :-) Happy weekend!

  4. What a treat! Bangers Wellington!

    1. Yorkshire pudding! That's what I meant.

  5. I think the batter for this is similar to my mom's version of Yorkshire pudding. So good.

  6. Aha, use the cast iron skillet! Great tip, thanks, Sheila.

  7. This recipe is quite different from the one I grew up with -- mine was a buttered piece bread with the center cut out with a biscuit cutter and an egg cooked in the middle in a skillet or griddle. The cutouts were toasted and served with the bread and egg. I always wondered why it was called Toad in the Hole...