Toad in the hole

This article is about the sausage dish. For the egg and toast dish, see Egg in the basket. For the pub game, see Toad in the hole (game). For the Fortean phenomenon, see Entombed animal.
Toad in the hole, ready to be served

Toad in the hole or sausage toad is a traditional British dish[1] consisting of sausages in Yorkshire pudding batter, usually served with onion gravy and vegetables.[2]


Batter puddings only began to be popular in the early 18th century.[3] Jennifer Stead has drawn attention to a description (albeit without the name) of a recipe identical to 'toad in the hole' from the middle of the century.[4] In 1747, Hannah Glasse's The Art of Cookery gave a recipe for 'pigeon in a hole', calling for pigeon rather than the contemporary sausages.[5] The first appearance in print of 'toad in the hole' dates from 1787.

Isabella Beeton in 1861 gives a recipe calling for rump steak and lamb's kidney. Similarly, an 1852 recipe by Charles Elme Francatelli mentions "6d. or 1s. worth of bits and pieces of any kind of meat, which are to be had cheapest at night when the day's sale is over."[6] This recipe was described as "English cooked-again stewed meat" (lesso rifatto all'inglese) or "toad in the Hole", in the first book of modern Italian cuisine,[7] where the meat was nothing but left-over stewed meat cooked again in batter.

The origin of the name 'toad in the hole' is unclear. It is often thought to refer to the sausages peeking out through the gaps in the batter.[8]

See also


  1. John Ayto (18 October 2012). The Diner's Dictionary: Word Origins of Food and Drink. OUP Oxford. pp. 372–. ISBN 978-0-19-964024-9.
  2. Emily Ansara Baines (3 October 2014). The Unofficial Downton Abbey Cookbook: From Lady Mary's Crab Canapes to Daisy's Mousse Au Chocolat--More Than 150 Recipes from Upstairs and Downstairs. "F+W Media, Inc.". pp. 213–. ISBN 978-1-4405-8291-2.
  3. Alan Davidson (21 August 2014). The Oxford Companion to Food. OUP Oxford. pp. 822–. ISBN 978-0-19-104072-6.
  4. Jennifer Stead (1985). Georgian Cookery: Recipes & History. English Heritage. ISBN 978-1-85074-869-4.
  5. Hyslop, Leah (24 July 2013). "Potted histories: toad in the hole". Telegraph. Retrieved 9 September 2016.
  6. Francatelli, Charles Elme (1862). A Plain Cookery Book for the Working Classes. ISBN 0-946014-15-9.
  7. Pellegrino Artusi (1 February 2015). La scienza in cucina e l'arte di mangiar bene. E-text. ISBN 978-88-97313-74-8.
  8. Duncan McCorquodale (2009). A Visual History of Cookery. Black Dog. ISBN 978-1-906155-50-6.
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