Food & Drink
Yorkshire pudding recipe jamie

Yorkshire pudding recipe jamie

In the days when I earned my salary as a cook in the co-ed fraternity house, I was able to fulfill a specific dinner request from some ex-students from Cambridge University: toad-in-the-hole, the most well-known British dish made of roasted sausages that are cooked into a giant Yorkshire pudding. But the only problem? I was unsure of what a Yorkshire pudding looked like. The way it was explained to me was “sort of like a batter and you pour it into a pan and you bake it.” Instead of conducting some research, I decided to go with it.

Pudding, I thought to myself. It should be moist, rich, and a bit spoonable, similar to custard, right?

I essentially got those sausages boiled into an enormous custard-like pool of eggy yolks with their tops peeking through the surface, much like a construction worker slipping into a partially set concrete puddle. (And this dish is as heavy as it looked.)

One of the benefits of cooking in a fraternity house is that students can consume everything. However, I dug deeper into the matter at the urging of the British student body. I realized that Yorkshire pudding is just the British equivalent of the popovers my mother enjoys. Our popovers, for instance, are cooked in special pans and usually served sweet, while Yorkshire puddings come with gravy and beef drippings; however, in the end, they’re almost the same.

Testing Common Yorkshire Pudding Theories

Before we get started, let us give a quick shout-out to Felicity Cloake’s excellent article on Yorkshire puddings, which, in the typical fearless spirit of an explorer scientist, she tried out a dozen recipes before settling on her recipe. These columns have always been informative, and this one will attempt to continue where she left off in her column.

Yorkshire Pudding Theory #1: Cold Batter = Better Puds

I’ve heard it time and again. Ensure your batter is cold in the fridge and your pan with drippings is bubbling hot from the oven. There is some disagreement about this. There is a debate. Royal Society of Chemistry firmly warns against it, asserting that placing dessert batters in refrigerators is ” foolish.” (They are not scientifically minded for a scientific organization and do not give a reason.) But most recipes, such as James Martin’s, recommend you chill the batter before baking.

It was a reasonably simple recipe to test. I split batches of batter into two halves, placing half of them in the refrigerator for about an hour and the remaining portion kept at room temperature. I also tried the same experiment using the batter I had chilled for a full hour before being divided and left half on the counter for it to come at room temperature before baking. I cooked each dessert within the same pan (repeating the test many times, obviously) and then compared the dimensions and the textures.

The results weren’t as striking as different tests. However, the truth is that the hotter the batter you start, the higher the desserts rise. But another factor to consider: Colder batters remained pooled in the middle as the edges grew warmer due to the hot pan, which weighed down the center and gave an edgier cup shape for the finished puddings.

Verdict: Based on what you’re looking for. Warmer batter will make more prominent, crisper, and taller puddings with hollower centers (I prefer these in this manner); however, colder batters will result in thicker, dense puddings with a distinct cup. If you like making onion gravy separately to put in the puddings for a starter course, a colder batter could be the best choice for you.

Yorkshire Pudding Theory #2: You Must Start With a Hot Pan

For several reasons, the idea of beginning in an oven smoldering hot is logical. The first is the concept of baking springs. Hot pans will put much more power into your batter from the beginning, causing it to expand and rise, yet it’s still flexible and stretches. Another benefit is that when you use hot pans, the batter is less likely to get stuck (think about pouring eggs scrambled into a cold pan vs. a hot oven). This means that there is lower resistance when rising.

There’s no disagreement over this issue: everybody says you should start using a hot pan to get the most soaring rise. Some even say that you should heat the beef drippings for an entire half-hour before adding the batter.

At the end of their cooking time of 20 minutes, they were about (but not precisely) the same height as other puddings I’ve baked so far. They did have somewhat different and odd shapes and less cupping. Some of them got stuck on the bottoms of their containers. But the results were not the disaster I had hoped for. When I re-did the experiment using a cast-iron skillet, the difference was significantly more noticeable, and the pre-heated pan produced a taller and broader pudding, which gave me an insight into the source of the theory.

For the classic baked-in-a-heavy-pan pudding, It is essential to heat the oven beforehand because a cold range can absorb a lot of heat from the range before the pudding starts to cook. The baking pan has to be hot at the beginning to allow the pudding to cook quickly. However, this isn’t the situation in the case of a modern popover/pudding tin. The metal is thin and thin, requiring hardly any energy to get heated. After a couple of minutes in the oven, you’re in the same state you would have been in were the pan fully heated.

Yorkshire Pudding Theory #3: Rest the Batter at Least 30 Minutes

Delia Th, the archetypal queen of contemporary British cooking, states her recipe: “There is no need to leave the batter to stand, so make it whenever it’s convenient.” Jamie Oliver agrees. The recipe doesn’t have a time limit (in fact, it’s not even a matter of creating the batter till the baking tin has been ready to bake). However, a Yorkshireman, Marco Pierre White (as if that matters), suggests letting the batter rest for an hour.

If authorities disagree on a matter, it’s the time to turn to the science. I prepared a dozen batters of the pudding. The first batch was baked six hours before the final set, and then the batters were all in tandem inside the same oven. There was a clear relationship between the time the batter sat and the height at which the puddings increased. It was possible to tell the age of a batter simply by putting a ruler in front of the baking pudding!

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