How to make the perfect Yorkshire puddings to go with your Sunday roast!
Perfect Yorkshire puddings eluded me for a long time. Flat ones, wonky ones, soggy-bottomed ones!
Occasionally I hit the right formula, and that was always cause for a bit of a celebration. But the next time, despite appearing to have followed the same process, they turned out flat again!
It turns out, the problem was with my oven. I had an old oven (like 15+ years old) and the temperature wasn’t always consistent, plus it used to lose heat really quickly when the door was opened. I didn’t realise this at the time, and continued to try different things to figure out that perfect formula.
I know this, because since having my new oven, my Yorkshires have turned out perfect every time.
Now, I’m not suggesting you go out and buy a new oven as part of this recipe – but it is worth knowing that you need your oven to maintain a temperature of 220C/425F. An oven thermometer is a great help in figuring this out.
Also, once the fat is really hot, you need to get the Yorkshire pudding mixture into the tin and back in the oven as quickly (and safely!) as possible.
If your oven retains heat well whilst the door is open, then it’s a good idea to slide the rack out with the Yorkshire pudding tin on, and use a jug to pour the mixture into the Yorkshire holes.
If your oven loses heat quickly, then use a hob-safe Yorkshire pudding tin. Take the preheated tin out of the oven, close the oven door and place the tray over a high hob heat whilst filling the holes with the Yorkshire pudding mix from a jug. Then get it back into the oven as quickly as possible (please be careful though, you don’t want to get burned by the hot oil).
So to sum up:
- Get the oil really hot (smoking hot) in the tin.
- Check that your oven is actually getting to 220C/425F.
- If your oven retains heat well with the door open, pull the rack out and pour in the batter whilst the Yorkshire pudding tin is on the rack.
- If your oven loses heat quickly, use a hob-safe Yorkshire pudding tin and pour the batter in the tin over a high heat – making sure the oven door is shut to retain the heat whilst you’re filling the Yorkshire pudding holes. Then get the tray back into the hot oven.
Phew, and that’s before we even get to the recipe!!
Fortunately the recipe itself is easy. Plain (all-purpose) flour, milk, eggs and a pinch of salt. Cooked in very hot beef dripping or lard – if you’re cooking for non-veggies (I find beef dripping or lard works best as they can get to a really hot temperature without burning).
Use vegetable oil if you’re cooking for vegetarians – it will still do a great job.
For the recipe, don’t try using:
Self raising flour or baking powder. I’ve tried these – hoping that the raising agents would result in bigger Yorkshires, but it doesn’t. They end up flatter for some strange reason.
Also, be sure to chill the mixture in the fridge for 30-60 minutes before pouring into the tin. That combination of cold batter hitting hot oil will result in a better rise. Also, resting the batter allows the starch molecules in the flour to swell – meaning you’ll get a lighter, crisp and more even Yorkshire pud.
Ok, let’s get on with the recipe – I really hope this info helps you to make the perfect Yorkshire pudding!
- 140 g plain flour
- 4 medium eggs
- 200 ml milk
- 6 tsp beef dripping or lard (replace with vegetable oil for a vegetarian version)
- Pinch of salt and pepper
- Place the flour in a jug and make a well in the centre. Add the eggs and stir together with a balloon whisk, bringing the flour into the centre with the eggs bit-by-bit. Add in the milk and whisk again until combined. It’s fine if it’s a little bit lumpy.
- Place the jug in the fridge for 30 minutes to chill. This is important to allow the flour granules to swell. Also, cold batter hitting a very hot pan should result in a good rise.
- Preheat the oven to 220C/425F. Add ½ tsp of lard to each hole of a 12-hole metal bun tin. Place in the oven to heat for 10 minutes.
- Take the jug of Yorkshire pudding batter of the fridge, add in a pinch of salt and pepper and stir once more with the whisk.
- Open the oven door, and if safe to do so*, pull out the tray and quickly (be careful, the melted lard will be very hot!), pour the batter into each of the prepared muffin holes. Close the door immediately and cook for 15-20 minutes until risen and golden.
*If it’s not safe for you to pour the batter into the trays on the pulled-out rail, then carefully remove the muffin tray from the oven and place onto a heat-proof surface. Close the oven door to keep the high heat in, and working quickly (be careful, the melted lard will be very hot!), pour the batter into the muffin holes. Place back into the oven immediately and close the door.