Toad in the hole

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Toad in the hole
Toad in the hole.jpg
Toad in the hole, ready to be served
Alternative namesSausage toad
Place of origin United Kingdom
Region or state England
Serving temperatureHot
Main ingredients Sausages, Yorkshire pudding batter, onion gravy

Toad in the hole or sausage toad is a traditional English [1] [2] dish consisting of sausages in Yorkshire pudding batter, usually served with onion gravy and vegetables. [3] Historically, the dish has also been prepared using other meats, such as rump steak and lamb's kidney.



Batter puddings became popular in the early 18th century. [4] Cookery writer Jennifer Stead has drawn attention to a description of a recipe identical to toad in the hole from the middle of the century. [5]

Dishes like toad in the hole appeared in print as early as 1762, when it was described as a "vulgar" name for a "small piece of beef baked in a large pudding". [6] Toad in the hole was originally created as a way to stretch out meat in poor households. [7] Chefs therefore suggested using the cheapest meats in this dish. In 1747, for example, Hannah Glasse's The Art of Cookery listed a recipe for "pigeon in a hole", calling for pigeon rather than sausages. [8] In 1861 Isabella Beeton listed a similar recipe using rump steak and lamb's kidney, while Charles Elmé Francatelli's 1852 recipe mentions "6d. or 1s." worth of any kind of cheap meat. [9] 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, [10] which stressed that meat was to be left over from stews and re-cooked in batter.


The dish with left over meat was originally not called toad in the hole. In the 1787 book A Provincial Glossary by Francis Grose, for example, "toad in a hole" was referred to as "meat boiled in a crust", though a 28 September 1765 passage in The Newcastle Chronicle reads, "No, you shall lay on the common side of the world; like a toad in a hole that is bak'd for the Devil's dinner". The first appearance of the word "hole" in the dish's name, not counting Pigeons in a Hole found in the cookbook by Hannah Glasse, appeared in the 1900 publication Notes & Queries, which described the dish as a "batter-pudding with a hole in the middle containing meat". [7] Despite popular belief, there is no record of the dish ever being made with toad. [7]

The origin of the name is unclear, but it may refer to the way toads wait for their prey in their burrows, with their heads poking out, just as sausages peep through the batter. [7] [11] It may also derive from the "living entombed animal" phenomenon of live frogs or toads supposedly being found encased in stone, which was a popular hoax / false belief of the late 18th century. [12]

The term is sometimes used for "egg in the basket" (an egg fried in a hole of a slice of bread). [13]

See also

Related Research Articles

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