A Toad or a Frog By Any Other Name

The British Classic Toad in the Hole

After several posts filled with practical dinner ideas, it felt like I should be bringing you a decadent dessert this week, but I’m afraid there’s something very large standing in the way of baking right now.

This is one of those giant salad bowls that comes with its own stand.

A very large bowl of leftover Halloween treats that keeps calling my name. I’m not sure how I ended up on a first-name basis with these little troublemakers, but I’m thinking of changing my name.  How about Helga? Yes, I think that might work . . .

Which brings me back to the practical dinner ideas, as the last thing that I need right now is more calorie-laden desserts.

In my recent blog travels, I stumbled upon this intriguing dish called Toad in the Hole, made my British mate Emma over at her blog Food, Fork & Good. (She has a lovely blog, which I highly recommend you check out.) In North America and Australia (thanks Ali!) , Toad in the Hole (aka Frog in the Hole) is something completely different —  it is bread with an egg in the centre cooked in butter or oil (also called Egg in the Basket).  

However, across the pond (pun intended!), it is a traditional dish that combines two British favourites: sausages and yorkshire pudding. The sausages are cooked in a yorkshire pudding batter that puffs up around the sausages. I understand that it is usually served with onion gravy, veggies and mash.

So, while this isn’t exactly a low-calorie dish, I did lighten it up by using half-the-fat pork sausages and one percent milk. I modified the original recipe by keeping the onions on the side, as this ensures that the dish will appeal to the under five foot crowd.

As I’ve never made or eaten this before, I’m not sure if it turned out perfectly, but the yorkshire did puff up and it was very tasty. It was in fact a hit with the entire family, including my youngest ponytail’s buddy and my mom who joined us for dinner.

Toad in the Hole

Serves 4.

Recipe from Emma at Food, Fork & Good

  • 4-6 good quality sausages (English-style bangers or mild italian sausages)
  • 2 tbsp grapeseed oil or olive oil
  • 1 cup flour (125 grams)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • Just under 1-1/4 cup milk + 2 tbsp water (just under 1/2 a UK pint)
  • 1 egg + 1 egg white
  • 1 tsp dried sage
  • 1/2 onion + 1/2 red onion, sliced
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar


  • Cook your sausages and set aside.
  • Preheat oven to 425°
  • Prepare carmelized onions: add onions, honey and balsamic vinegar to a pan that has your slightly heated olive oil. Saute for 10 to 15 minutes until nicely carmelized. Set aside.
  • Sift flour, salt and sage together in a medium bowl. Make a well in the flour and add the eggs to it.
  • Add 1/4 of the milk mixture and mix well. Gradually add the remaining milk mixture and whisk until smooth (I used my magic whisk).  Let the mixture stand for at least 15 minutes before using.
  • While the mixture is standing, add grapeseed oil or olive oil to a 10″ skillet or 9″ x 11″ glass dish and pop into the oven for 10-12 minutes until oil is hot (or olive oil is smoking).
  • Carefully add sausage to the hot skillet/baking dish (the hot oil will likely spit, so be careful), then pour the flour mixture over the sausages.
  • Place into the oven for 25-30 minutes until the pudding has risen and is nicely browned. DO NOT OPEN DOOR!


  • I got my conversions wrong, in that I did the 1/2 pint coversion for the US pint (16 fl. oz) and not the UK pint (20 fl oz) when I made mine. I’ve corrected this in the recipe above. Perhaps my yorkshire would have puffed up a bit more with the correct amount of milk (1-1/4 cups milk rather than the 1 cup milk that I used).
  • I’ve added an extra egg white to the recipe, as one of Emma’s tips is that extra egg whites add height to the yorkshire.
  • I used 1 tsp rather than 1 tbsp of sage, to appeal to a younger crowd.
  • I’ve added balsamic vinegar to the onions to take the flavour up a notch.
  • I used grapeseed oil for the yorkshire pudding because it has a higher heat threashold.
  • Apparently if you open the oven door, your yorkshire will deflate!
  • For more tips on making Yorkshire Pudding, please see Emma’s post.
  • I used this chart for the flour conversion. Let me know if I’ve got this wrong …since I’m always nervous with the conversions!

68 Comments on “A Toad or a Frog By Any Other Name”

  1. thehungrymum says:

    My girls will *love* this! Sausages are always hit with the under 6 set. Thanks for the inspiration!

  2. Saskia (1=2) says:

    Fantastic Barb! Toad in the hole has been on my list of ‘British foods to try’ for a very long time, along with Spotted Dick. Will definitely make this as my 5-year old’s favourite food is sausages. I’ll keep you posted.
    PS. Have you tried Scotch eggs? They went down a treat in our house.

  3. What a great British feast! What is balsamic oil ?

  4. A_Boleyn says:

    I’ve never made this dish but I’d like to give it a try one day. I did make Scotch eggs, the oven baked version, some time ago. It was ok, but I think I’d give the traditional fried version an attempt as well.

    • Saskia has also recommended Scotch Eggs, so I’ll have to give them a try. I’ll look into the fried version as per your recommendation. Hope you had a good weekend Maria. It was chilly here but so nice to see the sun again!

      • A_Boleyn says:

        Here’s the very simple recipe I used for what I called “Dinosaur Eggs.” 🙂


        For the deep frying … this is what was recommended.

        Deep Frying:
        Pour enough oil to come halfway up the sides of a large, deep saucepan and heat to 350°F (180°C). Carefully place the eggs in the hot oil and fry for 3–4 minutes, or until golden.

        I also found a vegetarian version.

        Vegetarian Scotch Eggs

        Omit the ground pork. Substitute 1 drained 15oz (420g) can of white kidney (cannellini) beans, purèed in a food processor with 2oz (60g) soft goat cheese. Transfer to a bowl, and mix in the scallions, herbs, hot pepper, and 3 tbsp of dried bread crumbs.

  5. daisyandthefox says:

    looks like a dinner/lunch perfect meal – sausages are a winner 🙂

  6. What an incredible sausage recipe my friend I love the deliciousness of it (veggie sausages needed now!)

    Choc Chip Uru

  7. Anne says:

    What an interesting dish! I never had or seen a dish such as this before. Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  8. Ali says:

    We always grew up calling an egg in toast a Toad in the Hole too. Which is kind of funny because we mostly get out foodie names from Britain….I had no idea that Toad in the Hole was something completely different for them! This does look fabulous though!

  9. Thanks for the mention and the lovely words! It looks fantastic, ney, it looks perfect, TITH is notriously difficult to get done. Yum! =D

    • Thanks Emma. The hardest part was defnitely the conversions and I’m still not sure that I got them perfect! I was really hoping that you wouldn’t mind that I posted on your recipe. I figured if I hadn’t heard about it, it would be interesting to lots of my friends as well. Thanks again!

  10. Eva Taylor says:

    Might I suggest Bertha instead ;)? Hehehe!
    This looks like something JT would love and it looks very impressive too. I like the way you lightened it up perfect for a drizzly fall day as we’ve been experiencing. The onions sound incredible.

  11. petit4chocolatier says:

    Wow! This is wonderful. Perfect for brunch, breakfast, a lunch, dinner, and for holiday mornings! Even a snack! So different and looks so delicious!

  12. Norma Chang says:

    Learnt a new dish. This is so interesting. Must remember to add balsamic vinegar to my onion.

    • I’m glad I shared this recipe, since it seems there are lots of us that hadn’t heard of it. The balsamic really is lovely in the onion. I’m working on a carmelized onion chutney that I’ll share once I’ve perfected the recipe!

  13. Kristy says:

    This looks really good Barb! I know that it would be devoured in this house and great idea leaving the onions on the side. That will save me from a million complaints. 😉

    • Ha, Ha! I guess somethings are the same in every family. Yes, the onions on the side saved quite bit of grief and picking around in the food at the table. I’m a big fan of carmelized onions, so this way it means more for me. Have a good one Kristy.

      BTW — loved your namesake sandwich over at Five Euro Food. So creative!

  14. Charles says:

    This looks wonderful Barb – I haven’t had a toad in the hole in so many years! Perhaps 10 or more! They used to serve it at my school in huge trays and it was terrible, but a good home-made toad in the hole can be delicious. I can confirm that it turned out excellently for you too – it looks just like the ones I used to have at home so you’ve definitely got it down!

    Regarding what someone said above – I made a spotted dick on my site a while ago. It’s not for everyone, but isn’t bad. It’s very heavy, but don’t be put off by suet. It’s not at all gross, but if you want, maybe I can send you some vegetarian suet, which is hydrogenated vegetable fat, rolled in flour. Then you can try and reproduce a real spotted dick without having to worry about grating big clods of fat.

    • A_Boleyn says:

      Not all fat is bad, Charles, as you know being a fellow fan of the porky fat in pork cracklings. Did you ever find a source and make those biscuits? 🙂


    • Yeah!!!!!!!!! Thanks for your confirmation Charles….it is nice to hear that from an expert!

      I’m not put off by suet Charles — my mom often uses it in her Christmas pudding so I know that the end result can be good. I really will have to try to make spotted dick. I’m going to check out your recipe and Saskia’s to get a handle on it. I love to try new things…especially classics with fun names!

  15. I’m familiar with egg in a basket, but that toad in a hole dish looks way better!

  16. this reminds me of the baked eggs dish we have at work. looks like an amazing breakfast to me x

  17. Karista says:

    I’ve always wanted to make this dish! Looks fun, festive and so delicious. Your picture looked like the dish came out perfectly. 🙂
    I just tossed all our halloween candy. My youngest said she just didn’t have the willpower to limit her sugar consumption so in the trash bin it went. LOL! Now she’s asking if we have any dessert in the house.

  18. I’ve heard about this dish.. but never seen it made!! I love it!! My kids would have when they were young, just because of the name! xx

    • Thanks Barb! It is guaranteed to get a bit of interest with the kiddies with this name. My youngest ponytail told her British teacher about it and now she wants to come for dinner the next time I make it. Don’t you just love how food brings people together?

  19. Sissi says:

    Barb, you have made one of the most tempting British dishes I know! And you have made it so perfectly (at least it looks gorgeous to me and I have seen that Charles totally approves!). It’s so appetising, I could eat the whole batch on my own (ok, I’m a bit hungry too 😉 ). I once prepared it but didn’t have good quality sausages, so it wasn’t as it should have been. When I finally find good sausages of this type I will certainly try it once more.

    • Sissi, I’m delighted that both you and Charles approve of my attempt at toad in the hole. It’s a bit nerve-wracking to make a signature dish from another country that is well loved by its countrymen! There’s nothing like really good quality sausage. I found some locally made sausages that were prepared with wine (baco noir) and I can’t wait to try them! Do you have a good local butcher where you buy yours?

      • Sissi says:

        Barb, unfortunately this type of sausages is not traditional in France (where I have my butcher) or in Switzerland. The only similar sausages I find at my butcher’s (raw) are thin and not as well spiced as the British ones. I hope I can find something similar one day…

  20. Karen says:

    It may not be low calorie but it certainly does sound good. I’m one of the ones that thought it was toast with an egg in the middle.

    • I really enjoyed this dish because it is so different from anything I’ve made before Karen. Definitely worth the calorie splurge. It was interesting to see another version of what we know as “toad in the hole”…which is also tasty and fun for kids!

  21. Sophie33 says:

    Your toad-in-a -whole looksd very appetizing. I make this dish every time in Fall or in wintertime. I love it too: It is such comfort food!

  22. What a delicious meal this makes! I love the look of your blog and all your recipes are mouthwatering!

  23. Love this! Toad in the hole is something I’m yet to try (but I love odd sounding foods like bubble & squeak-very wind in the willows!) as for a Yorkshire pud they are the best! Meaty juices, gravy and that light fluffy bread are the stuff my carboholic dreams are made of!

    • Thanks so much! You know I still haven’t made yorkshire pudding myself — I’m really going to have to try it, as I really loved it in this dish. I can see why it is the stuff that carboholic dreams are made of …

  24. Tandy says:

    It looks fantastic! Well done 🙂

  25. Lucy says:

    I love Toad in the Hole, its such perfect winter comfort food! It’s also so nice to see British classics being made across the pond 🙂

  26. My daughter is in love with sausages and I am sure she would love this too especially with such a name.
    I know she will ask a million questions about the name and come up with a million stories about it

  27. I thought toad in the hole was an egg in a piece of toast. Thats how my Nan used to make them for us. I’m a vego though so that could be why! What a cool dish. Tyler would love this.

  28. I’ve never had nor made Toad in the Hole, but it sounds and looks terrific. We have a local smoked meat purveyor who makes amazing sausages…maybe I need to get some soon and try this! 🙂

  29. Chez Foti says:

    How funny that you’ve made this English classic! So known and loved by pretty much everyone, especially littlies. Now I finally have a new oven capable I was thinking of making it for us very soon! Louisa

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