Golden toad-in-the-hole on a wire rack

Toad-in-the-hole in 4 easy steps

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(147 ratings)

Prep: 20 mins Cook: 45 mins - 50 mins


Serves 4

A British classic. Meaty sausages enveloped in crispy batter, plus, a special onion gravy to really top it off. We think it's better than mum's!

Nutrition and extra info

  • Easily doubled / halved

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal520
  • fat31g
  • saturates9g
  • carbs37g
  • sugars11g
  • fibre2g
  • protein25g
  • salt2.22g
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  • 210g plain flour, plus a spoonful
  • 1 tsp English mustard powder
  • 4 eggs
  • 400ml milk



    One of the most widely used ingredients, milk is often referred to as a 'complete' food…

  • 4 thyme sprigs, leaves only


    This popular herb grows in Europe, especially the Mediterranean, and is a member of the mint…

  • 8 plain pork sausages
  • 2 tbsp sunflower oil
    Sunflower oil

    Sunflower oil

    Sunflower oil is made from pressing sunflower seeds and extracting the oil. It's usually…

  • 2 onions, peeled and sliced



    Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…

  • 1 tsp soft brown sugar
  • 500ml beef stock


  1. Make the batter: Heat oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 7. Tip 210g plain flour into a large mixing bowl and stir in 1 tsp English mustard powder with a good pinch of salt. Make a well in the centre, crack in 4 eggs, then pour in a little from 400ml milk. Whisk the mixture, gradually incorporating some of the flour, until you have a smooth batter in the well. Now add a bit more milk and continue stirring until all the milk and flour has been mixed together.

  2. The batter is ready: You should now have a smooth, lump-free batter that is the consistency of double cream. Stir in the leaves from 4 thyme sprigs, then tip the batter back into the jug you measured your milk in, for easier pouring later on. Use scissors to snip the links between 8 plain pork sausages, then drop them into a 20 x 30cm roasting tin. Add 1 tbsp sunflower oil, tossing the sausages in it to thoroughly coat the base of the tin, then roast in the oven for 15 mins.

  3. Cook the batter: Take the hot tray from the oven, then quickly pour in the batter – it should sizzle and bubble a little when it first hits the hot fat. Put it back into the oven, then bake for 40 mins until the batter is cooked through, well risen and crisp. Check it after 40 minutes, cover loosely with foil if it is browning too much. If you poke the tip of a knife into the batter in the middle of the tray it should be set, not sticky or runny.

  4. Make the gravy: Soften 2 sliced onions with 1 tbsp sunflower oil in a large non-stick frying pan for about 20 mins, stirring often, until they are golden brown. Sprinkle in 1 tsp soft brown sugar for the final 5 mins. Add a spoonful of plain flour, then cook, constantly stirring, for 2 mins, so it coats the onions and there is no dry flour left. Gradually pour in 500ml beef stock, stirring well to make a smooth sauce. Bubble for 4-5 mins to thicken, then season. Cut the toad-in-the-hole into large wedges and serve with the gravy spooned over.

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Comments, questions and tips

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25th Apr, 2014
This recipe has never been tried by the author, the milk quantity quoted is double what you need, and how do you fry onions for 20 minutes to get them golden brown without burning them? the mustard idea in the batter is good, but these recipes need to be checked otherwise a waste of good food
7th May, 2014
You should try it before commenting. Slow softening of onions is easy use a very low heat and if you can't get you heat low enough use a wok trivet or a diffuser to disperse heat. Recipes such as French Onion soup require onions to be softened for several hours. Although the batter quantities are unusual it does work
8th Apr, 2014
Absolutely delicious, make sure you use a deeper and smaller dish than the one shown in the picture. The batter should cover almost the whole sausage with just the top peeking through. Also, I cooked for a further 15 minutes with foil on top to stop the batter catching and to make sure my sausages were cooked through.
17th Mar, 2014
no idea what the actual toad in the hole is like, as after reading the comments here I decided to use another recipe. However, I used the onion gravy recipe. It was absolutely delicious, and it's going to become my go-to recipe for gravy!
2nd Mar, 2014
This was AWFUL. The batter didn't at all rise and it was brown and not pleasant and we followed the recipe to the letter. Really wouldn't recommend.
2nd Mar, 2014
I made this tonight and had already made the batter before reading everyone's comments so feared i had made an error! Anyway, I carried on but made sure I turned the sausages half way through their initial cook. Then added the batter cooked at 220 (non fan) for 10 mins or so, then turned oven down to 200 for the remaining time. The result was good and very yummy, crispy outer batter with soft but fully cooked middle.
1st Mar, 2014
Seriously shouldn't have trusted 4 stars without reading the comments. I am dishing up half and half sausages (burnt on top soft on bottom), batter that is burnt top and bottom and raw in the middle that hasn't risen and I gave up on the gravy! Not worth cooking at all!
16th Feb, 2014
Made half the quantity to serve 2 used 1 egg and had Waitrose pork and leek sausages instead of plain ones. They were fabulous! The batter was cooked through and was as light as a feather, it was the best toad we have ever had! We cannot comment on the onion gravy as we didn't do it. Will be recommending this recipe..
22nd Dec, 2013
Wish I'd read the comments before embarking on this recipe! My batter cooked through but hardly rose at all and the underside was too greasy for my liking. Sausages were overdone. And unfortunately I managed to mess up the onion gravy as the recipe doesn't state how much flour to add! Does a "spoonful" mean a teaspoon, dessertspoon or tablespoon?! Clearly I'm no expert at making my own gravy. Disappointing.
27th Nov, 2013
This recipe won't work properly as no beef dripping is used; there aren't enough eggs (should be at least 3); too much milk is included, use only enough to make the batter the consistency of single cream; you never cook sausages in the same tin as you would use for puddings, cook them separately and place into the batter; pudding tins should never be washed and only contain dripping, mixed fats make the puddings drop; to make a seasoned pudding, add herbs to the top of the batter once poured into the tin, never to the mixture itself; and lastly Yorkshire Puddings should be thick, set and golden brown but not crispy & light. The whole point is to fill the diner up before the meat course (because there wasn't a lot of meat to eat!). These recipes made up by 'professional chefs' leave a lot to be desired - they should consult the old grannies of Yorkshire before they put pen to paper!


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