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Yorkshire puddings for roast dinnerThis week's column and recipe covers Yorkshire puddings, Yorkshire pudding recipes and how to cook them at home which many people seem to have a problem with.

Yorkshire pudding is the quintessential of English side dishes for roast beef. Though if you are like my family it is served with every Sunday roast whether its beef, pork, chicken or lamb. Where did this dish originate and why?

Yorkshire Pudding: The Where?
Well the name suggests of course Yorkshire but other counties in the UK make claim to its origin also.

Why Yorkshire Pudding?
I have always been told that originally it was not actually served with the roast beef but before the meal itself, drenched in a rich gravy. Apparently, it was created to be served as a stomach filler. Times being hard and meat an expensive item in most working class family budgets, as such the traditional Sunday roast in the UK being quite an event and something to look forward to each week.

With a generous amount of beef flavoured gravy, the Yorkshire pudding not only tasted like beef, it had a texture similar to it and cheaply filled the stomach . . . meaning the small portion of beef actually served did not seem as meagre as it might have actually been. Any that were left over would be served for afternoon tea with jam, cream, etc and why not, they are just a form of cake after all! For other ideas on Yorkshire puddings with a difference, see my Chef Notes after the recipe.

These days of course we serve it as an accompaniment to the roast beef and gravy, along with the traditional roast potatoes, vegetables, etc. Creamed horseradish of course also being a must.

Understanding the complexities of making Yorkshire Pudding

Yorkshire puddings rising

Hi there,

Thanks for the Yorkshire Pudding recipe. I tried it and they were superb!!!!

Perth Western Australia

What about the problems many people have making them like why do they not rise? Why do they fall flat? Should they be crisp or soft? The latter for me is a totally personal issue, some like them soft, some crisp on the outside and soft in the middle. When you lash them with a gravy does it make any real difference?

But to answer the main problems people have with them, rising and falling flat. One must think and understand about why and how this happens to answer it. They rise mainly because of the egg content in the mixture. NEVER add baking powder! For the rising to occur the mixture needs instant heat, this creates steam and they puff up and rise - so the oven and the pan must all be pre-heated. A slow gentle heat or cold oven will not work.

They will fall flat if they are removed from the oven too soon. If they do not slightly crispen on the outside the structure of the egg and flour mixture does not fully dextrinise, meaning its structure will not hold its own weight . . . think of building a sky scraper out of wood, eventually it will buckle and collapse under its own weight.

Cooking times will always vary, as everyone's oven is slightly different and because we tend to open and close the door to remove the meat, the potatoes, etc. So the 12 minutes I have given here is approximate only, you will need to judge and modify accordingly.

The secrets of the Yorkshire Pudding Recipe

  • To get a good rise one must fill the mix with as much egg as possible using only a drizzle of milk. Unfortunately the recipe here then is not 'foolproof' in amounts, as I cannot guarantee the size of eggs that you use and they do differ in amount by as much as 20gm per egg, so it is best to adjust the flour rather than the egg. The trick is to pack the mixture with eggs!
  • Use deep sided muffin trays and heat these trays up prior to use
  • Put in a good measure of hot oil into each mould. If the oil is really hot, until it just starts to give of a slight haze but not quite smoking (approximately 180°C) the moment the batter is poured in, it will sizzle, begin to cook and rise at the sides immediately. This gives that 'hollowed' centre look that can be filled and will hold the gravy
  • Do not worry about the oil content too much: if you want perfect 'Yorkies' you have to live with it and most of it will still be there when they are cooked and can be poured away for re-use when you remove the final, cooked product
  • With experience one will be able to judge when they can be removed and not fall flat / deflate. If you notice that they are beginning to, pop them straight back in for a few more minutes, this allows the correct amount of hardening / crispening of the outer walls to develop and holds the shape and size

All very long winded I know, but so is the life of a professional chef or home cook who seeks perfection. I would be most interested to hear from you all on how you grt on when you try this recipe. So get those fingers tapping on the keyboard and please email me and let me know!

Yorkshire Puddings in the oven



1 cup flour
4 pc eggs
2 to 4 tbs milk


2 cups flour
8 pc eggs
4 to 8 tbs milk


  • Combine the egg and milk thoroughly with fork (do not whisk)
  • Add enough of the flour and using a whisk combine to form a thick yet pourable batter, one that is nicely thick but can be easily poured from a jug. How thick is too thick, how thin is too thin is a matter of trial and error and will soon become evident as you make a few batches
  • Add a little salt to taste
  • Place the muffin tray / moulds in the oven to pre-heat (180° to 200°C) for 15 minutes. The oil may also be added at this time and heated in the oven or may be heated separately and poured in. I find that putting in enough oil to 1/5th of the mould works best.
  • When both the moulds and oil are hot, pour in the batter, if it does not start to sizzle immediately, stop and continue to heat and try again
  • Place on the middle shelf and bake for approximately 12 minutes until risen, golden brown and slightly crisp. A tray on the top shelf will help prevent them browning too much as this deflects the falling heated air particles (use this tip when baking cakes, etc too!)
  • Remove from the oven and carefully (as they will be hot) remove from the tray and serve as soon as possible
  • Remember to pour away the fat while still warm to be re-used and pop the puddings in the oven if they seem to be starting to collapse after a minute or so

Chef's Tips:

Try adding a little something to the mixture for a Yorkshire Pudding with a difference:

  • with chopped parsley
  • with chopped chives
  • with chopped coriander
  • with whole-seed mustard
  • with turmeric
  • with smoked paprika

I use Yorkshire Puddings not only for roast beef but with an addition as above as a basis for other dishes too. Maybe for a starter of a dinner party, with some smoked salmon, the centre filled with a pate, etc. Or using a larger mould and with turmeric, garam masala or nigella seeds, etc filled with a Indian butter chicken mixture

And you thought Yorkshire Puddings could only be used for roast beef!

Chef's terminology:

litres   tsp = teaspoon
millelitres   tbs = tablespoon
kilograms   sq = sufficient quantity (add to taste)
grams   pc = piece, meaning a whole one of

Enjoy your Yorkshire Pudding and bon appetit . . . . .

Recipe from professional
Chef Tallyrand

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