"It's really hard to mess up a Yorkshire Pudding"
December 28, 2015 1:33 PM   Subscribe

There's a lot of folk wisdom and myths surrounding baking Yorkshire puddings, so J. Kenji López-Alt decided to test them all and figure out which (if any) are true.. Previous perfect puddings post.
posted by The Whelk (54 comments total) 56 users marked this as a favorite
 
Filed under things to eat that you didn't know that you had to have right now.
posted by Splunge at 1:37 PM on December 28, 2015 [11 favorites]


He follows it with a recipe for basically a savory dutch baby to turn them into an easy breakfast dish (I used to make something similar when I had a small cast iron skillet, but with apples, bacon and no egg. )
posted by The Whelk at 1:40 PM on December 28, 2015 [3 favorites]


I read this before making Yorkshire pudding on Christmas. A++ would overthink Yorkshire pudding again.
posted by pemberkins at 1:47 PM on December 28, 2015 [2 favorites]


Holy crap, I was sure resting the batter was a myth. Delia! Why!?
posted by TheophileEscargot at 1:50 PM on December 28, 2015 [4 favorites]


*drool*
posted by Melismata at 1:51 PM on December 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


savory dutch baby would be a good user name.
posted by GenjiandProust at 1:55 PM on December 28, 2015 [8 favorites]


Well, he started off with the WRONG assumption that a Yorkshire pudding should be just like a popover -- mostly hollow and crusty -- instead of a luscious bed of, you know, PUDDING crowned by an airy crust. But his research has yielded some interesting data that's worth playing with.
posted by maudlin at 1:57 PM on December 28, 2015 [8 favorites]


we had yorkshire pudding for xmas dinner and i'm still dreaming of them.
posted by nadawi at 1:59 PM on December 28, 2015


curse you for posting this right before dinnertime
posted by everybody had matching towels at 2:05 PM on December 28, 2015


Man, I was already craving Yorkshire pudding a little after watching some episodes of "Elementary". Why does Sherlock hate them so much? Why does he bake them and then throw them away? Why doesn't he just give them to me, or at least the police?
posted by amtho at 2:06 PM on December 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


"It's really hard to mess up a Yorkshire Pudding"

CHALLENGE ACCEPTED
posted by Harvey Jerkwater at 2:06 PM on December 28, 2015 [11 favorites]


I was in college before I realised Yorkshire pudding batter and pancake batter are the same. I mentioned to my mother that I always thought Yorkshire pudding tasted like pancakes and she laughed at me.
posted by hoyland at 2:10 PM on December 28, 2015 [1 favorite]



"It's really hard to mess up a Yorkshire Pudding"

CHALLENGE ACCEPTED


one time I was baking three other things and accidentally put in some baking soda and malt vinegar into the pudding mix.

it also almost, but not quite, like sodabread.
posted by The Whelk at 2:11 PM on December 28, 2015


(I think pancake batter, at least in the US, has more sugar)
posted by The Whelk at 2:12 PM on December 28, 2015


I was in college before I realised Yorkshire pudding batter and pancake batter are the same.

So you know how people add apples or berries to pancake batter? Try adding caramelized onions (and a little ground nutmeg) to Yorkshire pudding batter. (This is for people who prefer pudding to popovers, of course.)
posted by maudlin at 2:13 PM on December 28, 2015 [5 favorites]


Yes, maudlin has the right idea here.
posted by cromagnon at 2:15 PM on December 28, 2015


As a hardcore foodie I approve of this post. Foodie, foodie, foodie. Foo, die. I pity the foo that won't die

Just being a dork because someone was extolling their hatred of the word on facebook and I never use it but it feels sooo dirty
posted by aydeejones at 2:21 PM on December 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


I agree with maudlin that Kenji's version seems to have engineered out the aspects that I like the most about Yorkshire pudding.
posted by sevenyearlurk at 2:27 PM on December 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


J. Kenji López-Alt is my spirit animal.

I've followed his foray into Sous-Vide cooking, and have converted several of my old school grill/Weber/smoker friends and family to the art that is SV + a really hot cast iron pan.

I've expounded on this before, but food science is freaking awesome. I can cook brilliant steaks when I'm at work.

When do we get those awesome extinct bananas my great aunt raved about?
posted by Sphinx at 2:27 PM on December 28, 2015


My mother is a Yorkshirewoman, and was taught to cook Yorkshire puddings by her mother (and so on down the line, of course). We had Yorkshire puddings every Sunday, (unless we had ham, and hence no gravy).

Which is all to say I may know nothing about cooking Yorkshire puddings, but from experience I can say that height is no measure of quality when it comes to eating them. Texture is everything.
posted by YAMWAK at 2:33 PM on December 28, 2015 [9 favorites]


Are you suggesting that (ahem) the proof of the pudding is in the eating?
posted by jedicus at 2:36 PM on December 28, 2015 [9 favorites]


Well, yes. But I'm not going to try all the different variants discussed in the OP - for me it is an article of faith that the best Yorkshire puddings are the ones my mother makes, and all others are inferior.

I have yet to find any serious challenge to this belief.
posted by YAMWAK at 2:43 PM on December 28, 2015 [3 favorites]


You can get loft AND a bed of pudding. Really.

That's a French white crock with a 5" diameter, so that's about 4" of crusty crown, another inch or so below the rim that is mostly hollow, and two inches of golden pudding with a nice crusty base. (This is a hybrid of my Dad's and Joy of Cooking's recipe: Pre-heat the crock with a teaspoon of beef fat at 450 F until it reaches temperature. Mix 1/2 cup flour, 1/2 cup milk, a bit of salt, and one egg by hand with a fork, then pour into hot dish. Bake at 450 for 15 minutes, then reduce to 350 and bake for another 20 minutes. It doesn't stay puffy for long, but if you want perma-puffy, bake a popover.)
posted by maudlin at 2:52 PM on December 28, 2015 [8 favorites]


(pancackes that are eaten in the uk (traditionally) are these (thin) things and have NO sugar in the batter).
posted by andrewcooke at 2:54 PM on December 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


None of the recipes specify how much batter to use for the individual tins. Do I fill them to the edge? Or just a layer at the bottom of the tin?
posted by monospace at 3:03 PM on December 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


Never mind! The BBC has a video.
posted by monospace at 3:05 PM on December 28, 2015


About 1/2 full? Give or take. It doesn't matter a huge amount, but definitely not completely full.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 3:06 PM on December 28, 2015


About a third to half-way full usually works.

I've noticed, incidentally, that Yorkshire puds have been getting steadily larger in the last few years. Those little cup-sized ones used to be the standard, but now you're much more likely to be served some gargantuan puffed-up monster. The same seems to be true of naan breads, now frequently too large to be served on crockery and requiring deployment via table-side hanging apparatus.
posted by sobarel at 3:12 PM on December 28, 2015 [2 favorites]


Yorkshire Puddings are my food tequila. "Never again".

Given a family history full of Yorkshiremen and an inordinate fondness for Sunday roast, it should be one of my favorite things.

But a chance encounter* with a bad pudding when I was younger, because either it was undercooked or because I was feeling ill, causes me to become queasy at the very smell and has made Sunday roast a bit of a gamble.

*And the vomiting that followed.
posted by madajb at 3:24 PM on December 28, 2015


Okay but I just made massamun curry for dinner. It would be wrong, right, to skip the rice and serve it with...I shouldn't do what I'm thinking of doing, is what I'm saying?
posted by Lyn Never at 3:38 PM on December 28, 2015 [4 favorites]


Wait, day saved! It needs to rest overnight. Curry tonight, roast tomorrow.
posted by Lyn Never at 3:38 PM on December 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


BRB, out of eggs. (And roast. So hungry!)
posted by Space Kitty at 3:43 PM on December 28, 2015


You have to appreciate a good, bloody minded investigation of every purported variable in a recipe. Felicity Cloake's column is roughly 50% of the reason I support the Guardian. The Yorkshire is one of many fabled peaks in cooking that I suspect most people climb a dozen times and then develop Sure Fire Iron Clad Rules™ that, while they do truly guarantee success for them, aren't the only route up the mountain. The article touches on it in noting that the preheating rule genuinely is important if you have a massy tray, but is otherwise inconsequential.

It also brings up the important axis of what you're actually aiming for. There are brittle, mug-like Yorkshires that hold creaking reservoirs of gravy, and there are crisp skinned Yorkshire hugs that ensconce breaching sausage whales. I think it's possible to get a magic-cake-like triple personality out of the batter — choux cloud, cake body and bread and butter fundament.
posted by lucidium at 3:52 PM on December 28, 2015 [11 favorites]


crisp skinned Yorkshire hugs that ensconce breaching sausage whales

those are not yorkshire puddings; they're toad in the holes.

edit: my god. no-one is this thread has mentioned mushy peas. bloody southerners.
posted by andrewcooke at 4:20 PM on December 28, 2015 [3 favorites]


Of course, I was only speaking to the various prescriptions applied to the treatment of Yorkshire pudding batter, of which one use is toad in the hole.
posted by lucidium at 4:34 PM on December 28, 2015


For any other gluten free folks out there, plan on roughly doubling the liquid when using GF flour. I used a similar recipe over the holidays and needed that much to get the batter to the proper consistency. DEFINITELY rest the batter a while (as with any GF baking, to better hydrate the flour and reduce grittiness) and since it doesn't rise as much as regular, bake as long as possible without burning and keep in a warm oven to make sure the centers get cooked enough. I'm pretty unforgiving of GF baking and I was happy to admit they were pretty close to the real thing.
posted by sapere aude at 4:39 PM on December 28, 2015 [2 favorites]


Last time I tried to make Yorkshire Puddings I did mess it up.

So, this will be useful.
Very useful.
posted by Mezentian at 5:45 PM on December 28, 2015


What are some creative ways to serve Yorkshire Puddings or have served on a whim?
I know it isn't traditional but I like it with a salty ham and bean soup. Sometimes with a tablespoon of nutella and whipped cream.
posted by Muncle at 6:00 PM on December 28, 2015


As a child in one of many flyover American suburbs, I somehow became an Anglophile. In the 60's, when I was 12 or so, I had a subscription to Punch. (As you can imagine, I got most of the jokes in Mad magazine, but I missed quite a bit of the humor in Punch.) (Monty Python scratched that itch for me, years later.)

On our birthdays, we could have anything we wanted for dinner. I asked for roast beef, Yorkshire pudding, and, I'm afraid, at least once or twice, Baked Alaska.

I have no idea what is so special about Yorkshire pudding, and have no reason at all to post about this subject, having read little of the article(s) or posts. The number of iterations of cooked white flour have gotten old for me after a half-century or so of eating. Sorry to rain on your pudding.
posted by kozad at 7:29 PM on December 28, 2015


Excellent post -- thanks! But I'm confused, since I thought Yorkshire pudding was popovers made with beef drippings.

Yorkshire pudding batter and pancake batter are the same.

Certainly not true in my world, where the best pancakes are sourdough.
posted by Rash at 8:29 PM on December 28, 2015


I think pancake batter, at least in the US, has more sugar

I think the difference is that UK pancakes are more akin to what are called crepes in the US
posted by anadem at 9:20 PM on December 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


Aye, me mum learned yorkshires on her Nan's lap in nor' yorkshire. And blessed be the day she taught my wife to make them. Blessed am I!
posted by blue_beetle at 9:36 PM on December 28, 2015 [3 favorites]


The starchy GF flour blends might work, I know personally that One for One style blends make excellent Dutch Babies with basically no recipe changes, but there is no low carb (gluten free) Yorkshire Pudding. Trust me on this. No one else should suffer that kind of epic nasty.
posted by monopas at 1:21 AM on December 29, 2015


I do appreciate the science of this (and the preheating being important with cast iron cookware explains a lot), but there is a basic thing I have to quibble with: as a born and bred Yorkshirewoman - a Yorkshire pudding is made with one egg (I think my grandmother would stretch to two if she was feeding more than six). It's there to spin out expensive meat and veg further, which I suspect is also the reason it's made with half water and half milk. Every recipe I see for it puts loads of eggs into it, which may be tastier (personally my mum and grandmother's one-egg Yorkshire puddings are/were better than these multi-egg ones) but to my mind is not right.

I unfortunately have no recipe for Yorkshire pudding to share, as I was shown how to make it by eye and have never ever measured anything out for it.
posted by Vortisaur at 1:53 AM on December 29, 2015 [2 favorites]


I always have this in my pantry. Saves time and I get mine from the UK store.
posted by Mezentian at 2:00 AM on December 29, 2015


My grandmother, born and raised on a Michigan dairy farm, used to make Yorkshire puddings for Sunday lunch. It was a race to the house when the dinner bell rang on those days, believe me!
posted by notaninja at 7:20 AM on December 29, 2015


I think the difference is that UK pancakes are more akin to what are called crepes in the US

Quite. To say nothing of what you people call flapjacks.

It's all just vests and tank tops, isn't it?
posted by Sys Rq at 1:25 PM on December 29, 2015


I quite enjoyed the breakdown of the precise properties and techniques - our family values the tall, hollow and at least partly crisp puddings that are excellent when torn in half and the respective halves stuffed with chicken, gravy and mashed potatoes, and Kenji's article has given me a lot of excellent advice for getting precisely that on a regular basis.

And, of course, if we're in the mood for a crisp crust over a layer of hot stodge, we can use the information in the opposite direction (no resting the batter, no water to thin the mix, and so on) to produce the desired results.
posted by Blue_thing at 2:22 PM on December 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


So on xmas eve we went to the local supermarket for stew meat, intending to crockpot it because the next day we were painting the dining room and would be too busy to cook. But there was no stewmeat; instead there were two-rib standing roasts of beef for cheap. What the hey, we thought, though we'd never cooked one, and between the first and second coats the next afternoon I put it in the oven.

Williams-Sonoma's "Christmas" book said two hours but you know how sometimes the thing in the oven lets you know? "Take me out! I'm ready!"? And it was. I wasn't. Quick, I said to the fella, make that batter thing, while I make some creamed horseradish sauce. He did and twenty minutes later we had this big curved gorgeous golden THING to eat with the beef and we were so happy I don't think a recognizable word was said through the whole meal. It was all oooh and mmmmmhmhmhmhmhmh and Uh-huh! So thanks Kenji, I enjoy your overthinking on almost all things but this needs none!
posted by goofyfoot at 8:15 PM on December 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


I just made (and devoured) the breakfast version, and ohmygod, so insanely good. I'd never had Yorkshire pudding, so I have nothing to compare it to, but it was POOFY and delicious and maybe the best breakfast ever.
posted by Akhu at 8:53 AM on December 31, 2015


I made these on Tuesday and yay they were delicious with the bison steaks we had for dinner and the morning after with a little butter and the next night with the fudge sauce I got from my secret quonsar and the next day with ricotta cheese and honey....
posted by everybody had matching towels at 9:52 AM on December 31, 2015


Wait - did we get through this whole thread without anyone making a Four Yorkshiremen joke?
posted by Chrysostom at 7:51 AM on January 5, 2016


Luxury.
posted by Sys Rq at 9:45 AM on January 5, 2016 [3 favorites]


Four Yorkshiremen? Back when I was a lad, we were lucky if we had one Yorkshireman. And he was barely a man! More of a Yorkshireboy, really.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 2:07 AM on January 6, 2016 [1 favorite]


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