Yields four good-size portions


For the toad:

8 thick quality Cumberland sausages or your own choice

2 good gulps of sunflower or olive oil

For the hole:

125g/4.5oz plain flour

2 eggs, preferably free-range

Pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper to season

300ml/1/2 pint milk, water or beer


1. Make the batter first, sift the flour into a roomy mixing bowl, make a well and add the salt and eggs.

2. Using a whisk add the milk a little at a time until you have a lump free batter (or simply blitz with a hand blender if you prefer) and season well with a little freshly-ground black pepper to taste.

3. Cover with cling film and place in the fridge until it’s ready to be used. The longer you can leave it the better it will be.

4. Preheat the oven to 220c/gas 7. Drizzle the oil into a deep sided baking dish. You want the base to have a good covering of oil, and then part-cook the sausages for 20 minutes.

5. Once the sausages have coloured a little (be careful as the oil will be smoking and very hot) arrange them and pour over the batter quickly and return to the oven for a further 35 to 40 minutes until the batter has risen well and has a golden crisp colour.

6. Do not open the oven door for at least 20 minutes and then do so quickly to let out a little steam.

7. Serve your toad-in-the-hole with a rich homemade onion gravy and mounds of fluffy mash spuds and honey roasted vegetables.

Baker Mike's hot tips

* For a vegetarian version, simply use veggie sausages with a chopped apple and don't forget the vegetarian gravy too.

* Use free range eggs if you can, that way we know the chickens were happy.

* Buy the best sausages, it pays more for quality at your local butcher’s shop.

* Give the pudding room to rise – we don't want it to stick to the roof of the oven.

* Try not to open the oven door until nearly cooked as we don't want draughts getting into the toads as it can be temperamental when rising.