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Toad in hole?

  • m

Friends and I are ... discussing ... the meaning of "toad in hole". I say it's bangers or other sausage in batter/Yorkshire pudding. Their usage is a slice of bread, fried, with a hole cut out and an egg fried in it. Any opinions out there?

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  1. I go with the fried egg, at least where I grew up on the East Coast US.

    1. Where I am (Nova Scotia), it's egg in bread. I am, however, aware that the definition isn't universal.

      1 Reply
      1. You're right, it's sausages in Yorkshire pudding batter. Your friends are confusing it with another dish called "Egg-in-the-hole".

        6 Replies
          1. re: CanadaGirl

            Sorry, no CanadaGirl. The latter is only right if they were talking about Egg-in-the-hole.

            1. re: superbadkitty

              We call that egg toast not egg in the hole.

          2. re: superbadkitty

            Man, that sounds like something I need to try- sausage in Yorkshire pud? holy cow. Must try it.

            1. re: superbadkitty

              I agree. It's originally an English dish. North Americans stole the cute name and changed the dish.

            2. I got my first cookbook when I was ten and the first recipe I made was toad in the hole. Sausages fried in a pan and baked in a batter in the oven. That's a proper toad in a hole to me. Yummy stuff.

              1. The sausage in batter dish is well known in England. It is generally not known in the USA, unless a person has come across it in a UK source (in a Time Life pork cookbook in my case).


                Foodtimeline has recipes going back to 1850. Sounds like it developed in the UK after the 2 countries went their separate ways.

                1. Toad in a hole is egg in bread in the US. Sausage in Yorkshire pudding is the English toad in a hole.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: boogiebaby

                    lists many names for this egg dish. I'm most familiar with 'egg in a frame', which I believe is what the Betty Crocker cookbook for children called it.

                      1. re: paulj

                        A friend's grandmother cooked me my first egg in toast when I was little. She called it a toad in a hole. We call egg in toast hole in the wall now in my family.

                    1. Toad in the hole is a classic British dish of sausages in a Yorkshire pudding batter, usually served with onion gravy. This is as good a recipe as you'd need - http://www.deliaonline.com/recipes/cu...

                      What other nationalities do with the name is a matter for them.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: Harters

                        Thanks to all of you! Here's a complication: my husband swears that the egg in fired bread dish is "gasthause eggs". Ever heard of that?

                        1. re: Meann

                          via the wiki article
                          gashouse eggs

                          'gasthaus' is German for 'guest house', a type of inn.

                          I just tried a variation from Serious Eats - 2 egg-in-a-frame made into a grilled cheese sandwich. It was easy to make on my breville panini grill, which has flat plates, and controllable spacing.

                      2. According to the (English) Encyclopedia of Cookery and also Cooking the British Way, you are 100% right. Toad in the Hole is sausages baked in a Yorkshire pudding batter. I had an English stepfather and never heard the egg-in-bread thing called Toad in the Hole.

                        9 Replies
                        1. re: Querencia

                          Obviously that is true for England, but it has a different meaning for some in the US. Just ask folks from the US what a Banger is and they will not tell you it's something edible.

                          1. re: escondido123

                            Also, ask any of we Britons what an "old banger" is and you'll find it's nothing to eat.

                            I havnt heard any of us call them "bangers" for years (with the exception of "bangers & mash") Hardly surprising really as the name comes from sausages made during the food rationing period of both world wars when their poor quality meant they were likely to explode if not cooked carefully. It's very many years since British sausages were generally that poor quality.

                            1. re: Harters

                              And how lucky are we for that? I've been able to get Cumberland sausages, among others, that were tip-top for quality and taste. I've also gotten blood sausages that were extremely fine. Never yet have I gotten an English sausage that was of low quality.

                              1. re: mamachef

                                Ah, but poor quality ones do definitely exist in the UK. You'll find them on the breakfast plate at many a greasy spoon cafe. When you consider that a "pork sausage" can legally have as little as 42% pork in it - and half of that can be fat and connective tissue and the remainder can be mechanically recovered meat slurry, it's enough to make you consider ordering a vegetarian breakfast.
                                Or, at least, a fried breakfast without the sausage (which is how I usually go about things)

                                On the other hand, the best will have a meat content of 80 - 90%.

                                1. re: Harters

                                  Ack ack ack! 42%? But that's nothing!! I'd be terrified to order a fry-up!! But I'm sure you know where to go get the good 'uns.

                                  1. re: mamachef

                                    Indeed. The cafe in the village for example. For £4 - two rashers of bacon, 2 OK sausages, fried egg, tomato, mushrooms, black pudding, baked beans. And toast and coffee.

                                    1. re: Harters

                                      Want want want. (w. good sausages, obviously)
                                      I had occasion many years ago to be at a "House Party" in Kent; lovely home, beautiful people. Having never partied w/ Brits before, I didn't know that a "House Party" is euphemistically covering up the term, "drunken debacle." OMG, it was soooooo fun. Until the next morning, when.....well, I'm sure you know. Anyhoo. I got up and the hosts had thoughtfully provided the means to make a fry -up very close to what you've described above. Despite the nausea and tilting, I proceeded to start breakfast as people came in, and it was a freakin' miracle - EVERYTHING turned out right, and I was cooking to order, which I DO NOT DO. It was one of the worst hangover mornings of my life, but damn, I was proud of all those fryups coming out as people requested. No, it didn't give me aspirations to be a short-order cook; it made me resolve to never ever ever ever ever drink like that again. :) Breakfast was great though, and the mugs of tea I was swilling (SIR Thos. Lipton, not JUST Lipton's) helped greatly.

                                      1. re: mamachef

                                        Ah, yes, indeed. We have many euphemisms for social events that become "drunken debacles". The ability of Brits to get pissed out of their heads is legendary across the holiday hotspots of Europe.

                                        A really good party upsets the neighbours, but not badly enough that they call the cops.

                                        1. re: Harters

                                          Right? Not like here in the States, though traditionally if the neighbors are having a party, they let you know via an invitation to drop in, or bring a plate of whatever food they're serving. It definitely promotes tolerance.

                        2. I think international discrepancies are only to be expected...

                          I grew up knowing this dish as Eggs In A Frame, but my former wife's New Englander family knew it as Toad-In-The-Hole going back at least two generations. Doesn't mean the English weren't already using the term long ago for sausages in Yorkshire pudding, which sounds mighty darn tasty to me.

                          I've seen plenty of disagreement in recent years over the definition of Pigs In Blankets; some say it's sausages rolled in pancakes and served with syrup, whereas I grew up knowing it as Vienna sausages baked in biscuits, always served with white country gravy. I wasn't at all surprised to learn that the British have a take of their own on that one too, sausages wrapped in bacon.

                          A larger trend's at work here: the growing natural tension between a reasonable desire for widely accepted definitions, and a reluctance to relinquish regionally traditional terms, also quite understandable. Much of our food vocabulary has become more precisely defined in recent years (e.g. "zest" is now specified where "peel" or "rind" used to suffice). I think that in terms of ingredients and procedures the level of detail will clarify itself somewhat naturally.

                          But in the more colorful area of recipe names it isn't so simple. If we look to Asia, some of these can represent half a dozen different dishes. No easy formula there. In fact, we have a recipe (if you'll pardon the term) for conflicts of opinion on the subject, disputes which reasoning won't resolve.

                          It's a major social issue- balancing locally conventional terms & values against newer, more universal and collective ones. Trying to determine how much unique culture, color & character we're willing to fight for, metaphorically speaking. And even how to do so in the face of a homogenization which creeps in, sometimes unnoticed, atop the unstoppable steamroller of interconnectedness on a scale without precedent. (Makes me flash on an image from FLCL, a factory in the form of a gigantic iron, figuratively flattening out the wrinkles from people's brains... Even the futurists who anticipated this phenomenon couldn't have conceived the true depth of it. Though John Brunner's 1975 proto-cyberpunk novel The Shockwave Rider came remarkably, disturbingly close nearly forty years ago.)

                          No simple solutions. I'm told the ancient Chinese had an expression, "May you live in interesting times." To Confucians of old who sought inner peace and valued order above all else, the phrase was not a blessing. It was a curse.

                          We live in interesting times indeed.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: eclecticsynergy

                            Different cultures having the same name for a different dish is not a problem. Except when someone from one culture orders it in, say, a restaurant of another culture and receives something unexpected and unwelcomed.

                            For instance, an American Muslim might happily order Toad in some parts of America, where it is an egg dish but would be unable to eat it in Britain due to the pork sausages.

                            Without wishing to cloud the waters too much. I recall a lenghty thread about whether Shepherd's Pie was lamb or beef. All of we Britons who contributed said it was always lamb, whilst many Americans said it was beef, although accepting it was originally a British dish. I think the conclusion was that the pie was always lamb in Britain and we didnt care what foreigners wanted to do with it in their own country.

                          2. I'm not from the UK, but my understanding, based on general knowledge, is that Toad-in-the-Hole is basically popover or Yorkshire pudding batter poured over sausages and baked. The egg dish is Eggs in a Basket, Gasthaus Eggs, Egg in a Nest, and myriad other names. I know people will disagree, based on their experience, but that's what I think.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: mamachef

                              That is my experience too. Toad in the hole is yorkshire pudding with sausages and eggs fried in bread was egg in a nest when I was growing up.

                            2. I go with the bread/hole/egg thing. We always called them "One-Eyed Petes." Totally ridiculous version that I make is a Dunkin Donuts Old Fashioned donut (plain cake donut with little or no sweetening to it) with the egg in the middle there. Kids love it LOL!

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: jbsiegel

                                I BET kids love it! What a grand idea!

                                1. Tune in next week, when we argue about the definition of "Spotted Dick".

                                  3 Replies
                                  1. re: Pipenta

                                    I have that...

                                    I mean I have a can of it.

                                      1. re: paulj

                                        Whatever it's called the only thing missing at my house is the bread since there has not been sliced bread here in years! Can I buy a couple of slices? LOL