Bacon & Sausage Toad in the Hole

Friday 8 January 2021

One thing I really love about the Winter months is that it is comfort food season. You cannot get much more comforting than a delicious plate of Toad in the Hole with plenty of mash, veg and gravy! 

Toad in the Hole is a very British dish, and very much beloved by one and all. It consists of sausages baked in Yorkshire pudding batter, usually served with onion gravy and vegetables.  You can dress it by adding herbs to the batter or onions, etc.  but basically it is just sausages and a pudding batter baked together. 
Simple. Today I have added to the appeal by wrapping strips of streaky bacon around the sausages before baking.

One thing I always loved about British Cuisine was their inventiveness in giving fun names to favorite dishes. Bubble and Squeak.  Spotted Dick. Jam Roly Poly. Toenail Pudding.  Sometimes they can sound a bit unappealing, but that is all a part of the fun of these names.

As unappealing as they sound, they are all incredibly delicious. They are a part and parcel and woven tightly into the fabric of British cuisine, being much beloved by its people. You cannot help but love them also.

This British family staple has been served on British Tables since the 18th century. It began as a delicious and inventive way of stretching and getting the most of what was a very precious commodity in that day.  Meat. 

During the Industrial revolution, which began mid-century, the working class worked incredibly hard jobs for a very meagre amount of  pay. While their bosses became richer and richer off of the backs of the poor, the working poor needed to be incredibly inventive in making their resources stretch.

And nobody was truly exempt from having to work. Everyone in the family was expected to chip in and work for a wage, contributing their earnings to the wage pot to help and keep the family going.

Necessities such as shelter, clothing and food were the  most important things, even  more important than play and pleasure. Providing even these simple necessities of life often involved long and back breaking hours of labor.

Bacon & Sausage Toad in the Hole


And even then it was barely enough, all pooled together in the pot, to help to keep the family going. Pennies were pinched, and pinched and pinched some more. 

It was often a necessity for families to stretch any bits of meat acquired by combining them with cheaper and more filling ingredients. In other words bulking them out with starches and such to help to fill the bellies for less.

Bacon & Sausage Toad in the Hole

Recipes such as this and other batter pudding dishes were very popular ways to do just that.  When served with some potatoes and a cheap and tasty gravy on the side, these dishes were destined to become family favorites, to be handed down through the generations.  

Dishes which we still love today.  One thing is for certain, despite its very humble origins, this is a dish which has withstood the test of time. You cannot beat dishes like this. Humble, filling and delicious all rolled into one.

Bacon & Sausage Toad in the Hole

I doubt very much they could have afforded to splurge on two different meats such as bacon and sausage being served together, but you never know.  In any case, it is a most delicious combination and a real favorite.

I like to use a good butcher's sausage. I don't like the really thick ones for this, although you certainly can use them if that's what you have.  I prefer thinner ones.  I get the best quality sausages my money can buy.

I like my sausages richly flavored and meaty. I don't  like sausages which contain a lot of nasty fillers and preservatives.  They have a really pasty texture which I find quite unpalatable. You really go get what you pay for and I highly recommend using good sausages.

Likewise bacon. I prefer the dry cure bacon. It just cooks up nicer with a much lower water content. If you can get nitrate free, do buy that! Its much healthier for you.

These are simply wrapped and placed in an oiled baking dish. You can bake them while you are making up the batter.

There is nothing out of the ordinary about the batter. It is simply flour, salt, eggs, milk and water.  Beaten together and then poured around the partially baked sausages in the baking dish. I also like to add a goodly amount of pepper for seasoning.

Baked in the oven until the pudding is well risen and crisp and the sausages are perfectly golden brown and done through. You can't get much better than this.

We enjoy it with a huge pile of fluffy mashed potatoes.  Mashed potatoes are the quintessential comfort food side. Light and fluffy, they are perfect for creating a little bowl to hold some of the delicious gravy that is also a must with this dish.

You can use gravy powder of course, or an envelope of gravy mix and most British do. But,  making your own homemade gravy is also a very simple thing to do.

To make a lush onion gravy, you need to peel and thinly slice several large onions.  Melt some butter, about 2 TBS in a skillet and then as soon as it begins to foam add the onions. I like to add some seasoning and a touch of sugar.

Bacon & Sausage Toad in the Hole

This helps the onions to brown very nicely. You do not really need a lot. Just a pinch will do, or you can leave it out altogether if you wish.

Once your onions have softened and are golden brown you need to sprinkle them with some flour. This depends on the amount of gravy you want. For two cups of gravy I add 2 TBS of flour.

Bacon & Sausage Toad in the Hole 

Sprinkle this flour evenly over the cooked onions. Cook and stir for a few minutes to cook out the flour flavor.  Once you have done that you can add the body of your gravy which should be some beef broth  or stock.

You can use stock reconstituted from stock cubes or a good quality of broth from containers. Either will work well. For 2 cups of gravy you will need  2 cups or 480 ml of stock.

Bacon & Sausage Toad in the Hole 

Slowly pour this over the onions and flour in the skillet, stirring constantly. Cook and stir until it thickens up nicely.

A bit of salt and pepper to season and you have a very nice gravy, which is delicious.  Ready to spoon over your mashed potatoes and your Toad in the Hole.

Bacon & Sausage Toad in the Hole

 And that is it! All you need now is some vegetables on the side. As you can see here today I cooked peas and carrots, but any vegetable will go well.  I sometimes like to serve this with greens such cabbage or Brussels Sprouts.

You just serve this with whatever vegetable your family fancies. I guarantee you will receive no complaints from the peanut gallery.  This is sure to become a firm favorite with the family or I will eat my hat!

Bacon & Sausage Toad in the Hole

Bacon & Sausage Toad in the Hole
Yield: 4
Author: Marie Rayner
prep time: 10 Mincook time: 50 Mintotal time: 1 Hour
A delicious family favourite. Bacon wrapped sausages baked in a Yorkshire pudding batter until crisp and delicious. Fabulous served with mashed potatoes and hot gravy.


  • 12  well flavoured sausages 
  • 12 slices of smoked streaky dry cure bacon
  • 1 cup (140g) plain all-purpose flour, sifted
  • pinch salt
  •   2 large free range eggs, beaten
  • 2/3 cup (160ml) semi skimmed milk
  • 2/3 cup (160ml) water
  • coarsely ground black pepper
To serve:
  • Hot onion gravy
  • Fluffy mashed potatoes
  • Cooked vegetables


  1. Preheat the oven to 220*C/425*F/ gas mark 7. Have ready a 9 by 13 inch casserole dish which you have sprayed with low fat cooking spray.
  2. Wrap each sausage tightly in a slice of bacon and arrange in the prepared dish. Place in the oven and roast for 15 minutes, until just beginning to brown.
  3. While the sausages are cooking, sift the flour into a bowl along with a pinch of salt. Make a well in the center. mix the milk and water together. Drop the beaten eggs into the center of the flour and then gradually beat in half of the milk/water mixture with a wooden spoon.
  4. Beat for 2 minutes until smooth, then gradually whisk in the remaining milk/water mixture until you have a smooth batter which has the consistency of cream. Season with coarsely ground black pepper.
  5. Remove the sausages from the oven and quickly pour the batter around them. Return to the oven and bake for a further 30 to 35 minutes until the batter is well risen and golden brown.
  6. Serve hot straight from the oven as above with your favorite accompaniments. Yum!
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Bacon & Sausage Toad in the Hole

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  1. I really enjoyed reading about the history of this dish. I'd heard of it before but never seen or made it. Sadly we can't get fresh sausages here (only things that are like flavoured hot dogs) so this is one I can't try.

    I come from a quite poor background and my mother was an expert at stretching out and bulking up a meal. We never went hungry and we all grew up healthy and strong, but when I think back to what we ate, I can see that she employed the same strategy as you described - the expensive bit of the meal was a modest serve and it was bulked out with cheaper ingredients. So if we had meatballs, we would just get a few, but with them there would be a big mound of mashed potato, gravy and cabbage, so we were full and happy.

    1. You might be able to try making your own sausage meat with ground pork Marie. Make little sausage shaped logs out of the ground pork and seasonings and wrap them in bacon! I bet that would be nice! Our mums were so thrifty! We all need to be more thrifty I think! Hands times are a coming! ❤️

  2. Yum !!
    Toad in the hole was a firm family favourite (FFF) when I was little, for all the reasons you give including the fact that we were not at all well off. Putting good food on the table was the priority and my dad had a huge vegetable patch to keep us going in veg most of the year. Happy days.
    I confess I had never heard of toenail pudding, what a decidedly unsavoury concept but I can see how the name came about - ugh - the name, not the pudding that is. It's another FFF and a reminder of school dinners! (My school did wonderful dinners.)

    1. I would love a huge vegetable patch! Maybe one day! I would have lived school dinners Jean! I had to take a packed lunch. It got pretty boring! 👍❤️

  3. I've always wondered what Toad in the Hole was -- and it sounds pretty good!

    1. Sorry for the late response Jeanie! YOU will need to try this. Its amazing! xoxo

  4. As a firm defender of TITH I love this version.
    An English an in Spain.

    1. How lucky you are to be in Spain where it is so sunny and warm! We are in sub-zero temperatures here today! Brrrr.


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