Yorkshire pudding

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Yorkshire pudding
Johns Yorkshire Puddings.jpg
Large Yorkshire puddings
Type Pudding
Place of origin England
Main ingredients Milk or water, flour and eggs
Cookbook: Yorkshire pudding  Media: Yorkshire pudding

Yorkshire pudding is an English side dish made from batter consisting of eggs, flour, and milk or water. The dish is sometimes served with beef and gravy and is a staple of the traditional British Sunday roast. It may also be served as a dessert.[1]

Originally the Yorkshire pudding was eaten on its own as a first course with thick gravy to fill the stomach with the low cost ingredients so that one would not eat so much of the more expensive meat in the following course.[2] There is no special association with the county of Yorkshire. An early recipe appeared in William Kenrick's The Whole Duty of a Woman in 1737.


Mini Yorkshire puddings, served as part of a traditional Sunday roast

When wheat flour began to come into common use for making cakes and puddings, cooks in the north of England devised a means of making use of the fat that dropped into the dripping pan to cook a batter pudding while the meat roasted. In 1737, a recipe for 'a dripping pudding' (Later named The Yorkshire Pudding) was published in The Whole Duty of a Woman:[3]

Make a good batter as for pancakes; put in a hot toss-pan over the fire with a bit of butter to fry the bottom a little then put the pan and butter under a shoulder of mutton, instead of a dripping pan, keeping frequently shaking it by the handle and it will be light and savoury, and fit to take up when your mutton is enough; then turn it in a dish and serve it hot.

Similar instructions were published in 1747 in The Art of Cookery made Plain and Easy by Hannah Glasse under the title of 'Yorkshire pudding'. It was she who re-invented and renamed the original version, called Dripping Pudding, which had been cooked in England for centuries, although these puddings were much flatter than the puffy versions known today.[4]

The English celebrity cook Fanny Cradock is reported to have said "The English have never had a cuisine. Even Yorkshire pudding comes from Burgundy [in France]."[5] The Yorkshire pudding is meant to rise. The Royal Society of Chemistry suggested in 2008 that "A Yorkshire pudding isn't a Yorkshire pudding if it is less than four inches tall".[6]

A Yorkshire pudding filled with mashed potato, beef, gravy and vegetables.
Yorkshire Pudding cooked in 22cm dia fry pan

The Yorkshire pudding is a staple of the British Sunday lunch and in some cases is eaten as a separate course prior to the main meat dish. This was the traditional method of eating the pudding and is still common in parts of Yorkshire today. Because the rich gravy from the roast meat drippings was used up with the first course, the main meat and vegetable course was often served with a parsley or white sauce.

It is often claimed that the purpose of the dish was to provide a cheap way to fill the diners, thus stretching a lesser amount of the more expensive ingredients as the Yorkshire pudding was traditionally served first.[7]

In poorer households, the pudding was often served as the only course. Using dripping and blood, a simple, energy-rich meal was made with flour, eggs and milk. This was traditionally eaten with a gravy or sauce, to moisten the pudding.

Cooking method[edit]

Yorkshire pudding is cooked by pouring a batter made from milk (or water), flour and eggs into preheated, oiled, baking pans, ramekins or muffin tins (in the case of miniature puddings). A basic formula uses 13 cup flour and 13 cup liquid per egg.

Reference in popular culture[edit]

Bar in Hong Kong's SoHo district named after the dish.

Batter puddings figured prominently as weapons in the third episode of season five of The Goon Show, entitled "The Terror Of Bexhill-on-Sea" or "The Dreaded Batter Pudding Hurler".[8] The show was first broadcast in 1954. Spike Milligan's script featured a mysterious villain who was prowling the nights hurling freshly baked batter puddings at unsuspecting victims on the southern coast of England in 1941. It was also referenced in popular British science fiction show Doctor Who, in the episode "The Power of Three" the Eleventh Doctor states that he invented the Yorkshire pudding.[9][10]

In the CBS show Elementary: season 2 episode 10, Sherlock Holmes reveals that making yorkshire pudding is relaxing to him. However he doesn't like it and throws it out as soon as it's made.

Similar dishes[edit]

Other dishes made from batter include popover, a hollow roll; Gougère, a savoury pastry; Dutch baby pancake, a breakfast dish; Toad in the hole; David Eyre's pancake, another breakfast dish; takoyaki, Japanese puff batter dumpling with octopus; clafoutis, French style cherries in batter; and far Breton, a thick Breton cake.


  1. ^ "foodnetwork.co.uk - Yorkshire pudding desserts". foodnetwork.co.uk. Retrieved 4 May 2015. 
  2. ^ "Old England Traditional Roast Beef and Yorkshire Pudding". food.com. Retrieved 15 October 2015. 
  3. ^ Lady, A; Kenrick, William (1737). The Whole Duty of a Woman. London. 
  4. ^ Glasse, Hannah (1998) [1747]. The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy. Applewood Books. ISBN 978-1-55709-462-9. 
  5. ^ Panayi, Panikos (2010 [2008]) Spicing Up Britain. Reaktion Books. Page 12
  6. ^ "Yorkshire pudding must be four inches tall, chemists rule". Royal Society of Chemistry. 12 November 2008. Retrieved 8 January 2014. 
  7. ^ "Secret of a perfect Yorkshire pud". BBC News. 14 November 2008. Retrieved 14 November 2008. 
  8. ^ Milligan, Spike (12 October 1954). "The Dreaded Batter Pudding Hurler (Of Bexhill-On-Sea): Series 5, Episode 3". The Goon Show Site. Retrieved 11 January 2014. 
  9. ^ "Doctor Who "The Power of Three" (Episode 7.4) | Planet Claire Quotes". planetclaire.org. Retrieved 4 May 2015. 
  10. ^ "Doctor Who: The Power of Three – series 33, episode four | Television & radio | The Guardian". theguardian.com. Retrieved 4 May 2015. 

External links[edit]