It's important to use a foolproof recipe for Yorkshire pudding. Fresh from the oven the puddings should be well risen, golden brown with a crisp exterior, and have a soft middle. But if it fails to rise, there may be several reasons why—from the oven temperature to the kind of fat used. Look at this cooking tutorial and follow these 10 tips, and you should have puffed-up Yorkshire puddings every time.
Even if you mess up and the puddings have not risen as high as they should, they will still taste pretty good.
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Measure Your Ingredients
Always use equal volumes of egg, milk, and all-purpose flour. If you use too much flour, the resulting pudding will be heavy and dense. Without enough egg, there will be insufficient air beaten in for a successful rise. Too much milk will make the batter too loose.
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Thoroughly beat the batter so it's totally free of lumps. If you're not sure the batter is smooth enough, strain it through a sieve before cooking.
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Let the Batter Rest
To help puddings rise, let the batter sit for a minimum of 30 minutes—longer if possible (up to several hours is ideal). You can cook the puddings right away, but there is a chance they will not be as big as they should be.
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Use the Right Fat
The fats need to reach a high temperature so only use lard, beef drippings, or vegetable oil in the tins and heat in the oven until the fat is smoking. Never use olive oil or butter—these two fats will not reach a high enough temperature without burning.Continue to 5 of 10 below.
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Then Stir Again
After the batter has rested, give it another good whisk to ensure there are no lumps. Add 2 tablespoons of cold water to help cool down the mixture before pouring it into the smoking hot fat.
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Wipe Instead of Washing
If you plan to clean your pudding tins before using them, never wash them with soap and water. This spoils the surface of the tins and can cause the batter to stick and thus prevent puddings from rising. Just wipe the tins clean with a paper towel before and after use.
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Don't Fill to the Rim
Filling the tins with batter a third to half full is usually sufficient. If you use too much batter, the puddings will begin to rise but then soon collapse because of the weight.
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Keep Batter Cool and Oven Hot
A successful rise will come from the combination of a cold batter going into a very hot oven. The oven should be as hot as possible—the highest setting your oven can handle (450 F to 500 F) without burning everything to a crisp.Continue to 9 of 10 below.
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Don't Use Convection
If possible, avoid using a convection oven, as the forced air in a fan oven can sometimes be too strong and cause the puddings to collapse. If you have a setting that allows you to switch from convection to a regular oven, be sure to make the switch.
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Don't Open the Oven Door
Avoid opening the oven door during cooking because the cooler air will make the puddings collapse. Sometimes they make a recovery but will never rise quite as high as they should.