Sourdough Yorkshire Pudding: Northern Soul Food
This recipe will serve one greedy person from Yorkshire (such as myself) or four less greedy people from other regions!
The Yorkshire Pudding is a very personal thing, some like theirs tall and dry whilst others prefer theirs thick and pudding-like. Personally, I like mine just a little pudding-like in the centre, not too tall at the edges, risen in the centre, and crispy and crunchy on the top and bottom.
Obviously the only true Yorkshire pudding can come from a cook with Yorkshire genes, and thankfully I fall into this category with full credentials (!) but as with all regional recipes: there’s a different one for every kitchen. I prefer a thinner batter, giving a lighter pudding. I do believe that one of the secrets to a crispy, light pudding is to use a lot of fat/oil. However, before anyone faints in horror, if you are worried about using so much fat/oil or are less concerned about a crispy based pudding, simply reduce the amount of fat to an amount you are happy with- not a problem! I like to use half goose/pork/duck fat and half everyday olive oil (preferably virgin oil).
My grandfather would always make the Yorkshire pudding for our Sunday lunches in Halifax. I have such fond memories of him drizzling the batter over the smoking hot dripping. I have spent a lifetime trying to emulate those crispy, satisfying puddings: real northern soul food! On difficult days one of those puddings is all I want to come home to.
I cook my Yorkshire puddings at 250C, this may be too hot for your oven so please experiment. Like a pizza, a Yorkshire pudding is best cooked at the bottom of the oven close to the lower element.
A simple white baking flour should give you a light pudding. I use the versatile Shipton Mill Organic No. 4 or my local windmill flour (Fosters Mill ‘Cambridge White’). Both of these flours are staples in my sourdough breads.
I find that I make some of my best Yorkshire puddings using my 24cm paella pan. I tend to serve one large pudding which can be cut-up and shared.
70g Frisky Sourdough Culture (50:50 Hydration)
70g Plain Flour (preferably organic and stoneground)
2 Large eggs (preferably organic)
120g Full Cream Milk (again preferably organic)
75g Extra Virgin Olive Oil
75g Beef Dripping or Pork/Goose/Duck fat
24cm baking tin/paella pan
Whisk together the culture, flour, eggs and salt to form a thick smooth batter. Gradually whisk in the milk. The batter should be the consistency of single cream once the milk has been added. Leave the batter to stand for one hour at room temperature.
Pre-heat the oven to 225-250C and place a shelf on the lowest rack of the oven. Pre-heat your chosen baking tin whilst the oven comes to temperature.
Once the oven and your baking tin are pre-heated, add the oil and the fat to the tin (reduce the amount if desired). Put the baking tin back into the oven to heat the fat for 3-4 minutes (or until the fat is starting to smoke).
Transfer your batter into a jug (for ease of pouring) And drizzle the batter over the hot fat in the baking tin.
Return the baking tin to the oven and bake the Yorkshire pudding for 12-14 minutes. The pudding should have risen and be golden brown. The edges will start to dry if you over-cook it, so keep watch!