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Yorkshire pudding isn't really a pudding as we think of puddings, and it isn't sweet. It was eaten during the Middle Ages, usually with mutton, and was always made with water rather than milk. As the mutton cooked on a spit, a thin batter of eggs, flour and water was placed in a pan underneath and cooked as it caught the drippings. It was eaten as the first course of the meal to take the edge off one's hunger before sharing what was probably a meager portion of the meat.
Today, Yorkshire Pudding has evolved into an elegant accompaniment to a Christmas roast. It is still very simple but very satisfying. This will fill a 9" x 13" or 10" x 14" roasting pan. If your roast is larger or your pan bigger, you can certainly double the recipe.
1 cup King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1 cup milk (or 1/2 cup each water and milk)
When you begin roasting your meat, take the ingredients for the pudding out of the refrigerator so they'll be at room temperature when they're ready to be put together about 1 1/2 hours before you want to serve it. Because you bake this in the roasting pan, you'll want to time your roast so it will be done and can be kept someplace warm while the pudding bakes.
Blend the dry ingredients together in a medium-sized bowl.
In a smaller bowl, beat the eggs with the milk until well combined. Then beat the liquid into the dry ingredients vigorously, to make a smooth, thin, frothy batter. Let this batter stand at room temperature for about an hour. (You can get away with not doing this, but if you can arrange the time, the result has a better texture and flavor.)
When the roast is done, remove it from the pan. Turn the oven up to 400°F and place the pan back in the oven to heat up until the drippings are just beginning to smoke.
Pour in the batter and bake for 25 minutes. If the pudding begins to brown too much, turn the temperature down to 350°F to finish baking.
The pudding will be puffed and browned on the top and crusty and moist on the bottom when done. It should be served immediately alongside your roast.
This recipe reprinted from The Baking Sheet Newsletter, Vol. III, No. 2, December 1991 issue.