No Sunday roast is complete without a perfectly crisp Yorkshire pudding. They may not be sweet, but it is easy to see why this otherwise simple side dish is called a pudding – they are a real treat!
Most families will have their own take on the traditional Yorkshire pudding recipe, but what if you don’t have the right kind of flour?
Using self raising flour in Yorkshire puddings may work, but it will prevent your Yorkshire puddings from puffing up the way they are supposed to. Some recipes use half self raising flour and half regular flour with success, but it is best to avoid self-raising flour altogether.
How Do Yorkshire Puddings Rise?
Okay, so we know what you might be wondering: How can a Yorkshire pudding rise when it is seemingly just a plain batter? And, if they rise, why shouldn’t you use self raising flour? How does it work?
After all, traditional Yorkshire pudding recipes completely exclude any kind of raising agents like baking powder or self raising flour.
The secret to getting a Yorkshire pudding to rise is moisture and steam. Very much like popovers or cream puffs.
All there is to Yorkshire pudding batter is eggs, plain flour, milk, and water. The eggs alone would make the batter quite moist, but the additional use of milk and a little water makes for a very wet Yorkshire pudding batter.
When this batter is poured on top of hot oil, the temperature difference creates enough steam in the batter to make it rise.
Even as the batter cooks in the oven, steam is still slowly being released because of how much moisture is in the batter, to begin with. The more steam that is created, the more the Yorkshire puddings rise.
It is because of this steaming method that self raising flour does not work for Yorkshire puddings. The two rising methods of the flour and the steam essentially cancel each other out, resulting in a very flat and sad Yorkshire pudding.
Top Tips For Making Yorkshire Puddings Rise Better
As mentioned, everyone and their Grandma have their own take on making a tasty and successful Yorkshire pudding. Methods span temperatures, ingredient measurements, and specific resting times.
Resting the Batter
You don’t need to rest your Yorkshire pudding batter to make the Yorkshire puddings rise.
However, you will see a significant improvement if you allow your Yorkshire pudding batter to rest overnight in your fridge or at room temperature for an hour.
Not only does resting give the batter time to get more flavourful, but it also makes the interior of the Yorkshire pudding much springier and airier instead of cakey.
This texture is due to the gluten that develops as the proteins and starches of the batter break down while the batter is resting, providing the perfect starting point for the batter to get a puffier rise.
Another factor to consider when wanting a good rise out of your Yorkshire puddings is how hydrated the batter is.
The more flour you have in your batter and the less liquid you use, the less hydrated the batter will be. Less hydration means less steam production and much flatter Yorkshire puddings.
For the best rise, you want to aim for a 260% hydrated batter. That is 200 grams of hydration (milk, water, etc) for every 75 grams of flour.
If you do not allow the oil to get hot enough before you pour your Yorkshire pudding batter into the moulds, then there will not be enough heat to create the steam you need for a good rise.
That is why you need to ensure that you fill your Yorkshire pudding moulds with a couple of tablespoons of oil and get the moulds into the oven for at least 5-10 minutes before you pour in the batter.
This will be enough time for the oil to start sizzling and cause an instant reaction with the batter.
Our Fool-Proof Yorkshire Pudding Recipe
For 2 Yorkshires, combine 4tbsp of plain flour, 1 beaten egg, 4tbsp of milk and 4tbsp of water in a jug. Rest the batter for 1 hour. Add fat to a muffin tin and then heat at 230C. Add the batter to the tin and cook for 20 minutes. Easy!
What Oil Makes The Best Yorkshire Puddings?
Essentially, Yorkshire puddings are just eggs and flour, which doesn’t result in a whole lot of flavour. They mostly resemble a pancake with much more emphasis on the egg and without the sweetness.
What makes Yorkshire puddings really stand out is the oil you use to cook them in.
Traditional Yorkshire pudding recipes instruct you to use the left-over drippings from your roast meat. These drippings would have enough oil in them to help the Yorkshire puddings puff up while retaining a lot of the meat’s flavour, making the puddings themselves taste delicious.
Of course, you may not always be cooking meat that produces enough drippings to cook all your Yorkshire pudding batter. Or you may not be cooking any meat at all.
If this is the case, then you can always replace the meat drippings with regular oil.
You do not want to use an oil with a unique flavour as this could ruin the taste of the Yorkshire puddings. Likewise, you must avoid using oils with low smoking points, such as flaxseed oil.
Sunflower or vegetable oil tends to be the go-to oils in most modern Yorkshire pudding recipes simply because they can withstand high heat and will not affect the taste.
You could also use lard or shortening if you have that to hand, but avoid butter as that is likely to burn quicker.
Yorkshire Pudding FAQs
Do you have more questions about making Yorkshire pudding with different flour types? Then perhaps you need to read these FAQs:
Yes, bread flour can be used to make Yorkshire puddings. Bread flour simply has more protein molecules than plain flour but this should not impact the rise of your Yorkshires.
No, you do not need to add any yeast or other raising agent to Yorkshire puddings. Instead, the rise comes from steam being created in the body of the Yorkshires.
Acacia may be a freelance writer by day, but they are a food fanatic by night. They are always trying out new recipes or finding different ways to elevate classical dishes. But their biggest culinary aim is to educate others on the basics of the kitchen so that they too can enjoy delicious food.