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Yorkshire pudding dates back at least to the 1700s when it was described as Dripping Pudding. Cooks in the 18th century roasted meat on a spit over the flames in the kitchen fireplace, where it dripped as it cooked. The puddings were carefully placed beneath to catch and be flavoured by those drippings. Nowadays, they are an essential item on a roast dinner. James Martin, a TV chef from Yorkshire, shared his step-by-step guide to making a giant Yorkshire pudding and explained why you shouldn’t use semi-skimmed milk or olive oil in the recipe.
James, who appeared on This Morning with presenters Alison Hammond and Dermot O’Leary, shared his top tips to guarantee a giant Yorkshire pudding that serves six.
“He’s the master of Yorkshire puddings,” Alison said. “What went wrong firstly, with my Yorkshire puddings? And secondly, am I right in saying pancake mix is Yorkshire pudding mix?”
“That’s where you’re wrong first of all,” the chef replied. “The quality of ingredients [is important], get the best you can afford.”
Alison remarked: “Flour is flour isn’t it?” James replied: “No it’s not – flour isn’t flour, anyone into baking or making bread will understand, the best quality you can afford.
James Martin shares his recipe for making Yorkshire Puddings
“[You need] Plain flour – eight ounces, eight eggs, and a pint of full-fat milk, never ever semi-skimmed.”
When asked why you shouldn’t use semi-skimmed milk, James explained: “You take all the goodness out of milk [when it’s semi-skimmed] and you’re about to cook it in dripping so it’s a waste of your time getting semi-skimmed milk.
“We mix this [the batter] together, then unlike pancake mix, rather than leaving it for 20 minutes, we leave it overnight.”
James had another bowl of Yorkshire pudding mixture which had been left overnight, and said: “This is what it ends up like, it looks like dishwater, it’s not the most appetising thing!”
“Why do you leave it so long?” Dermot asked and he replied: “Because it needs to rest – then you put your salt and pepper in, whisk this, always do this by hand, never with a machine, you’re resting the gluten in the flour and if you over whisk it, when you cook it, it tightens up and doesn’t rise.
“Set your tray in the oven and you need either lard or dripping.”
Dermot turned to Alison and wondered: “What do you use?” She answered: “Just a little bit of olive oil in the bottom.”
Dermot asked James: “Should you be using olive oil?” And he remarked: “Never olive oil – we don’t have any olives in Yorkshire funny enough!”
Once the oven tray was hot and the lard or beef dripping had melted, James poured the “mixture into the tray and because it’s so hot, it starts to sizzle”.
“Pop it in the oven for a tray like this, one hour, 200 degrees Celsius. After about 20-30 minutes, you open the oven door and let the steam out – too much steam and it will collapse.”
Once the time was up, he removed the giant Yorkshire pudding from the oven and Alison exclaimed: “Look at the size of it! That is so big!
James added: “Where I’m from, you’d have this for a starter, then another one for your main course, and then another one and eat it with jam or honey.”
If you prefer making individual Yorkshire puddings, use a large tray with moulds, and add 1tsp of lard or beef dripping to each mould before placing in the oven to heat up, and then pour in the mixture.
James likes to serve his Yorkshire puddings with onion gravy.
Two onions, peeled and sliced
One tbsp Marmite or Bovril
Two tbsp Bisto gravy granules
500ml beef stock
1. Warm some butter in a pan on the hob, and cook the onions until deeply coloured.
2. Add the Madeira, marmite, Bisto and stock into the saucepan. Stir gently and bring to a boil.
3. When it’s thickened, serve it with the cooked Yorkshire puddings.
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