A tray of Yorkshire puddings fresh from the oven should be well-risen, golden brown with a crisp exterior, and soft middle. But sometimes, they fail to rise—and there may be several reasons why. Here are 11 tips to keep your Yorkshire puddings from failing.
Even if all else fails and the puddings are not as risen as they should be (though, to be honest, follow all of these tips and they will be fine) they will still taste pretty good.
- Equal 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.
- No Lumps. Always beat the batter thoroughly so it is without any lumps. The batter must be lump free, so if you aren't sure the batter is smooth, strain it through a sieve before cooking.
- Give it a Rest. Leave the batter to rest in the kitchen 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.
- They Like it Hot. The oven should be as hot as possible. A successful rise will come from the combination of a cold batter going into a very hot oven.
- The Fat Matters. Use lard, drippings, or vegetable oil in the tin and heat in the oven until the fat is smoking. Never use olive oil or butter. These two fats will never reach a high enough temperature for Yorkshire puddings without burning.
- A Second Stir. Always give the batter another good whisk, adding 2 tablespoons of cold water, before pouring into the smoking hot fat.
- Don't Fill to the Rim. Avoid overfilling the tin, a third to maximum a half is usually sufficient. Too much batter and the pudding will begin to rise but soon collapse as the puddings will be too heavy.
- Not a Fan of the Fan. 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 setting where you can switch from convection to regular, make sure you do so.
- Behind Closed Doors. If you can, avoid opening the door during cooking—the cold will make the pudding collapse. Sometimes they make a recovery but never rise quite as high as they should.
- Wipe Instead of Wash. Never wash Yorkshire pudding tins with soap and water—this spoils the surface of the tins and can cause the Yorkshire to stick and thus prevent puddings from rising. Just wipe clean with a paper towel after use.
- A Reliable Recipe. Use a recipe that you trust. Here is a foolproof recipe and cooking tutorial for successful Yorkshire puddings.