It’s not unknown that us Yorkshire folk love the pudding which is named after our great region, but with so many different ways to make them and the constant quest for pudding perfection, the debate of the best way to make Yorkshire puddings is ongoing.
People all over the UK eat Yorkshire puddings in different ways with different food items and condiments, and many have a certain way of making them. Some argue that you should use milk when making Yorkshire puddings, some argue water, and others say to use a bit of both. So, is there one perfect way to make a great Yorkshire pudding and if so, do you agree with it?
The scientific way
According to the Royal Society of Chemistry, the Yorkshire pudding isn't a Yorkshire pudding if it is less than four inches tall, the dimensions of the Yorkshire pudding being integral to what makes it a good pud.
The society, which has thousands of members working in the foods and drinks industries, including Heston Blumenthal, made calls and enquiries around the UK to come to the conclusion that to be a good pudding it could be no less than four inches (10 cms) in height.
Royal Society of Chemistry Yorkshire Pudding Recipe
Tablespoon and a half of plain flour
Half milk, half water to make a thin batter
Half a teaspoon of salt.
Put flour in a bowl, make a well in the middle, add the egg, stir until the two are combined then start gradually adding the milk and water combining as you go.
Add the liquid until the batter is a smooth and thin consistency and then stir in half teaspoon of salt and leave to stand for 10 minutes.
Put beef dripping into Yorkshire pudding tins, but don't use too much fat. Then put into hot oven until the fat starts to smoke, before giving the batter a final stir and pouring it into the tin or tins.
Place in hot oven until well risen - should take 10 to 15 minutes.
Always serve as a separate course before the main meal and use the best gravy made from the juices of the roast joint. Yorkshire housewives
NB: When the batter is made it must not be placed in the fridge but be kept at room temperature
TV Chef Jamie Oliver later accredited this specific way of making Yorkshire puddings and even made his own Yorkshire pudding recipe inspired by the one from the Royal Society of Chemistry.
However, many will argue that it’s not down to size or science but the ingredients you use and the way you mix it, this opening up an abundance of Yorkshire pud recipes.
BBC Good Food recipe
140g plain flour
Sunflower oil, for cooking
Heat oven to 230C/fan 210C/gas 8. Drizzle a little sunflower oil evenly into 2 x 4-hole Yorkshire pudding tins or a 12-hole non-stick muffin tin and place in the oven to heat through.
To make the batter, tip 140g plain flour into a bowl and beat in four eggs until smooth. Gradually add 200ml milk and carry on beating until the mix is completely lump-free. Season with salt and pepper. Pour the batter into a jug, then remove the hot tins from the oven. Carefully and evenly pour the batter into the holes. Place the tins back in the oven and leave undisturbed for 20-25 mins until the puddings have puffed up and browned. Serve immediately. You can now cool them and freeze for up to 1 month.
Other top tips
Choose a good oil- use an oil which will get really hot like sunflower or vegetable oil
Make sure the oil is piping hot before pouring in the batter in order to ensure a good rise
Don’t open the door too soon- if you do they will deflate. Try and wait until they look a good golden brown colour before taking them out.
Let the batter rest and make sure it's not too cold- some people put their batter in the fridge, whilst others protest against doing this
Try not to put your puds on the top shelf as they may hit the roof and become squashed pudding- give them room to rise
The milk or water debate
The Royal Society of Chemistry recipe states to use both water and milk in equal measures whilst the BBC Good Food recipe uses purely water.
One of the main debates around Yorkshire puds always seems to question if you should use water, milk or both when making your puddings, with many people strongly arguing a case for all three ways.
However, this isn’t the only thing which is thrown into this time-old debate, as many factors and ideas feature in what each person believes is the best way to make the perfect Yorkshire pudding.
This debate will continue through time, as recipes are adapted and new techniques and innovative ways are (literally) thrown into the mix.
One thing is bound to stay true though, no matter how many Yorkshire pudding recipes there are out there, the nation will continue to make, bake and enjoy this deliciously beloved dish.