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Bento Recipe: Yorkshire pudding

 
   
 

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Yorkshire puddings are little breadlike things that traditionally accompany beef in British meals - or, so my mother tells me, were in days past cooked with beef gravy and served to the non-menfolk in the family because they didn't get any of the actual meat. (She lived in London for a few years, so she must know these things.) Warning: if you don't have an electric mixer this recipe can be hazardous to your arms!

Please, sir, may I have some more?What you'll need:

  • 7/8 cup of all-purpose or pastry flour
  • 1/4 tsp of salt
  • 1/2 cup of whole milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • About 1/2 cup of butter, melted roast beef fat, or vegetable oil
  • Oil or something else qith which to grease the pan

Start out with all the ingredients at room temperature. Mix the flour, salt, and milk in a medium-sized bowl using a whisk or an electric mixer. Beat the mixture until smooth. Add the eggs and beat some more until the mixture is an even light yellow. Add the water and, if you have an electric mixer, beat the batter on high speed until it's bubbly. If you're using a whisk, beat it quickly until it's bubbly. I find the best way is to take a large whisk, put the handle between your palms, and slide them back and forth to make the whisk spin, the way a Boy Scout makes a fire using a fire drill. When this is done let it stand at room temperature for an hour.

Thirty minutes before baking, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Place a greased muffin tin or 9-by-13-inch rectangular baking dish in the oven and heat it for 10 minutes. Then take the pan out of the oven and pour 1/4 inch of melted butter, fat, or vegetable oil into the bottom. Put it back in the oven and heat it 5 to 8 minutes, until the fat smokes, another 5 to 8 minutes. Watch it carefully to avoid burning or splattering.

Beat the batter until it gets bubbly again. Take the hot pan or muffin tin out of the oven and pour the batter into the baking container or each cup until two-thirds full. Bake 20 minutes without opening the oven door. Reduce the oven thermostat to 350F and bake 10 to 15 minutes more, or until the pudding is firm and golden brown. Serve immediately while hot and puffy, as it will "fall" when it cools. (Of course, if you're packing these into the bento box they'll have to cool, oh well!)