Americanized British Food – Toad In the Hole – updated

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As Chef April Bloomfield writes in the Restaurants section of the New York magazine, “Say what you will about the English and their cuisine, their flair for naming dishes is unsurpassed.” Here is just a sample of the whimsy from effingpot.com’s American Guide to speaking British.

  • bangers and mash – plate of English sausages and creamy mashed potatoes
  • chip butty – piping hot fries, topped with tomato sauce, in between two slices of buttered white bread
  • chipolata – a small pork-filled sausage
  • jellied eels – exactly what it sounds like!
  • pork scratchings – deep fried pork rinds
  • spotted dick – steamed suet pudding with dried fruit, typically served with custard
  • yorkshire pudding – a dish, originating in Yorkshire, England, that is made by pouring what amounts to pop-over batter into roast drippings

In her piece, Chef Bloomfield prefers we consider her recipe for “bubble and squeak”, a breakfast dish made from frying up left over greens and mashed potato. As an amateur in the world of British food, I chose to consider the American variation of the “toad in the hole.”

Traditionally, toad in the hole is made by embedding pork sausage links into a Yorkshire pudding and serving it with vegetables and gravy. Here is a picture of proper Toad in the Hole from wikipedia.net:

Toad in the Hole Proper

Toad in the Hole Proper

Source: wikimedia

And, here is the American variation: a piece of toast, fried with an egg in the middle. I first encountered it as a child. During an episode of the 80s television show, Hunter, I watched the main character, a crusty old detective, take his firearm, throw a slice of white bread in the air, shoot a hole in its center, catch the evacuated slice in a fry pan, and crack an egg in it. Recently (April-ish) I decided to attempt the feat, sans firearm.

Mis en place



Cut holes in your bread. I used a drinking glass.

Runny Yolks In Pan



Place the bread in a pre-heated (medium heat) and oiled non-stick pan. Crack an egg in the hole and turn it over when the egg is solid enough to survive the flip.


Toad in the Hole

Toad in the Hole

While this isn’t Toad in the Hole Proper, an integrated device with a fried egg and fried bread, makes a great breakfast.

Please don’t throw away the left over bead. Personally, I fry the rounds in the same pan. They also make great bread crumbs.

Update: On September 8, 2009, SeriousEats posted a piece about how frying eggs in pieces of toast has Hollywood connotations. To many Americans, the dish is known as Guy Kibbee eggs as the then actor made them in the 1935 film Mary Jane’s Pa.

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Mild-mannered IT professional by day and food blogger by night, I founded foodiePrints with a single intention, to share my love of all things food. My first post shared a recipe. Many followed. Eventually, I learned Ottawa prepares and serves great food. Thereafter, I started meeting restaurateurs, chefs, cooks, farmers, and other local producers, all good people. Ideas for food-related content swirled in my head. foodiePrints grew into a place to put them. From exploring foreign and domestic cuisines to shopping for exotic ingredients and cobbling together my takes on dishes in my meager kitchen, there are stories to tell. Welcome to foodiePrints. Here, you will find stories about food and drink, cooking, and eating in Canada’s capital. Be it food-related or just food-for-thought, I hope you find something tasty here.