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I've recently cooked Toad in the Hole following this recipe from TheFoody.com. The first time I used a non-stick metal roasting tray and the second time I used a ceramic dish.

Both times the batter adhered to the base of the cooking container quite firmly. What can I do / should I be doing to prevent this from happening?

Note: I was using plain sausages, not ones with any unusual flavourings that could release sugars and suchlike whilst being cooked.

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Was the stuck batter really brown? Did it stick on the sides? –  papin Jul 29 '10 at 19:54
    
@papin, nope the batter wasn't particularly brown, the sides weren't stuck. It was most annoying :-/ –  Rob Jul 29 '10 at 20:04
    
was the oil in the pan really hot? did you add the batter with the pan on the heat or not? –  Sam Holder Jul 29 '10 at 20:46
    
@Sam, the oil was "smoking" hot in both situations. The metl roasting tray I turned the heat on underneath for the 10 seconds it was on the hob whilst adding the batter, the ceramic one I didn't for obvious reasons. –  Rob Jul 30 '10 at 6:30
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4 Answers 4

I'm guessing it's the oven. Here are some ideas:

  • If the dish did not fully cook, it will stick. Bake until it dries and starts browning.
  • The heat distribution in your oven may be uneven. I have an old oven and my dishes would burn, stick, and undercook until I started using a few tricks (self citation, beware). The main idea is to put a shield (an empty baking dish) between the heat source (the bottom of the oven) and the dish you are baking.
  • Rub the oil on the baking dish before heating it.
  • Line the baking dish with parchment paper.
  • Forget the oil. Add some of the sausage drippings to the batter for flavor and then grease the baking dish with shortening. When you add the batter to the baking dish, the shortening will not be displaced by the batter and help prevent the sticking.
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I grew up in Yorkshire, that doesn't make me an immediate expert but my Mother used lard or beef dripping to coat the container for either Yorkshire Puddings or Toad in the Hole. You should preheat the lard in the oven, it should be 'very' hot.

I suspect the issue with using the oil from the sausages is that you will get some water as well as the oil. This will not coat the batter and will evaporate quickly. Or the oil is not hot enough when put in the container. I suggest putting the residue from the sausage in a gravy not for the Toad in the Hole.

P.S. I don't know what (from the linked recipe) the sausage chunks means, but keep your sausages whole imo.

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Perhaps the container is too large, making for too thin an oil layer?

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How deep would you suggest the layer of oil needs to be? –  Rob Jul 29 '10 at 20:19
    
I'd stick to the recipe if you're using the pan size indicated in the recipe, and try a more 'solid' fat like some of the other suggestions first. –  Tobias Op Den Brouw Jul 31 '10 at 12:13
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The type of sausage makes a huge difference, from one sausage to another with the same pan you can have a batter that sticks or not. Experimenting with different sausages will show you the difference, especially if you try varying quality sausages. More extravagant sausages can cause trouble.

But for a foolproof answer regardless of sausage type switch your baking pan; ceramic and non-stick were never 100% reliable for me either. Get a flexible silicone pan (loaf or shallow square both fine) and your toad in the hole will never stick. They're pretty cheap, and very much worth it. You should also be able to use less oil this way, just shake the sausages around to coat the insides before the batter goes in.

Note: I'd also consider another recipe, in yours the sausages are placed in after the batter. The sausages can go into the oven with a little of their oil, and the batter is poured into that when the oil is ready. It also requests you reduce heat halfway through, don't do this. Also, the highest risen point should be on the cusp of turning slightly burnt before you remove it from the oven, ensures it's cooked through.

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Make sure it is a pure silicone pan, not some cheap plastic/silicone combo. –  s_hewitt Jul 30 '10 at 21:26
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