The Back Story
I recently sat down with Mike and Ianthia Smith at the bright red, double-decker British bus that they turned into a restaurant. The Yorkshire bus inspired me. I began reminiscing about the years I lived in England as a high school student. My dad was in the Air Force and we were stationed in North Yorkshire for three years. Three years is a good amount of time to get acquainted with British food! By far our family’s favorite discovery was Yorkshire Pudding. This Bacon Yorkshire Pudding is our American take on the British classic!
Yorkshire Pudding vs. Popovers
If you aren’t familiar with Yorkshire Pudding, you might be familiar with the popover. Both are essentially the same thing, in my opinion. A little flour, salt, eggs, and milk baked in a hot pan. To make a popover you pour melted butter in a hot pan and then add the batter. To make Yorkshire Pudding you pour beef drippings from your Sunday roast into the hot pan, then add the batter and bake.
But I’m an American and we eat a lot of bacon. So my husband and I had the idea to try making Yorkshire Pudding with bacon drippings instead of roast beef drippings. I never make roasts, but I make bacon all the time. This seems like the perfect marriage of concepts!
Bake the Bacon
Start off by cooking your bacon, using whatever method you prefer – except the microwave! You need the drippings, so cooking the bacon on a stove top or baking it in the oven will help save those drippings. We prefer baking it in the oven because we can step away for a few minutes and not worry about it. Line your tray with foil to catch the grease. We tried laying the bacon on a rack this time, but it works just as well to lay the strips directly on the foil. Bake in a 350-degree oven for approximately 15 minutes. You want it to be crispy but not too dark brown.
Mix the Ingredients
You won’t need to make a special trip to the grocery store for this recipe. You likely have everything in your pantry and fridge right now. For this recipe, we like to weigh our ingredients. A few years ago my husband got into doing this and we’ve never looked back. We now use our kitchen scale a lot. It’s the best way to do it when you are using flour and eggs. Flour can be more or less compacted in a cup, and eggs are varying sizes. Weighing everything ensures you get the correct proportions. In our case, we have chickens in our backyard who have just started laying eggs. Therefore their eggs are smaller than grocery-store large eggs, and we needed three of them to come up to 4 ounces.
Place your mixing bowl on the scale and crack your eggs until you reach 4 ounces. Add 8 ounces of milk to the eggs and beat together. Pour in 4 ounces of flour and add 1 teaspoon of salt, to taste. Beat all ingredients together. Let it stand until the pan is ready. Giving it a little time to sit on the counter is good for creating gluten, which will make the bread stretchy and chewy.
Prepping the Pan
I’ll admit that I don’t own a popover pan. If you do, I’m happy for you. I just don’t have the storage space. We always use a regular muffin pan and it works just fine without spilling over. So use what you have. After the bacon is crispy and done baking, take it out and set the oven to 450 degrees. Add the empty pan to the oven. You want to heat it up. Since it’s empty it should heat up in a matter of minutes. Then you can add the drippings!
Remember the hot bacon drippings pooling on the foil? Time to use them! No waste in this recipe! Add about two teaspoons of the drippings to each cup. Then pour the batter on top. Depending on how full you make the cups, you will get between 9 – 12 Yorkshire puddings. We like dramatic food, so we make ’em big! Coarsely chop the bacon and sprinkle it over each cup. Go as crazy as you want with this.
Now it’s time to get them back in the oven. Bake them for about 10 minutes, then reduce the heat to 375 degrees and continue baking for another 20-30 minutes. They will start rising in the oven pretty quickly, but don’t take them out too soon. They will collapse. You want them to be deeply golden and crisp on the outside. This means they have cooked all the way through and will keep their shape when you pull them out.
Bacon Yorkshire Pudding
I’m not going to try to be humble about this. These bacon Yorkshire puddings are incredible! The flavor of the bacon comes through really nicely and isn’t overwhelming. The drippings make the outside very crisp. We loved the bacon crumbles on top too. They add some flare! You’re lucky we have any pictures of the result because we had to restrain ourselves from gobbling them down immediately. My 10-year old daughter has decided that she wants these on her next birthday, so even the kids were happy. I think this will become a family favorite!
Bacon Yorkshire Pudding
An American take on a British classic!
- 8 slices bacon and drippings
- 4 ounces eggs (approx 2 large)
- 8 ounces milk (approx 1 cup)
- 4 ounces flour (approx 1 cup)
- 1 tsp salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Line a cookie tray with foil. Place strips of bacon on top. Bake in oven for approximately 15 minutes, or until crisp.
Remove bacon from oven, and set oven temperature to 450 degrees. Place popover pan or muffin pan in oven to heat.
Coarsely chop 2-3 bacon strips and set aside. Reserve the bacon drippings.
Whisk eggs in a small bowl. Add milk and continue to whisk.
Add flour and salt and incorporate fully.
Once heated through, remove pan from oven. Add 2 tsp. bacon drippings to each cup.
Fill each cup about 2/3 full with batter. Sprinkle chopped bacon on top.
Place pan back in oven. Bake puddings for around 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 375 degrees and continue to bake 20-30 more minutes.
Puddings are done when dark golden in color. Do not remove too early or they will collapse. When baked thoroughly, remove from oven and serve warm!