Sourdough Surprises challenged us this month to make popovers. How fun! I don’t make popovers very much since they are best eaten fresh and there are just two of us. Popovers are one of those baked goods that go through an amazing transformation. They start out as a batter very much like a thin pancake batter, but they puff dramatically in the oven and typically rise to nearly twice their size. The outside is crispy and golden and the fluffy interior usually surrounds a hollow in the center which can be filled with all sort of yummy fillings after baking or it can be eaten plain.
Here is the baking process, going from almost nothing to tall and golden. Magical!
For this challenge I was tempted to make a sweet popover, but in the end I decided on a savory Toad-in-the-Hole version. Toad-in-the-Hole Popovers are simply popovers that are baked with a bit of sausage in the bottom of the muffin tin or popover pan. It makes the popover just a bit more flavorful and substantial. I used the King Arthur Sourdough Popover recipe and added two rounds of browned chicken pesto sausage in the bottom of the tin. To my surprise, the sausage didn’t stay in the middle but rose with the popovers. So I guess I have Toad-on-the-Top Popovers instead of Toad-in-the-Hole Popovers. They were delicious and, much to my surprise, reheated all right too though they were at their best hot (and tallest) right from the oven. The sausage pairs nicely with the lightly eggy flavor of the bread and I could detect a faint note of sourdough too. They would be great at a brunch.
- 1 cup (8oz/227g) milk
- 3 eggs
- ½ cup (4.5oz/128g) sourdough starter, fed or unfed
- ¾ tsp salt
- 1 cup (4.25oz/120g)all-purpose flour
- 1-2 pre-cooked sausages, cut into bite-sized pieces
- Heat a muffin or popover pan in the oven while it's preheating to 450°F.
- If desired, brown the cooked sausage pieces in a small pan.
- In the microwave or in a small saucepan, warm the milk until it feels just slightly warm to the touch.
- Combine the warm milk with the eggs, sourdough starter and salt, then mix in the flour. Don't over-mix; a few small lumps are OK. The batter should be thinner than a pancake batter, about the consistency of heavy cream.
- Carefully remove the hot pan from the oven, and spray it thoroughly with non-stick pan spray, or brush it generously with oil or melted butter.
- Place a few sausage pieces in the bottom of the cups. Quickly pour the batter into the cups, filling them almost to the top. If you're using a muffin tin, fill cups all the way to the top. Space the popovers around so there are empty cups among the full ones; this leaves more room for expansion.
- Bake the popovers for 15 minutes, then reduce the oven heat to 375°F and bake for an additional 15 to 20 minutes, until popovers are golden brown.
- Remove the popovers from the oven and serve immediately.