You will hear hundreds of different recipes and myths on this subject. My advice to anyone who has a recipe that works for them is, stick with it. I always make them in advance, the gravy will warm them up. You will need a half pint glass/measure, a mixing bowl, a jug, a whisk, a 12 hole muffin tray, a dessert spoon and a sieve. Ovens vary, you are looking to maintain a temperature of 180c. When I use an oven that I am unfamiliar with, I set it for 200c and turn it down to 180c when I put the puddings in.
Use the 1/2pint glass as a measure.
½ pint plain flour
½ pint semi skimmed milk
½ pint eggs, crack the eggs into the glass until it is full
1 level teaspoon of salt
Vegetable oil, or a fat of your choice. I prefer beef dripping
Whisk the flour, milk, eggs and salt together. Do not over mix, this stretches the glutens and makes for a stodgier pudding. We are not making bread. Don’t worry about a few lumps. Sieve the mixture into the jug, and set aside. Dispense a dessert spoon full of fat into ten holes, leave the two holes in the middle empty. This will help the air to circulate. Heat in the oven for 10 minutes, assuming you already have the oven on. If not give it 20 minutes. Pour the batter mixture into the oiled holes and roast on the top shelf, no peeking. After 30 minutes open the oven door and close it again immediately to release any steam, this will help your puddings hold their shape. Cook for a further 5 minutes. Remove to make way for the roasties.
Leftover cooked puddings freeze very well. I always have a back up in the freezer for a mid week dinner, an express toad in the hole or in case I get extra guests.