Popovers are light and hollow egg-based pastry rolls. As the name suggests, popover batter swells or “pops over” the tin during baking. The result is a tasty quick bread roll that’s perfectly crisp on the outside and wonderfully pillowy on the inside. They’re great for breakfast or as a brunch or dinner side.
Popover Making Tips
- In order to achieve the crispiest, puffiest results, it’s important to use a very hot oven.
- Pay close attention to the instructions. It’s natural to want to over mix the batter to get rid of all those unsightly lumps. However, this particular recipe only requires light-handed mixing, so leave the lumps in.
- Make sure the batter has come to room temperature before baking. Be patient and let the batter sit out.
- Once the batter is baking in the oven, fight the natural urge to open the door to peek in on its progress. If the door is opened, air goes into the oven and cools it down, the steam inside the popovers condenses and they immediately collapse.
- While regular muffin tins can be used, for best results use special popover tins. They have deeper muffin shells, retain heat longer and allow the air to circulate around the popovers, which makes them taller. Popover pans are inexpensive and available in most kitchen and department stores.
- For the highest rising popovers, use bread flour instead of all-purpose flour. Since bread flour has a higher protein content, it helps the popovers rise. All-purpose flour will work, but your popovers won’t rise as high. Most supermarkets carry bread flour in the same aisle as all-purpose flour for roughly the same price.
Basic Popover Recipe
Prep time: 10 minutes (plus 45-50 minutes to let batter sit)
Cook time: 40 minutes
425 mL (1 3/4 cups) half-and-half or whole milk
500 mL (2 cups) bread flour
3 mL (3/4 teaspoon) salt
2 mL (1/2 teaspoon) baking powder
3 large eggs, room temperature
30 mL (2 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted
Non-stick cooking spray
1. Preheat oven to 230 C (450 F)
2. Place milk in a bowl and microwave on high for approximately 1 1/2 minutes, until warmed
3. In a large bowl, sift together all dry ingredients (flour, salt and baking powder)
4. In a separate bowl, combine eggs, milk and butter. Transfer to a blender
5. Add flour mixture to egg mixture in the blender and blend until lightly combined (no more than 12 seconds). There will still be a few small lumps left in the batter, but that’s okay
6. Let batter rest for at least 45-50 minutes
7. Preheat empty popover pan (or muffin tin) in the oven for approximately 5 minutes
8. Remove popover pan from oven, spray cups with non-stick spray and immediately fill each 3/4 full, then place back in oven. Make sure to fill pan with batter while it’s still hot
9. Bake without opening the door. After 15 minutes, reduce heat to 190 C (375 F) and bake for another 30 minutes or until the outside layer turns deep brown in colour. Under baking will cause the popovers to deflate once out of the oven
10. Remove popovers from the oven and place directly onto cooling rack
11. To maintain the top’s crispness and puffed height, prick lower sides of popovers, allowing most of the steam to escape. Serve immediately
Tip: Popovers do not freeze well and batter should not be reused.
Tip: Plain popovers are usually served with butter, honey, jam or whipped cream topping, but there are also many creative baking variations for your puffed rolls.
Popover Serving Suggestions
Popovers work great for both sweet and savoury dishes. Simply cut them open and fill them with your favourite ingredients. Here are some delicious combinations to try:
- Ham and Swiss cheese
- Chocolate hazelnut spread and fresh fruit
- Strawberries and whipped cream
- Peanut butter and jam
- Pepper jack cheese and grilled onion
- Bacon, avocado and tomato
- Pesto and parmesan cheese
- Pulled pork and onion straws
What combination will you try in your popovers? Share your ideas in the comments below!