Kind of like eggy-bread or French toast, Torrijas are a wonderful way to use up left over dry bread and all those eggs our chickens are making now the weather has warmed up. As with all my recipes, which are usually passed to me from the ladies in the village (though for this recipe I had input from two bread-maker’s wives, the owner of the stables where I keep my horse and a 14-year old girl) the actual ingredients and weights and measures are a little bit lacking in specificity. I’m sure you’ll get it right, like the 14-year old said, “It’s easy, even my brother can make them!”
Torrijas - Spanish Easter Specialty, Murcianica Style
- Good quality barra - bread stick - let it dry for a day (If you're lucky your local bakers might slice it up for you too!)
- Cinnamon Stick
- Ground Cinnamon
- Warm up a small pan of milk and a cinnamon stick. How much milk you need depends upon how much bread you have, see step 2.
- Cut your barra into slices about two fingers width (sideways fingers, not small-glass-of-wine-size-vertical fingers). One large barra will make about 20-30 torrijas and will need at least two glasses of milk.
- When the milk is warmed through pour it on the slices of bread in a shallow pan and let it soak in for at least an hour. You may want to carefully move the bread around to ensure all pieces get an even soaking and add more milk if needed. Each slice of bread needs to be wet through.
- Heat the oil (mixture of about 80% sunflower and 20% olive works well) till smoking, in a deep pan. You only need enough oil to allow the bread to float, 5 fingers wide - make sure there's plenty of space in the pan for bubbling!
- Beat a couple of eggs (how many you need in total depends on how much bread - you can always beat more!) and then carefully pick up a slice of milk-soaked bread and dip it into the egg making sure it's completely covered, then put it straight into the hot oil.
- Cook for about 3 minutes, turning once. You can probably fry 4-5 pieces at the same time, but don't overload the pan.
- When the bread is a nice golden brown colour remove it from the pan and place it on kitchen towel to drain.
- Mix sugar and ground cinnamon and put it on a plate. How much depends on the number of torrijas you've made, about 1 cup of sugar should be enough for 1 large barra.
- Dip the torrijas in the sugar/cinnamon mixture and eat!
Some extra tips:
- Make more than you need so you can taste-test them as you go – 3 for the guests, 1 for taste-testing, 3 for the guest pile, 1 for taste-testing, repeat… You get the idea!
- They are definitely best recien hecho (just made) – but are still good the next day, and the day after that.
- My next batch will be soaked in something other than milk. Apparently café con leche is a good soaking agent and adds a nice twist. I’m considering a glass or two of Baileys!
- Cleaning up after frying is always fun, and by the time you’ve fried your last few the pan will be mighty yucky.
- Serve just as they are for breakfast or as a pudding. Or try with pears in red wine and home-made turrón ice-cream (recipes to follow).
Making Torrijas for Easter
Bread soaking up the warmed milk and cinnamon
Dip the milky bread in beaten eggs
Torrijas frying in good olive oil and sunflower oil mixture
Drain some of the oil
Draining on kitchen towel
Sugar and ground cinnamon
Torrijas ready to eat
Torrijas, Turrón Icecream and pears in red wine
If you love Spanish cooking then get yourself a copy of our Spanish Cooking Uncovered: Farmhouse Favourites cookery book.
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