It was estimated by the AsociaciÃ³n de Empresarios de PastelerÃa Artesana de Madrid (AEPA) that bakeries in Madrid would sell 3.6 million torrijas (or 450,000 kilograms) this Easter season. Easter may be over, but this typical Spanish Easter treat can be enjoyed all year long. They are easy to make and require very simple ingredients.
To some they are known as the Spanish version of French toast. They date back to the 15th century, when nuns created them as a way to not waste leftover or stale bread.
Some of us may associate this treat with breakfast, because of the similarity to French toast, but everyone has their own opinion on when”and with what”you should eat torrijas. Some say it should be eaten as a breakfast food, others say dinner, others think its just fine at any time of day. Recipes vary, but the basic ingredients are very simple; it′s a nice twist on the standard French toast.
- Stale bread (a day or two old). The traditional torrijas are made with French or Italian baguette bread but you can use any type of bread. You don′t want rock hard bread, but you don′t want fresh bread either. If you have fresh bread and can′t wait a couple of days, you can lightly toast the bread
- 4 cups of milk
- Pinch of salt
- ½ cup of sugar (this amount can be altered depending how sweet you want your torrijas)
- 3-4 eggs
- Oil (Spaniards typically use olive oil but vegetable oil will do just fine as well)
- Cinnamon sugar mix (optional)
- Note: These measurements will make about six torrijas.
- Mix the milk, salt, and sugar together in a bowl. Then in a separate bowl beat the eggs.
- Heat the oil in a pan. It needs to be quite hot as you′ll be essentially frying the bread.
- While the oil is heating soak the bread into the milk mixture and then dip it into the eggs. You will have to do this with all the bread slices. The bread should be soggy, but not so soggy that it falls apart. Depending on how big your bread slices and how many torrijas you want to do you may need more eggs, milk, and sugar than is listed here.
- When the oil is ready place the milk and egg soaked bread into the pan. Cook for about one minute, or until golden brown, then carefully flip the bread. The outside should be slightly crispy, but the inside should be soft.
- When done sprinkle the cinnamon sugar to your liking. Honey is another topping option.
Some people prefer to use a sweet wine instead of milk for soaking the bread. Also it′s possible to add lemon and orange zest to the milk mixture to give it a citrus flavor. Get creative, and design your own torrijas recipe!