How to cook torrijas
There is nothing innovative about torrijas. It is a traditional recipe that uses up old bread and only requires two or three additional basic ingredients. However, it is precisely this simplicity in terms of products and method which leads to the crucial questions – How do you obtain the perfect consistency? What type of bread and cut are best to use? And above all, how do we make it so that with one mouthful we are transported back in time to our childhoods?
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Different varieties for different tastes
The traditional recipe for torrijas (spanish style french toast) comes from the baking typically done in monasteries, and is based on bread, milk and sugar, but there are different traditions depending on the region of the country and as many types of torrija as there are cooks. Drenched in syrup, dried and coated in sugar and cinnamon, ‘painted’ with honey, with cream, with cocoa, with horchata [Tiger nut milk], served with ice-cream… Some prefer to eat them as a dessert, others only eat them for breakfast.
Preparation in 5 steps
1. Cut the bread in thick slices and put to one side.
2. Heat the liquid (traditionally milk or wine is used, but you can try using other liquids such as horchata [tiger nut milk] or cream) and infuse this liquid to your taste, for example using a stick of cinnamon, lemon or orange rind, cocoa powder, spices or liquor (brandy, anise, bourbon…)
3. Soak each slice of bread on both sides in the liquid and leave to rest a while. Take care not to soak the bread too much or it may fall apart.
4. Brush the slices with beaten egg and fry until golden.
5. Serve them sprinkled with sugar, cinnamon or well coated in syrup.
- Use yesterday’s bread or bread that is specifically for torrijas. It has to be compact so that the crumbs retain the milk properly.
- Soak both sides properly. Leave to rest for at least 5 or 10 minutes before frying.
- If you are going to fry various batches, remember to drain the oil every so often so that they stay golden.
- Store them at room temperature. Never put them in the refrigerator as they will dry out. The best thing to do is to eat them freshly prepared!