If you’ve never tried the Spanish version of french toast, called Torrijas, you are in for a real treat! The recipe is simple and includes stale bread slices soaked in milk and eggs, pan fried, and topped with a sprinkle of cinnamon sugar or honey.
There are several dishes I fell in love with while living in Spain (including these simple Torijas) so be sure to check out my delicious Paella and Tortilla de Patatas recipes!
While living with a family in Madrid, Spain during college, I was lucky enough to learn the in’s and out’s of many Spanish dishes from my host, who was an incredible cook! She bought fresh bread for our meals each day, and with any leftover/stale bread she would make Torrijas.
Torrijas can be enjoyed warm or cold and are often served as a “postre” dessert but could also be served for brunch. They are particularly popular at Easter time and during “semana santa” or the holy week and the last day of lent.
For the Bread:
The bread is by far the most important part when making Spanish torrijas. In this recipe I call for French bread because it’s the closest thing I could find to what we used in Spain. However, you can use a baguette, challah or brioche bread. Slice the loaf in thick 1 1/2 inch slices and be sure to let it dry out for a few days on the counter.
Choose your Dip:
Torrijas are prepared in different ways depending on personal preference or the region of Spain you visit. The most popular types are:
- Torrijas de Leche: These are the torrijas I enjoyed most while living in Spain and the one’s that our host made. Torrijas de leche are bread dipped in milk (with a touch of vanilla), and then dipped in eggs and pan fried.
- Torrijas de Vino: It’s also popular to dip the bread in sweet red wine instead of milk. These are particularly popular during Semana Santa. I’ve also seen torrijas dipped in liquor.
Choose your toppings:
- Top with cinnamon sugar (my preferred method)
- Top with honey
- Sprinkle with powdered sugar
- Serve with syrup
How to Make Torrijas (an overview):
1. Mix milk and vanilla. Pour the warm milk and vanilla into a shallow bowl.
2. Beat eggs. Crack the eggs into another shallow bowl and beat them well until smooth.
3. Dip bread. Dip a slice of bread in the milk on both sides, letting it soak in for several seconds. Then dip it in the beaten eggs, on both sides.
4. Pan fry. Place in the pan and cook, frying and flipping for several minutes until golden on both sides.
5. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar (or honey, powdered sugar, or syrup). Serve warm or refrigerate and serve cold.
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- 1 loaf stale French bread* , sliced into 1.5 inch thick slices (about 12-15 slices)*
- 1 1/2 cups warm milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 large eggs*
- Oil for frying (canola or vegetable)
- 2 Tbsp granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pour the warm milk and vanilla into a shallow bowl. Crack the eggs into a separate shallow bowl and beat them well until smooth.
Combine the granulated sugar and cinnamon and set aside.
Pour enough oil into a large skillet to cover the bottom of the pan. Turn heat to medium and once oil is hot, but not smoking, start cooking the torijas:
Dip a slice of bread in the milk on both sides, letting it soak well. Then, dip it in the beaten eggs on both sides. Place in the pan and cook, frying and flipping for a few minutes until golden on both sides.
Remove to a plate lined with paper towels or a wire rack. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar (or honey, if preferred).
Serve warm or refrigerate and serve cold.
Egg: You will need roughly 1 egg for every 4-5 slices of bread.
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