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torrijas (spanish dessert or breakfast)

a recipe by
Vickie Parks
Renton, WA

Torrijas is a Spanish recipe created in the 15th century by nuns at a Spanish convent. This was originally reserved as a dessert for Lent and Easter (usually enjoyed with a glass of fine sherry or Spanish wine). Today you'll find it served year-round as a breakfast dish (similar to French Toast). Recipes vary, some having a soft and gooey texture and others having a light, crispier texture. Some recipes omit milk and instead soak the bread slices in wine or orange juice. Also, some versions use simple syrup (sugar/water) for the final touch, though a generous drizzle of honey is traditional.

serves 8 to 12 (recipe makes about 24 pieces)
prep time 35 Min
cook time 10 Min
method Saute

Ingredients For torrijas (spanish dessert or breakfast)

  • 1
    fench or italian baguette (stale or day-old loaves work best)
  • 1 lg
  • 2 cups
  • 2
    whole cinnamon sticks
  • 2 Tbsp
  • 2 lg
  • 2 Tbsp
  • 2 to 3 Tbsp
    ground cinnamon (for dusting the tops)
  • 1/4 cup
  • 2 Tbsp
    neutral oil such corn oil, canola oil, vegetable oil (it's best avoid using olive oil or other distinctly flavored oil for this recipe)

How To Make torrijas (spanish dessert or breakfast)

  • 1
    Cut the baguette into 3/4-inch slices. Lay the slices flat in a 9x13-inch baking dish in a single layer. (The slices can touch, but don't let slices overlap; use a second dish if needed). Set dish aside. Peel the lemon, and cut the peel into thick strips. (You won't use the lemon pulp for this recipe, but you can save it to use for another use.)
  • 2
    Place milk, honey, cinnamon sticks and strips of lemon peel in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, and let simmer 10 minutes. Let the milk mixture cool about 5 minutes. Remove the cinnamon sticks and chunks of lemon peel, then pour the milky mixture over the top of baguette slices. Set aside about 15 minutes to allow the slices soak up all the milky mixture.
  • 3
    Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
  • 4
    Beat the eggs and water together in a bowl. Dip each baguette slice in the egg mixture and then place several slices in the hot skillet, and cook about 5 minutes or until the bottoms are browned. Gently flip, and cook another 3 to 5 minutes or until the other side is browned. Add more oil if needed to prevent sticking. You might have to cook them in batches, depending on skillet size.
  • 5
    Place the cooked Torrijas on a flat platter. Dust the surface with a light sprinkling of ground cinnamon, then drizzle honey on top, and serve it as a breakfast dish (similar to French Toast). Or you can set it aside to cool completely (and the honey will soak into the bread, making it sweeter). Serve it later as a dessert with a glass of fine sherry.