They can be eaten warm or cold, for breakfast or dessert – which makes them a fantastic recipe to use when you have guests or have no time in the morning to make breakfast (or want a make ahead dessert).
There are many variations of this popular dish. Whilst traditionally stale bread is dipped in sweetened milk or wine and then coated in egg and fried in olive oil; I wanted something that I could make any time and I – nearly – always have milk in the fridge.
These Torrijas, don’t contain any added sugar either. Many recipes use either a sugar syrup or add sugar to the milk before heating it, but I saw no need for added sugar when serving to a toddler. I feel the orange, cinnamon and milk are naturally quite sweet. Besides, a handful of berries and drizzle of honey over the top just before serving adds enough sweetness.
I wanted to add orange as oranges remind me of the year we lived in Seville. Citrus blossom filled the air, the sides of the roads were lined with fallen fruit which had dropped from the hundreds of orange trees growing in every street. The oranges, being Seville Oranges weren’t those you could pick from a tree and eat, they were super bitter.
I tried making a tart with them once.
It was a complete disaster.
Think marmalade tart, without any sugar in the marmalade. I did not try baking with them again.
Important Tip: Make sure your bread is very stale, if it isn’t, the Torrijas will be slimy – which is never good! See below for a tip on how to make stale bread if you only have fresh.
Make ahead? The torrijas are also lovely eaten cold, which makes them an ideal breakfast to prepare the night before. If you want to reheat them, place back in a frying pan on a low heat and warm through. Don’t microwave as this will cause the torrijas to go rubbery.
Torrijas – Spanish Style French Toast
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ orange, zested
½ large baguette
1tbsp olive oil
In a saucepan, place the milk, cinnamon and orange zest and put on a medium heat. Bring to the boil, then take off the heat and leave to infuse for 5 minutes.
Slice the bread into 1“/2.5cm slices.
Place the bread in a shallow dish and pour over the flavoured milk, making sure the bread is evenly coated in milk.
Beat the eggs together, then pour them onto a plate.
Heat ½ tbsp in a large frying pan over a medium heat.
Using a large spoon or spatula, as the bread can be quite soft and fragile, place a piece of bread in the beaten egg and coat both sides, then place in frying pan. Repeat with another 5-6 pieces bread, depending how large your frying pan is.
Fry 3-4 minutes until golden, then flip over with the large spatula, and fry for another 3-4 minutes until golden.
Remove the torrijas from the pan and repeat with the rest of the bread.
The torrijas can be eaten warm or cold, making them a great breakfast to prepare the night before.
To eat, drizzle over a spoonful honey and sprinkle over chopped strawberries and almonds, (optional.)