eat. write. smile.

– three things I love to do. Come with!

What to make for brunch this weekend: Torrijas

This week at Solana 4, I learned how to make torrijas (tor-REE-has), a Spanish take on French toast.

Entrance to Solana 4, the wine bar and small plates restaurant in Tolosa where I'm staging for two weeks

They’re less eggy than the French toast I’m used to, due to fact that the soaking liquid is just infused milk, with egg only coming into the equation at the last minute. Originally a sweet solution for old, hard bread, torrijas are moist morsels of vanilla goodness.

Estar hecho torrijas is a common euphemism for being drunk, coming from the idea that torrijas are something that you soak in liquid overnight. In addition to being a funny colloquialism, they’re an indulgent dessert or a special Mothers Day brunch. Make someone smile this weekend with this recipe.

Slices of old baguette in their overnight milk bath

Ingredients:
1.5 Liters milk
200g sugar
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
or 2 tsp vanilla extract
1 day-old baguette or 1 loaf old bread
6 eggs, lightly beaten
Neutral oil for frying, like Canola or sunflower oil

Method:
1. In a large pot, combine milk with whole vanilla bean and sugar, allowing the ingredients to simmer for about fifteen minutes. Be careful not to scald milk. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
2. In the meantime, slice an old baguette into 1 1/2″ pieces, thick enough to act as a sponge but not too big to be unappealing.
3. Once the milk has cooled to a manageable temperature, pour over slices of bread in flat baking pan, turning twice to make sure the bread absorbs evenly. Cover the baking pan with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight to allow the old bread to really soak up the flavorful milk.
4. Remove baking pan from refrigerator and let come to room temperature.
Beat six eggs in a large bowl, and reserve.
5. In a large skillet, heat one inch of oil over medium-high heat. Dip each slice of bread carefully in eggs, turning to coat but being careful not to break the super soft bread.
6. Add five or six slices of bread, frying both sides until golden-crisp. Work quickly, because the torrijas don’t need to cook all the way through. The idea is to crisp the outside and leave the inside pillowy soft with vanilla milkiness.
7. Remove from oil to paper towel. Serve warm, with an optional sprinkle of sugar on top.

Torrijas, in all their golden crisp- soft center splendor

One comment on “What to make for brunch this weekend: Torrijas

  1. justinclegaspi
    April 27, 2012

    Probably one of my favorite brunch items! At my work we soak the bread in a reduced sherry then egg batter it. another great post ruth!

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This entry was posted on April 27, 2012 by in BasqueStage, Bread, Desserts, Eggs, Recipe, Travel and tagged , , , .
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