I first heard about torrijas last year from a Spanish friend, who when asked what I needed to try during Semana Santa replied with only, “Torrijas.” I asked what they were, and he explained that they were “fried bread covered in sugar.” Although I love fried things, bread, and sugar, his description didn’t stick in my mind enough for me to actually try them at that time, and I soon forgot them.
Fast forward to this year when I finally tried torrijas for the first time, and I have to say my friend’s description, while accurate, did not do them justice. Yes, torrijas are essentially fried pieces of bread covered in sugar, but they are so much more than that. Think french toast on the inside and crispy churro on the outside. It’s like someone took two of my favorite things are rolled them into one!
Torrijas are typically served during Semana Santa (Holy Week) or Lent. They are made with day old bread, which you soak briefly in a mixture of milk, cinnamon, and orange and lemon peel (optional). You then drop them in an egg bath, fry them and cover with sugar or cinnamon sugar. Super simple and delicious!
- 1 day-old baguette (or the equivalent day-old bread. You want it a little dried out but not stale)
- 4 eggs, beaten
- 4 cups milk
- Cinnamon stick
- Orange and lemon zest (optional)
- Oil for frying
First, combine the milk, cinnamon, and orange and lemon zest in a saucepan and heat over medium low heat, stirring frequently. You want the milk to heat up enough that the cinnamon and citrus release their flavors, but don’t let the milk scald.
While the milk is heating, put 1-2 inches of oil in a frying pan and put on medium heat. Cut the bread into 1-2 inch slices (It is up to you how thick you want. I like mine a bit thicker, but you can go thin if you want).
Once the milk is heated and aromatic, remove from heat. Soak the bread in the milk for around 10 seconds, before moving to the egg wash and covering in egg. Fry the bread until golden brown on both sides before removing and covering with sugar or cinnamon sugar. Enjoy!