Many thanks to supporter Nuria Cabellos González for emailing us this Easter recipe and photos from lockdown in Spain.
Torrijas are festive breads traditionally eaten at Easter in Spain. A delicious pudding of milky bread fried in egg with sugar and cinnamon, they are the staple of Easter. They are a sign that bread has always been present as part of our agricultural legacy and history.
People have been baking them during the Covid-19 lockdown: it has been a very interesting experience in my solo confinement to bake. I feel I have related to many generations, people and nations by getting my hands in dough.
I have reflected on how many language expressions are related to bread (bread winner, to be bread and butter, companion (that who shares ‘pan’ the bread). So, as a linguist myself I realise that bread is literally our bread and butter.
Confinement has opened up stories like recipes, and I think it has been a beautiful way to share intergenerational stories – now that so many elderly are going. Bread tricks and torrijas recipes have connected people, so I think it has been a lovely project and a learning experience to share. In our local school, Escuela Oficial de Idiomas de Navalmoral de la Mata, students and teachers have been keenly baking in the ‘torrijas challenge’. It has been well baked, sharing many torrijas versions.
They are very simple and easy to make. They are enjoyed by all generations and it is a great pride for some of us to try them for the first time due to lockdown. In the past people made them with wine too. As the Spanish proverb says: “With bread and wine one walks the way”. Con pan y vino se anda el camino. I like scattering a bit of local honey on mine. It’s a lovely way of eating bread – you can enjoy torrijas for breakfast, or teatime.
Here is the recipe for milk torrijas. I hope you enjoy them!
one loaf of bread (the one from the previous day is better)
one litre of milk
3 tablespoons of sugar
2 or 3 eggs
1 litre of olive oil, or alternatively sunflower oil
cinnamon (sticks and powder)
lemon peel or orange peel (depending on taste)
For the syrup
half a litre of water
125 grams of sugar
(Some people like to include some sweet wine)
- Slice the bread in approx 2cm pieces
- Place the slices in a dish
- Boil the milk with the sugar and a cinnamon stick
- Pour the milk on the slices of bread
- Whisk two or three eggs
- Batter each milky bread slice one by one with egg
- Fry the slices of bread in very hot oil
- Sprinkle some sugar and cinnamon on the slices
For the syrup
- Toast some sugar in a pan
- When the sugar is cold pour some water and bring to the boil
- Pour some honey in the water and a bit of cinnamon
- Pour the syrup on the torrijas
Some people like to eat them dry and some people like to pour a bit of syrup on them. This depends on the family recipe and tradition. My grandmother and mum always had a pot of syrup on the side as optional choice.
With warm wishes from Spain! Keep well, keep baking.