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Origin of Torrejas or Torrijas
In Spain, this recipe is referred to as torrijas, coming from the word “torrija” meaning sliced. Spanish torrijas date back to the Roman times. It was given to expectant mothers who needed a high caloric dish to help them give birth.
Later in the Middle Ages, it became associated with Lent as a meat alternative. The Spanish conquistadors brought the dish to Mexico and other Latin American countries.
This easy recipe differs from state to state in Mexico. Here I’m sharing how we make in Durango. Similar to Capirotada, it is a must at Lent, Good Friday, and throughout the Holy Week. Although, you might also see it at Christmas.
- French bread (baguette leftover bread or bolillo rolls)
- Miel de Maguey, or Maguey Syrup (optional)
- Vegetable oil
Also try adding ground cinnamon, ground cloves, grated orange peel or orange zest, or a splash of vanilla extract.
In Durango, we serve it with miel de maguey, but it is virtually impossible to find in the US. The closest alternative is agave nectar.
Other substitutes include piloncillo syrup, cajeta, or even regular maple syrup.
I like to dust mine with powdered sugar or cinnamon sugar.
- With a sharp serrated knife, cut to make the slices of bread.
- Set aside until ready to use.
Stale bread is the main ingredient. Using day-old stale bread or bolillo bread is much easier to slice.
Only have fresh bread in the house? Slice the bread and keep it out for a couple of hours before making this recipe.
Change it up! Instead of french bread, try using Mexican sweet bread.
- Separate the egg yolks from the egg whites.
- Beat the egg whites until stiff.
- Then add the yolks with the egg whites and stir.
How do you separate eggs without a tool?
First, crack the eggs into a large bowl. Next, use your clean hands to take the yolks out of the bowl. Pick up each yolk and let the whites drip back down through your fingers. Then put the yolks into a separate bowl.
- Add the egg whites with the egg yolks. Gently mix.
- Set the eggs mixture aside until ready to use.
How long does it take to make stiff peaks?
Using a hand mixer, it takes about 5 minutes to create a soft peaks. To create stiff peaks, about 8 to 9 minutes.
- Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat.
- Coat each slice of bread, one by one in the egg mixture.
- Place the soaked bread into the pan and fry in hot oil, piece by piece until golden brown.
Allow about 2 minutes per side. Until they are golden brown.
In order to keep their shape intact, use a wide spatula to flip your fried bread.
Fry in small batches. Be careful not to fry too many pieces at the same time (2-3 is ideal). Otherwise, they will not brown nicely.
- Once ready, place the fried bread slices on a paper towel to drain any excess oil.
- Then place in a large dish or shallow bowl and cover with aluminum foil to keep warm.
What is the difference between torrejas and French toast?
Torrejas are coated in a fluffy and light egg mixture then fried in oil. French toast is coated in egg and cooked in butter.
Storing and Reheating
Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
To reheat, place them in a hot pan and heat for a few minutes on each side. Or reheat for 30 seconds to 1 minute in a microwave.
What to Serve with It
You’re going to love these crispy and delicious Mexican torrejas. Drizzle with sweet syrup or your favorite topping and enjoy!
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Torrejas (Mexican French Toast)
- 1 day old french loaf (or 4 bolillos)
- 5 eggs
- 2 cups vegetable oil (for frying)
- 2 cups miel de maguey (or use agave nectar, maple syrup, or cinnamon and sugar)
- Slice the bread and set aside.
- Separate the eggs yolks from the egg whites.
- Whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks.
- Mix the egg yolks in with the egg whites.
- Gently mix.
- Heat the oil in a large frying pan.
- Coat each slice of bread in the egg mixture, one by one.
- Fry in the oil for 2 minutes.
- Turn and fry for an additional 2 minutes.
- Be sure not to fry too many pieces in the pan or they will not fry well.
- When done place on a paper towel to drain excess oil.
- Then place in a shallow plate and cover with foil.
- Repeat with the remaining bread until done.
- Cover with desired topping and enjoy.
We had this on a vacation a few years ago, and I have been trying to re-create it! So happy I found your recipe!
Hope you make this Torrejas recipe soon. Let me know how it turns out for you!
This variety of french toast looks absolutely delicious and so yummy! A perfect toast to pair with our hot drinks! An instant favorite! Loving this already!
You’d love this recipe. Super tasty!
Amy Liu Dong
A different way of making french toast for breakfast.
I am so excited to make for this my family!
Hope you do. I know you’ll enjoy it.
I made this Mexican French Toast for breakfast this morning, and everyone loved them! I don’t think I will go back to making my usual French toast!
I know what you mean about switching to a new favorite recipe, especially when it’s something as delicious as these Torrejas.