French toasts, are traditionally prepared to celebrate Mardi Gras in the northern part of Spain, but in other regions of the country they are eaten during Holy Week.
Although it is a dessert of great importance in Spain, it is also consumed in several countries around the world. French toasts have a large presence in Central and South America, and are also popular in several European countries. In France they are called pain perdu (lost bread), in Great Britain they are called poor knights of Windsor, in Portugal they are known as rabanadas (slices), although they are more of a typical Christmas sweet. In Spain they are called torrijas, and in Germany they are known as arme ritter (poor gentlemen).
This dessert used to be prepared especially in times of economic difficulty, not only because it allows to take advantage of leftover bread, but the necessary ingredients are cheap and can often be found in most homes.
French toasts are a dessert that people have been preparing for thousands of years, since the times of the Denarius. Its history goes back to Ancient Rome, where Marcus Gavius Apicius, a Roman gourmet of the 1st century A.C., fond of exquisite foods and supposed author of the book De re coquinaria (On kitchen matters) included the torrijas in his cookbook.
($ 1.14 for 4 servings)
-1/2 baguette of day old bread ($ 0.60)
-1 glass of milk ($ 0.15)
-1 egg ($ 0.10)
-1 tablespoon of cinnamon powder ($ 0.04)
-2 tablespoons of sugar ($ 0.05)
-Sunflower oil ($ 0.20)
- Pour the milk into a saucepan over low heat, add the 2 tablespoons of sugar and the tablespoon of cinnamon. Stir well with a wooden spoon and leave it to emulsify without boiling (for about ten minutes) and remove it from heat.
- Cut the bread into slices of approximately 1 inch thick. Place the slices in a dish and with the help of a ladle, pour the milk on top, soaking each one of them well. We leave them to soak for 10 minutes so they remain juicy.
- Beat the egg in a bowl and heat the pan with some oil. Drip gently each slice of bread and batter in the beaten egg. Fry the slices until golden brown on both sides.
- Place them on a plate with absorbent kitchen paper to remove excess oil. Add sugar and cinnamon to taste.
This recipe is very cheap and quick to prepare, besides being exquisite.
Make them with your family and enjoy Mardi Gras!