“Good bread is the most fundamentally satisfying of all foods; and good bread with fresh butter, the greatest of feasts.”

James Beard (1903-1985)

Sunday, August 22, 2010

BBD#33 - Torrijas de vino

Oh those girls (and boys) from Bread Baking Day......I am so glad the weather is finally turning into something a bit more agreeable, because I've missed these baking challenges. This month's recipe is Bread with Booze, hosted by Baking Powders, and wouldn't you know it......

I've only recently begun enjoying wine again and, as it happened, had a bottom of Barefoot's Muscato wine in the fridge. It's a very sweet, almost dessert-ey kind of wine. Together with several slices of day-old bread on the counter and a couple of eggs, I made something I had been wanting to try for years: Spanish torrijas de vino.....sweet wine soaked pieces of French toast.....yum! This dish is great for dessert, served with some freshly cut fruit, or as a breakfast item for an early morning start.

Yesterday I baked bread for our monthly ladies dinner. It's an eclectic but wonderful group of women who meet to eat, greet and laugh. A lot. I kept one loaf for breakfast this morning and by the end of day had only half a loaf left. It was perfect for this dish! You really want bread that has lost some of its moisture so that it soaks up the wonderful flavors of the sweet wine. Remember to save the wine you soaked the bread in so that you can reduce it to a syrup afterwards.

Torrijas de vino
Half a loaf of day old bread, preferably baguette or something else with a crust
1/4 cup of sweet white wine 
1/4 cup of warm water
2 tablespoons of sugar
1 large egg
3 tablespoons of butter
4 tablespoons of honey
Powdered sugar

Cut two inch slices off the bread, preferably at an angle so you get a nice large piece. Mix the wine and the warm water with the sugar and stir until the sugar is melted. Pour into a bowl large enough to soak the bread in. Beat the egg in a separate bowl.

Place the bread one side down into the water/wine mix, then turn over so that the bread soaks through. Take it out and coat it in the beaten egg. Melt the butter in a skillet and place the soaked pieces of bread in the pan, and fry them golden brown on both sides. Place on a plate with some paper towels to soak up most of the grease.

In a separate sauce pan, add the remaining water/wine and stir in the honey. Slowly stir and reduce by half to a syrup. Place the warm torrijas on a plate, pour the syrup over the bread and dust with powdered sugar. Eat warm. The slight tang of the wine combined with the honey syrup and wonderful eggy bread is an absolute must to try!

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