Rabanadas (Portuguese French Toast)

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If you have been following me close enough, you will know that I have been playing with this recipe for rabanadas for a long, long time. I am pleased to announce that it is finally here...and it's perfect?! A huge thanks goes out to my Aunt Chris, who has been making these for me my whole life, most recently a few weeks ago, which reminded me I should really get around to landing this recipe!


Rabanadas can best be described as a Portuguese-style French Toast...except way better. They are crispy crunchy on the outside and soft and custardy on the inside. They are also commonly eaten for a hand-held snack or a dessert instead of for breakfast. There is no maple syrup involved, instead they are served with a drizzle of honey or a glass of red wine. Or both.


If you have been to Portugal, Brazil or your local Portuguese bakery, you have likely indulged in the glory that is rabanadas. And if not, this recipe is now your chance! I hope you love them as much as I do!

WHAT YOU'LL NEED:


One loaf stale bread, cut into ¾ inch slices

3 cups whole milk*

5 eggs

2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

A pinch of kosher salt

Olive oil or any neutral frying oil

1 cup granulated sugar

Honey, optional


*any non-dairy milk will work here


WHAT YOU'LL DO:


First, let's talk about the bread. Ideally you have a nice loaf of stale bread - like an Italian bread or a baguette. Or anything similar. I love this recipe because it is the perfect way to use up your stale bread. Why do we want stale bread? Because it is extra dry and therefore will soak up lots of liquid, creating our perfectly custardy rabanadas.


It helps if you slice your bread the day before you are making the rabanadas so you can leave the slices out in the air to get stale. Or you can always throw the slices into a low temp oven (200-ish degrees) for 20-30 minutes to dry them out. Either way will help you get the best results possible.


Ok, now let's make our rabanadas. Grab a mixing bowl and whisk. To the bowl, add 3 cups whole milk*, 5 eggs, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and a pinch of kosher salt. Whisk until frothy and well combined.


Add your bread slices (laid on their cut side) to a pan with sides. Pour your milk and egg mixture over the bread and let it sit for at least 30 minutes, giving the bread plenty of time to soak it up!


While your bread is soaking, you can prepare a baking sheet, covering it in a few layers of paper towels. Also grab a small bowl and combine 1 cup of granulated sugar and 2 tablespoons of ground cinnamon. Pour this out onto a plate or tray so it is ready for the rabanadas.


Once your bread has soaked up as much liquid as it can, add ½ inch of oil to your largest frying pan. I like to use olive oil here, but any neutral frying oil will also work. I just love to fry in olive oil it makes me happy! Get your oil warmed up over medium high heat. Test that the oil is hot enough by dropping a tiny amount of water into the oil - if it sizzles, you are ready.


Using tongs, place your soaked bread into the pan - just enough so that it's not crowded. Fry the bread on each side for 4-5 minutes until nice and brown and crispy on the outside and warm and custardy on this inside. This is the magic of rabanadas!


Remove the bread and place onto the paper towel-lined baking sheet so that soaks up excess oil.

While your bread is still warm, toss it on all sides in the cinnamon and sugar, getting it nice and coated! Repeat this process until all of your bread is fully rabanada'ed (arrest me for that!).


Serve warm or room temperature, and with a drizzle of honey if that makes you happy. Oh, and a glass of red wine like they do in Portugal and Brazil as well, if that makes you happy!


Make it step-by-step with me below!

First, let's talk about the bread. Ideally you have a nice loaf of stale bread - like an Italian bread or a baguette. Or anything similiar. I love this recipe because it is the perfect way to use up your stale bread. Why do we want stale bread? Because it is extra dry and therefore will soak up lots of liquid, creating our perfectly custardy rabanadas.

1. It helps if you slice your bread the day before you are making the rabanadas so you can leave the slices out in the air to get stale. Or you can always throw the slices into a low temp oven (200-ish degrees) for 20-30 minutes to dry them out. Either way will help you get the best results possible.

3. Ok, now let's make our rabanadas. Grab a mixing bowl and whisk. To the bowl, add 3 cups whole milk*, 5 eggs, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and a pinch of kosher salt.

4. Whisk until frothy and well combined.

5. Add your bread slices (laid on their cut side) to a pan with sides. Pour your milk and egg mixture over the bread and let it sit for at least 30 minutes, giving the bread plenty of time to soak it up!

6. While your bread is soaking, you can prepare a baking sheet, covering it in a few layers of paper towels. Also grab a small bowl and combine 1 cup of granulated sugar and 2 tablespoons of ground cinnamon. Pour this out onto a plate or tray so it is ready for the rabanadas.

7. Once your bread has soaked up as much liquid as it can, add ½ inch of oil to your largest frying pan. I like to use olive oil here, but any neutral frying oil will also work. I just love to fry in olive oil it makes me happy! Get your oil warmed up over medium high heat. Test that the oil is hot enough by dropping a tiny amount of water into the oil - if it sizzles, you are ready.

8. Using tongs, place your soaked bread into the pan - just enough so that it's not crowded. Fry the bread on each side for 4-5 minutes until nice and brown and crispy on the outside and warm and custardy on this inside. This is the magic of rabanadas!

9. Remove the bread and place onto the paper towel-lined baking sheet so that soaks up excess oil.

While your bread is still warm, toss it on all sides in the cinnamon and sugar, getting it nice a coated! Repeat this process until all of your bread is fully rabanada'ed (arrest me for that!).

10. Serve warm or room temperature, and with a drizzle of honey if that makes you happy. Oh, and a glass of red wine like they do in Portugal and Brazil as well, if that makes you happy!

Enjoy!

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