Spanish Churros Showstopper
In Autumn 2016 on the Great British Bake Off (Series 7 Ep.4) the showstopper challenge was Spanish Churros. There were quite a few errors when they talked about Churros throughout the programme. Now in the UK a big supermarket is stocking Churros with a savoury red pepper sauce this season.
So here is my little guide to Spanish Churros.
On the bake off the bakers were challenged to make churros from scratch with a sauce. In typical GBBO style there were many versions of this recipe. Lots of fusion flavours but none of them actually make a recognisable Spanish churros.
While watching the challenge on TV I was getting a little aeriated. There were quite a few confused references throughout the programme. I wanted to put the record straight. (Yes I´m clearly a Churros geek)
Churros for Breakfast
In Spain Churros are typical for Sunday breakfast or on festival days. It´s also popular to have them after a long night out at 6am before you totter home.
Often people pop out on Sunday mornings to get a lot of Churros to take home to share with the family.
The Origin of Churros
Originally created by Spanish shepherds, they made this batter mix and used an open fire to heat the oil.
As they were away from the village bakery this substituted baked goods when they were out on the hills. The name of Churros comes from the Churra sheep. The fried shapes are similar to the horns of the Churra sheep breed.
There are some other references to the origin of this food being from China or Portugal. However most sources point to the Shepherds origin. I imagine that the history has been lost in time and it´s maybe a combination of the two.
Churros is the plural version of the word and Churro singular.
You can taste a churro or eat some Churros. You can´t taste a Churros even if Paul Hollywood does ; )
Different Kinds of Churros
Churros are made in a large round pan with oil. As they mentioned they drop the mix straight into the pan and each one comes out different. Sometimes they even make a wheel. A large spiral of churro mix.
The typical style is not filled or shaped in Spain. It´s just fried dough. Sometimes dusted with sugar on the outside. They serve it will thick dark chocolate or sometimes with café con leche.
To complicate matters some places in Spain call Churros by another name, Porras. It that depends on the region. In Andalucía Churros are slightly smoother and don´t have the ridged edges.
In Madrid to get Churros you need to ask for Porras which confuses me. Every. Single. Time.
These are ´sticks´ a little chunkier and sometimes filled with yellow or pink coloured cream or chocolate.
You see this often a fairgrounds in Spain, next to the Candy floss. The remind me slightly of Italian Cannoli.
These are slimmer shaped. They link at the top in a teardrop shape and seem a little drier to me than the churros.
You can also find them in the frozen section of Spanish supermarkets too. They are crispier and less spongey.
The photo below is of lazos in a paper cone.
Spanish Churros Recipe
So on the showstopper of last night Bake off the Winning Churros were the Tropical flavoured ones.
Actually they are Lazos (bows) rather than Churros.
Here´s the recipe: BBC Food-Tropical Churros
Traditional Chocolate con Churros
And of course here´s the recipe for Proper Churros, Spanish Style BBC Good Food – Churros in case you were left actually wanting the proper ones.
Where to eat to Spanish Churros
Some of the places I´ve enjoyed Churros over the years in Spain.
- Seville – Bar El Comercio – Calle Lineros
- Malaga – Casa Aranda on Calle Herreria del Rey, close to Atarazanas Market
- Jaen – Cafeteria Colon on Calle Navas de Tolosa
- Gijon – Café Dindurra or Café Central
Expect to pay around 4-5 euros for a hot chocolate and Churros for one.