The ingredients in this recipe carry a rich and symbolic religious representation for some Mexican and Mexican-American families. The bread is for the Body of Christ, the syrup is his blood, the cloves are the nails on the cross, the cinnamon sticks symbolize the wooden cross, and the melted cheese stands for the Holy Shroud. Hence why this is eaten during the Lenten season.
As great as capirotada smells fresh out of the oven, my favorite time to eat it is about two days after it’s made. Sometimes I like eating it cold, straight out of the pan. The tanginess of the cheese, the sweetness of the piloncillo, and the added spices make this a postre (dessert) worth trying.
Cut rolls into ½-inch slices and butter both sides of each slice. Layer on a baking sheet and
Combine water, piloncillo, cinnamon sticks, and cloves in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer uncovered for 20 minutes, creating a syrup. Remove from heat, cover, and let steep for 2 hours. Pour through a strainer and discard cinnamon sticks and cloves. Set syrup aside.
Spray an 8-inch x 10½-inch baking dish with non-stick spray. Layer the ingredients in the following order: a third of the toasted bread, a third of the raisins, a third of the cheese, and then pour 1½ cups syrup evenly over cheese. Wait 15 minutes and then layer another third of the bread, raisins, and cheese, and pour another 1½ cups syrup evenly over cheese.
Let soak for another 15 minutes. Top with the remaining bread, raisins, and cheese, and pour remaining syrup evenly over bread. Let set for another 15 minutes.
Cover the dish with aluminum foil that has been sprayed with nonstick spray and
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