I am taking a Native American Literature class this semester and the professor handed us a recipe for Navajo Fry Bread. So of course, I made a batch and brought it in to class.
Fry bread is a staple food of modern Native Americans. It is often made and sold at powwows. It can be eaten as a sweet dish topped with honey and powdered sugar or as a tasty bread with a savory meal of say venison chile.
Its fried crunchy outside and soft dough inside makes Fry Bread a great item to serve with hearty stews
Navajo Fry Bread Recipe: Make 6-8 big size pieces
4 Cups of all-purpose flour
1 Tablespoon of baking powder
1 teaspoon of salt
2 Tablespoons of nonfat dry milk powder
1 1/4 – 1 1/2 cups of water
2-3 cups of high temp fry oil (Safflower, Peanut, lard or shortening)
2 Tablespoons of sugar (optional) if serving a sweet fry bread
Combine the flour, baking powder, salt and dried milk and sugar if using in a large mixing bowl or into your food processor. Mix in the water to form the dough into a ball.
Knead the dough for a few minutes then let it rest for 15 minutes covered with a moist towel.
Divide into 6-8 equal portions and roll into balls and flatten them out. Cover with a moist towel until ready to fry.
Meanwhile pour 2-3 cups of oil into a large heavy bottom pot or cast iron pan. Heat the oil till hot, 450-500 degrees.
Flatten out the dough ball to a thickness of 1/2 inch. I do this by squeezing the dough with my fingers while spin them in a cycle like making a pizza, but you can use a rolling pin if you prefer.
Poke a small hole in the dough. This prevents the dough from puffing up unevenly. Then carefully place in the fry oil.
Cook for a few minutes until the bottom is golden brown, then carefully flip with thongs.
Place finished Fry Bread of paper towels.
My class found the fry bread to taste great even at room temp. It can be made in advance and heated in the oven for good results.