Monday, July 09, 2007

Navajo Fry Bread

I got this recipe directly from the women at the boarding school at the Navajo Nation.

6 cups flour (White Whole Wheat)

6 tsp baking powder

Approx. 1--2 cups warm water

Mix together flour and baking powder. Slowly add water a bit at a time until you have a workable dough, not sticky, just pliable. Using a 1/4 or 1/3 cup measure scoop out a ball of dough and roll it until smooth. Continue until all the dough is formed into small balls. Cover the dough and let sit for 20 minutes. Fill a large frying pan with canola or vegetable oil about one inch deep. Heat the oil over medium heat. While the oil is heating take up a ball of dough and gently flatten it between the palms of your hands. Holding it between the heel of your hands flip it back and forth across the heel of one hand and then the other, turning it continuously until it has stretched out into a larger circle. (Think small pizza crust. If this proves too hard you can use a roller but you will lose some of the lightness and be careful not to roll it too thin.) Once the oil is hot slide the stretched fry bread into the pan. It will rise in the pan and get bubbly, once the bottom is firm and a bit golden flip it and cook the other side. Drain on paper towels and sprinkle with kosher salt immediately after it's cooked. Continue until all the bread is cooked. Once you get good at tossing you can get the next few done while the first are cooking and have them ready. The oil can be poured out into a jar and reused for other batches.

Serve topped with these beans, shredded lettuce, and shredded cheese. These are great for serving large crowds, very inexpensive to make and filling.


Scuzzlewump said...

That much oil CANNOT be good for you! Just thinking of the greasy taste that conjures up makes me queasy! :(
Can it be made without all that grease?

Carrien said...

I've never tried but you probably could. It's not actually all that greasy in the end there is about the same amount of oil in the pan as I started and I drain them really well. They don't taste greasy, but that's probably because I use canola oil.

If you try it let me know because others would probably like to know too.

And yes, it would not be good for you to have everyday, though switch it out for a homemade whole wheat tortilla and it would be. But I don't make it every day. And canola oil is high in omega 6 which is essential for brain function..

Anonymous said...

We make fry bread all the time using 3/4 white spelt flour 1/4 whole spelt flour (wheat troubles) and unrefined coconut oil as our frying oil. Getting the oil to a proper temperature is the key to non-oily deep frying. Less oil does not make for less greasy food. Good quality oil (I hate to say it, but canola is rancid before it even hits the store shelf), plenty of it, and hot enough is the secret. Alton Brown covers it thoroughly on his show.

Anonymous said...

and also: Thanks for the shout-out on the cookbook, Carrie. :)

And what do you know! The Alton Brown show on frying, Fry Hard, repeats this week!

And last: We usually put powdered sugar and cinnamon on our fry bread and call it doughnuts. mmmm...doughnuts...

Carrien said...

Even the canola oils I get at the organic store that are all cold pressed and organic? Because the smell of coconut oil makes me queasy. We used to have a tub of it to cook with because we read about it being a good oil but I had to leave the house every time.

Scuzzlewump said...

Your recipe, if your previous post had any say in the matter, makes a whole bunch....if i go ahead and make this, how well does it keep, either refrigerated or frozen? (cuz hungry as we may be, we don't eat 15-30 people's worth.) :-D

Carrien said...

I would take it down to 2 cups of flour 2 tsp baking powder and 1/3-2/3 cup of water for a family sized meal. They taste better fresh, though if you put them in the fridge with paper towels and warm them up the next day I will eat them and so will my children, but my husband doesn't usually.

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