Navajo fry bread is one of the breads of the Southwest Indians and an important part of their heritage. Each group--Apache, Hopi, Navajo, Papago, Rio Grande Pueblo, Zuni and others--has its own traditional techniques and recipes related to location and custom.
Navajo fry bread is one of the three most familiar Indian breads; the other two are paper bread and ash bread. Fry bread is puffy and golden. It can be served as a bread or used as a tortilla to wrap foods. That night the fry bread was going to be used for tacos...
Navajo Fry Bread
Yield: 6 fry breads
2 cups unsifted all-purpose flour
1/2 cup instant nonfat dry milk
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp lard or shortening
3/4 cup water
Mix together the first four ingredients. Add the lard or shortening and with you fingers, rub the mixture until it is evenly combined.
Use a fork to stir in the water; mix until the dough clings together.
Turn the dough out onto a floured board and knead until it is smooth and velvety; it takes 2 to 3 minutes. Divide the dough into 6 equal portions; shape each into a ball, then flatten to form a 6 to 7 inch round by patting between your hands. Lay the rounds, side by side, on a floured board and cover with plastic wrap until all are shaped.
In a deep pan (about 9 inches wide), heat 1 1/2 inches salad oil to 375° F. (I use my electric skillet so that I can control the temperature.) Cook rounds of dough, one at a time, in oil until puffy and golden brown, about 2 minutes; turn once or twice. Drain on absorbent material.
Serve hot; bread may be kept in the oven at 300° F. or a warming oven until all are cooked. Or, let cool, them package airtight to chill until the next day; to reheat, arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet and place in a 375° F. oven for 5 to 8 minutes.
Top the bread with powdered sugar or honey and eat as a treat or dessert; or, top with a chili and taco fixin's for lunch or dinner.
About that time I was in the classroom and teaching Southwest Indians was part of the curriculum. At the end of the unit, we made fry bread and sprinkled powdered sugar on it. Such fun!!
Today I am participating in Full Plate Thursday hosted by Miz Helen't Country Cottage and Foodie Friday hosted by Michael at Rattlebridge Farm.