Fry bread is something that most of us in Arizona or the Southwestern U.S. eat from time to time. It’s referred to as Indian Fry Bread, or Navajo Fry Bread. It’s delicious by itself, but it’s also great with butter, cheese, and/or pinto beans (refried beans). “Navajo Tacos” are made by layering beans, seasoned ground beef, lettuce, cheese, tomato, onions, etc. onto the fry bread. Fry bread can also be served as a dessert, topped with honey or powdered sugar. In either case, sweet or savory, this bread is best immediately after frying. In my neck of the woods, these are a popular food item sold by vendors at the state or county fair as a “fast food” of sorts.
This is another case of something that I wouldn’t normally measure, but I measured as I made it…just for you! 🙂
Recipe by: Designs by Jeanne R
2 cups of flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 cup shortening
3/4 cup water
oil for frying
You can certainly mix this by hand, but it’s extra simple if you use a food processor. I place the dry ingredients into the food processor, give it a few “pulses” add the shortening and do the same thing. After it’s evenly combined, add the water and “pulse” a few times, stopping right away when the mixture forms a ball. Remove the dough and place onto a floured cutting board. Knead a few times (or 10 times or so) until the dough isn’t sticky any longer. Divide the dough into 10-12 even pieces. Roll each piece into a ball, then place them into a bowl that has been sprayed with non-stick spray. Cover with a cloth, and allow the dough to rest for at least 5 minutes…longer is fine.
Add some vegetable oil to a cast iron skillet, to a depth of about 1″ or more. Heat the oil to about 350 degrees F. Meanwhile, roll 1 of the balls into a roughly round-ish shape, or flatten with your hand until it’s about 6 – 8 inches across.
Using a sharp knife, slit the center. Gently place the dough into the hot oil and fry on either side until golden. Remove from the oil and place onto a platter lined with paper towels. Repeat this process for the remaining dough balls. Serve immediately while still warm & fresh.
Use more or less water or flour as needed. The dough should be tender after kneading, but will become even more so after the dough balls have rested a bit. They should be tender and pliable for rolling or shaping. These fry up quickly, so watch them closely!