How to make Fry bread
How to Make Fry Bread
Fry bread is a Navajo Indian creation that is popular throughout the American southwest. This chewy, crispy fried treat can be found at powwows, diners and truck stops, and it's the base for the famous Navajo taco. The dough is handled gently and allowed to rest, then fried in hot lard and finished with sweet or savory toppings. See Step 1 and beyond for instructions on making fresh fry bread at home.
3 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons powdered milk
1 1/4 cups warm water
Lard, vegetable oil or vegetable shortening
Toppings: honey, sugar, butter, taco meat, lettuce, diced tomatoes, etc.
Making the Dough
Mix the dry ingredients.Put the flour, baking powder, powdered milk and salt in a large bowl. Use a whisk to thoroughly incorporate them. Make a well in the center of the mixture.
Add the warm water.Pour the warm water into the well.
Mix the dough.Use a wooden spoon to incorporate it with the flour until you have a wet, sticky dough. You can use your hands instead of a spoon if you'd like. Mix the dough gently - over mixing it will cause the finished fry bread to turn out tough.
Let the dough relax.When it's mixed, form it into a ball and place it in a greased bowl. Lay a clean dish towel over the top of the bowl and set it in a warm, dry place so the dough can rest for 10 minutes.
- The dough doesn't need to sit for longer than 10 minutes. It should be used within an hour or two and fried fresh. The fry bread won't taste as good if you let it sit overnight.
Break the dough into pieces.Pull the dough apart into small pieces, and shape them into balls. Flatten the balls using the heel of your hand to make fry bread rounds about the size of tortillas.
- Do not over-handle the dough at this stage. Handle it only enough to create the shapes you need.
- If you'd like, you can flatten the entire dough ball and use a cutter or knife to cut out individual pieces of dough.
- As you work, lay the dough pieces on a plate and place a dishcloth over them to prevent them from getting dried out.
Cooking the Fry Bread
Heat the fat.Place a sizable amount of lard, vegetable oil or vegetable shortening into a cast iron skillet or frying pan. You need enough fat to rise up the side of the pan by about 1 inch (2.5 cm). Melt the fat over medium-high heat. The fat should be heated to 350 °F (177 °C).
Test the fat.Put a small piece of dough in the pan to see if it's hot enough. The bread should sizzle and start bubbling immediately. Make sure it's hot enough before you start cooking the bread.
Lay the dough pieces into the pan.Make sure none of them are overlapping, or the dough won't cook evenly.
Cook each side for 2 to 4 minutes.When the first side is crispy and golden brown, use tongs to turn the bread over and finish cooking the other side.
Transfer the bread to a paper towel-lined plate.The towels will absorb the extra oil as you finish cooking the bread.
Serving the Fry Bread
Serve immediately.Fry bread is most delicious while it's still hot. Eat the fry bread straight from the pan or top it with one of the following toppings:
- Honey and butter mixed together
- Powdered sugar
Make Navajo tacos.If you're feeling ambitious, use your fry bread to create a traditional, filling treat. Fill the fry bread with some or all of the following taco ingredients:
QuestionMy fry bread comes out tough. Looks great, but what went wrong?Top AnswererTough bread is a result of over-kneading/over-mixing. This develops the gluten protein too much, which makes for chewy, tough bread. Remember to only mix the dough until the ingredients are just incorporated, and to let the dough rest for the needed amount of time.Thanks!
QuestionCan I use regular milk instead of powdered milk?Michelle.PerroneCommunity AnswerNo. Powdered milk is dry, and milk is wet. If you add milk to it, it will get soggier.Thanks!
QuestionWhy isn't my fry bread fluffy?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerIt's supposed to be crispy, so you're doing it right. If you want fluffier fried bread, look up recipes for Canadian fried dough or beaver tails.Thanks!
QuestionCan I freeze the cooked fry bread? How would I reheat it?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYou can't freeze fry bread, you can only put it in the refrigerator and then heat it up in the microwave.Thanks!
- Do not allow lumps to be in the dough.
- Do not over-knead or the bread will be hard.
- Frybread pieces may be whatever size you desire.
- Put in frybread slowly, you don't want to get splashed by the grease or start a fire.
- Place bowl of dough in the oven (When off) and place a towel on top to speed the process. Watch it so it doesn't rise out of the bowl.
- Whisk is faster and more efficient than a spoon.
Things You'll Need
Medium sized skillet.
2 medium sized bowls.
Spoon or whisk (whisk is faster and more efficient).
Sources and Citations
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