The Indian Fry Bread Recipe roots from the Native American Indians, particularly the Navajo tribe. For those who have not yet tried this particular bread recipe, the texture is just like that of a decadent French croissant but round and not shaped like a shell. It’s thin and wafer-like on the outside and thick and kind of dense on the inside. Unlike most bread, this one isn’t baked in the oven, but fried like a doughnut (except without the hole). For those who are familiar with dim sum making, the process is quite similar. The batter is sticky and thick enough to handle and shape (using floured hands) but not quite like dough. It is bread but it doesn’t use yeast.
Let’s try this, shall we?
– 1 cup all-purpose flour
– 1/4 teaspoon iodized salt
– 1 teaspoon sugar
– 1 teaspoon baking powder
– 1/2 cup cold water
– Vegetable oil for deep frying
– Extra flour for hands
– Sift together the dry ingredients: flour, salt, sugar and baking powder, in a large bowl.
– Add the cold water to the mixture until well blended.
– Form the mixture into a ball using your hands which have been lightly coated with the extra flour. Do not knead.
– Divide the balled mixture into smaller balls.
– Flatten each ball with a rolling pin to about the thickness of thin-crust pizza dough (approximately half a centimeter). You should have 4 saucer-sized pieces of flattened dough or more depending on the size of your deep fryer.
– Heat the oil in a deep fryer to about 350 degrees. (If you don’t have a kitchen thermometer, you can do the ‘flour test’ by sprinkling flour on the oil; if it sizzles, then the oil is ready.)
– Deep fry the dough, one piece at a time so that they won’t stick together, until golden brown.
– Drain on paper towels and serve hot.
The Indian Fry Bread is simple enough to make but very, very versatile. It is, after all, bread. Serving suggestions vary to wit:
– top with regular or powdered sugar sprinkled
– use as your basic taco shell with taco filling
– top with your favorite pizza toppings
– top with your favorite jelly or jam
– top with grated quick-melt cheese
– serve as chicken, tuna or blt sandwich
– eat as a stand alone snack
– use as side bread for pasta dishes and salads
– serve like a bagel with cream cheese
– spread creamy butter on top and sprinkle with ground nuts
– cut into cubes and use as croutons for shrimp and bean sprout salad
– let your imagination soar and Bon Appetit!