Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Indian fry bread

I don't normally having cooking disasters.  I am a pretty good cook and can follow a recipe and sometimes even come up with some of my own.  But every so often, a recipe gets the better of me.  Take last night for instance.  I had planned to have Navajo tacos, based on a recipe from Tastes &Treasures:  A Storytelling Cookbook of Historic Arizona.  The picture of them looked so good and I had sudden memories of eating Indian fry bread in grade school when a local tribe would come for the day.  This is what my mouth wanted.

Boy, was I disappointed.  My family enjoyed them, but they had nothing to compare them to, either.  At this point I'm pretty sure something was wrong with the bread recipe.  The dough never looked right and it was heavy instead of light and puffy after frying.  The whole thing was just wrong.

So, now, all my Arizona readers, I ask you, what have I done wrong?!  Here's the recipe I used, so you can see if you can find any glaring errors, but I really suggest no one try to make it based on this.

7 c. flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 c milk
1/2 c water

The dough was much too dry, even after I doubled the water, and was weirdly stringy. 

Of course, now, after preparing my taste buds, I am just a little obsessed about this.  Any help is greatly appreciated.  And as a reward, since I know most of you in AZ really just want pictures of G. and L., I'll promise a whole bunch of the little mess-makers darlings in return.


KelleyO said...



both of these recipes call for a more liquid.

Melissa Werner said...

OK Beth - I've never made Indian Fry Bread, but the recipie is very much like sopapillas,which my mom still makes on occasion. First thig I see is waaaay too much flour for the amount of baking powder. The baking powder makes the dough light. Also - I wouldn't reccomend milk in the recepie although, like biscuits, everyone has their own take. Warm water is important for mixing the ingredients and don't overwork the dough. The oil needs to be pretty hot. If not, the dough takes in too much oil and that can make the bread heavy as well.

Try this recepie -- http://www.manataka.org/page180.html#Navajo

PS -- I think you need to come home and we'll have a big ol' day of cooking.

Amy said...

Hi Beth,
I was just looking through an old LWB newsletter from October 2007 and I saw a picture of our Jacob along with your H. I then went on line to search for it (it wasn't listed unfortunately) but I did stumble across another picture of Jacob and a picture and wonderful write up about H on the LWB blog (same month).
Here is the link.

thecurryseven said...

Missy-- thanks for the tips and recipe. Once I've recovered from the sort-of disaster I'm going to try it. And you could also come here for a visit...

Amy-- thank you so much for the link (and the emails). That's a picture we didn't have.


LawMommy said...

Not my area of expertise, but I don't think that's enough liquid for that much flour.

When I lived in South Dakota there was an Indian Fry Bread mix that I made sometimes for tourists who came into the gift shop/grocery store/cafe where I worked. I'm thinking it was a much wetter mix than 7 cups of flour to 1 cup of water.

And now, of course, I want some...

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