Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Mastering cooking I'd long given up on!

When I lived on the reservation in Canada (another story for another time), one of my biggest treats was the Indian fry bread that my ex-husband's mother used to make.

She tried to teach me, but I need a recipe and she was from the "you just throw some of this and grab a handful of that" kind of approach.

But now I've found a recipe that tastes just like I remember and for supper I prepared Indian Tacos.  Well, more like Indian tostadas as I didn't make them large enough to fold over.  But the fry bread was oh so yummy!

Indian fry bread is the Native American counterpart to the Mexican tortilla, another staple we seem to eat a lot of in our new life.  It is thicker and more substantial than a tortilla, delicious and very filling. 

This recipe calls for the authentic ingredients and I believe this was the big difference.  You may have similar memories of your mother, or in my case my grandmother, cooking with lard.  Yup, they still sell it and it's cheaper than the Crisco.
The other part is using the dry milk.   Refrigeration was a luxury most of us didn't have and so dry milk was often substituted.

You will need the following:
4 cups all purpose unbleached flour
1 heaping tsp baking powder (don't use that old stuff, make sure it's fresh!)
3/4 cup instant dry milk
1 tsp salt
2 - 2 1/2 cups warm water
Lard, for frying

In a large bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, dry milk, and salt.  Add the warm water and mix, using just enough to form a soft dough; cover and set aside for 2 - 3 hours.

Turn the dough onto a floured board and knead for one minute.  Shape the dough into a log and cut into 12 even pieces.  Using a floured rolling pin, roll out into 5 inch rounds.

Heat the lard to 360 degrees in a cast-iron skillet 1/2 deep.  I used my regular fry pan and it was fine.  I would suspect you could use a fry daddy also with good results, they would just be a bit smaller.

Fry the dough pieces, one at a time, for 1 - 2 minutes on each side until slightly browned.  Drain and cool on paper towels.  Makes one dozen.

I divided this recipe into half for the two of us, as fry bread isn't good after it cools and sits too long.

After they were drained and ready I piled on some shredded lettuce, tomatos, onions, taco meat, cheese and salsa.

We had had Navajo Tacos once while traveling through the Black Hills and I do believe mine were even better!

Long Live the Queen of Fry Bread


  1. yum yum. you do so many incredible things, no matter how small an area you are working in! You are amazing. pond lois...on... found a note in a small hole in a tree...right up your Geo Cache alley...someone plastic coated a note to whoever found saying hello, wishing well, and said leave a note back if want. I will. It's on a woods hiking trail kind of away from where normal people walk. This could get fun. :-(

  2. Your photo reminds me of fried dough. I remember when I was very young, we would go visiting "Lermie" an old family friend, and she would make us fried dough and donuts. Oh my, I'd almost forgotten how yummy they were.

    You have a fabulous day, hugs, Edna B.

  3. I am commenting on your last two posts because I am hopelessly behind in everything. Your pickle ball and line dancing sound awesome (who says you can't teach an old dog new tricks ... not implying that you are an old dog, it's just an expression:) The best part of that post was the cat feeling your aches and pains ... LOL! Hope you didn't really have any, but then you did put in a long active day.

    As for the fry bread ... I love fried food, but don't eat it often. My mother was a nurse and very particular about what she fed us and it was never fried foods. I always loved when I ate at someone else's home and they served fried chicken, yummmmm. But, because I wasn't raised on it, I still don't eat much of it. I do, however eat tacos and love eating tacos so I am sure if I were to eat fry bread with taco stuff on it, I would love it. Very kind of you to give out the recipe. I also love that you are so involved with Indian ways ... the Indian's have much to teach that we need to learn about living as one with nature. Palefaces are doing a number on our environment in the name of progress and profit ... Sad! Enough said ... Glad you are enjoying your new digs. I will be awaiting what you will be queen of next ... Long live the Queen :)

    Andrea @ From The Sol