Friday, May 17, 2013

Indian Fry Bread

The first time I ever tried fry bread was at a Pow Wow in South Dakota.  I have attended several Pow Wows over the years and love the experience of learning more about the Native American culture and of course their food. 

This picture was taken at a Tama Pow Wow last year.  Eddie and his family went with me making the experience even more special.   Small children learn how to dance at a very early age.  Their dance is a prayer.

Being Native American is part of my heritage that was hidden from family members because of a sad history of hatred and ignorance.  My great grandfather’s mother was Cherokee.  I have fallen in love with their culture and take great pride in being part Cherokee.

So in honor of my proud heritage, I’m sharing a simple fry bread recipe today.  Like your Mexican tortilla, you can turn them into a dessert, use just as bread or fill it with meat and veggies like a taco. 

3 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 cups milk
Lard (you may use a healthier substitute like vegetable oil  if you like)

Stir together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir with a fork as you pour in the milk; keep stirring for a bit to get it to come together as much as possible. Add very slowly just enough water (about 1/4 to 1/2 cup) to get it to come together. This varies with the weather.  Cover the bowl with a dish towel and let it sit for 35 to 45 minutes to rest.

When you're ready to make the fry bread, heat about 1 to 2 inches of lard in a large cast iron skillet over medium heat.  Make sure your shortening is hot. Grab a gulf ball size piece of dough and press it into a circle with your fingers; place it on a clean surface and begin pressing in the center and work your way out, stretching it as you go.  It is all done with your fingers.  You get better as you go. 

When the circle is about 4 to 7 inches (however big you want it) carefully lay it into the hot skillet. Allow it to fry on one side until golden brown, about 1 minute, and then carefully flip it to the other side using tongs. Fry it for another 30 to 45 seconds.

Remove the fry bread to a paper towel lined plate and allow it to drain while you fry the other pieces. 

You can serve with honey; dust them with powdered sugar or cinnamon and sugar.  I do this also with cut up tortillas. 

You can also fill it with taco fillings.

This flat bread probably goes back many hundreds of years.  It not only is and was a food staple, but was used as an eating utensil.  Something so simple filled with so much history.  

Hope you have a great day.  Be happy and may God bless you and yours.  

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