My friend Laura and I have a decent amount of Native American in our ancestry (Ojibwe/Chippewa tribes for me, and Lakota for her), and we’ve both taken a pretty heavy interest in it. We were talking about how tasty fry bread was, and how we should figure out where to buy some, when we stopped and thought, “We can make that ourselves!” (Funny how it took that long to dawn on us.) It’s a super simple recipe, that doesn’t involve yeast, and we made them in about an hour (at the most.)
Without further ado, the recipe (modified from the first Chippewa recipe listed here):
You Will Need:
1 +1/2 cups flour
2 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
3 tsp. baking powder (or 1 tsp. baking soda and 2 tsp. cream of tartar)
1 egg (we used large)
1/2 cup warm milk (we used skim)
1/2 cup flour for kneading
Enough cooking oil to be 1/2 in. deep in whatever sized skillet you are using to fry the bread.
We used an electric skillet and vegetable oil to fry them (I suspect that frying them in coconut oil would be tasty, too) so I started by filling it a 1/2 inch deep with oil and turning it to 400 degrees.
Mix dry ingredients together well in a medium sized bowl. Beat egg separately and add to dry ingredients. Heat milk for 45 sec to a minute in the microwave and add slowly to the mixture.
Begin kneading in the bowl and once it seems a little more uniform, turn it out onto your “flour’d” kneading surface and knead for a minute or two.
Role the dough out until it is (ideally) 1/2 an inch thick. Ours was probably closer to 3/4 due to a crummy rolling pin, but they still cooked all the way through.
Once the dough is a uniform thickness, cut it into 2″ wide strips. A pizza cutter would be perfect for this, but we just used a steak knife. Then cut those strips into 3″ long pieces.
Next, put slices in the middle of the pieces (I didn’t know what the heck they meant by that, so Laura was knowledgable and kind enough to demonstrate) like so:
You are then ready to fry your bread! Place them in the oil carefully, and let them brown for a minute or two before turning and doing the same to the other side. Laura and I did two at a time so we could keep a better eye on them.
Your finished product should be biscuity and delicious! Fry bread is typically served with a berry sauce (wojapi) but we’re eating it plain, because it’s that good.
Laura and I will be making more “heritage food” in the coming months, so expect more tasty posts!