Monday, June 27, 2011

Hot Days of Summer Call for Hotter Food - Apache Fry Bread

While I was searching through the internet for various dishes good for parties, I saw a suggested link for Apache Fry Bread. Immediately intrigued, I eagerly leapt into the world of fried bread. I have no qualifications as to how authentic this recipe was, or how my rendition would match up, but anything involved dough and five pounds of lard struck me as a win win situation (except for my waistline).  A very simple recipe outline was also encouraging, as well as the rather low price for ingredients (everything was available at home).

First, flour is mixed with salt and baking powder. Next time I'll go slightly lighter on the salt, no need to go up to a level tablespoon. Or substitute with kosher salt. 

 Stirring with the fork, whirrrrr!

Slowly add water and mix it in with a fork. The recipe says to have three cups on hand. Both times I've made this, I've only needed two cups of water.

Most of the way through, keep mixing until...

It pulls together into a mass that can be kneaded. Add flour if it's too sticky. I needed a few extra handfuls myself.

After the lumps are out cover it with plastic (this doesn't seem too authentic. But neither does a plastic bowl I guess.) This needs to rest for an hour. At maybe about 45 minutes through, it is time to start melting the lard in over high heat.

Here's the rested dough, which can be torn into golf ball sized chunks. With floured hands, shape them into little pancakes with your fingers.

And drop into the hot lard! Mmmm, victory is approaching.

The first three specimens of the batch.

The ones on the left I didn't shape quite as pancake-y as the latter half. But both are delicious.

The recipe suggested powdered sugar or honey. I preferred the fry bread with the honey myself.

In my research of this interesting dish, I learned that it's very versatile and could even be used as a tortilla substitute! I topped one of the more bowl shaped pieces with a slather of salsa, some seasoned ribeye and shredded lettuce. I gotta say it was freaking delicious. Kind of like a gourmet Taco Bell Chalupa.

Recipe adapted from Food Network:

4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2-3 cups water
  • 5 pounds lard (you can probably manage with less)

1. Mix flour, baking powder, and salt together in a large bowl. 
2. Add water gradually, mixing until it becomes a dough. Knead by hand until smooth.
3. Melt lard in a heavy pot, preferably a cast iron dutch oven! When hot it's time to cook!
4. Shape dough into small golf balls then stretch out into flat cakes, maybe the size of an average man's palm or bigger if you can manage it.
5. Let the dough brown for a minute and so, then flip over for another minute and so.
6. Remove from hot fat, drain on paper towels.
7. Serve with honey, powdered sugar, or as a sumptuous tortilla.

1 comment:

  1. I hadn't ever experienced this until I lived in North Dakota for a summer. They called it Indian Fry Bread and used it instead of a tortilla for tacos. I've also seen it at a Native American Powwow in Kansas as a nacho platform. Good stuff!