Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Navajo Fry Bread

When I was a kid we took a vacation to Arizona and spent some time on the Navajo Indian reservation, my parents had friends who were doing missionary work. I remember the red sand being everywhere and I remember going into the trading post. My father tried to talk an inebriated indian into showing us how to shoot a bow and arrow, let's just say it didn't end well. :) The  one thing that came out of this vacation was my mom learning how to make fry bread. My family loved this meal and last year when we went home for the holidays I made my mom make it for my kids. Not only did we learn to make this bread, but my mom also learned some folk lore concerning fry bread. When you make the dough and roll it out you are supposed to tear a small hole into the center of the bread, this is so evil spirits can escape. To this day I've never eaten a homemade piece of fry bread without a hole in it.

Ingredients for fry bread
4 c flour
2 TBSP baking powder
2 tsp salt
1 to 1 1/2 c warm water
vegetable oil

Mix 3 c flour and the rest of the dry ingredients well.  Add warm water.  Add the remaining flour little by little until the dough is soft but not sticky.  Knead.  Shape into golf ball size balls; flatten by hand or with floured rolling pin until 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick. 
Heat oil in large frying pan until a drop of water dropped in sizzles. Tear small hole in center and cooking one at a time place in hot oil, turn after a few minutes. You want both sides to be golden brown, keep warm until ready to serve. 
To prepare tacos tear fry bread into bite sized pieces on dinner plate and smother with chili. Obviously you can make your own, but I'm using canned tonight. Then liberally top with toppings listed below. 

Lettuce ( I mixed in some cilantro with my lettuce)
Shredded cheese
Chopped tomatoes
Sliced olives
Tabasco sauce
Chopped avocados (we never at them this way, but I think avocados are awesome)
My "good" camera is having memory card issues, 
so I had to grab a different camera half way through making dough.
Sorry no pics of the dough making process
Heat oil
Add to hot oil
Turn so both sides are golden brown
Drain on paper towels 
Ready to create your personalized taco
I like to tear mine into bite sized pieces
Add cheese
Add remaining toppings


  1. That's so funny! I did the same thing. When I was a kid my grandparents were down on the Hopi reservation in AZ for a mission too. So we went down to visit and I had my first taste of a real Navajo Taco. SO GOOD. I still love them to this day!

    I'm gonna have to try making the bread from scratch now! I've always just thawed Rhodes dough, flattened it, and fried it. That or pick up a big ol' hunk of dough from Dick's :)

  2. I miss the convenience of Dick's dough, it is so yummy. This dough recipe is so easy you should have everything in your pantry. Let me know how it turns out.

  3. I definitely learned something today! And, this looks very good. Loved the lore that goes with the bread, too! blessings ~ tanna