Thursday, January 19, 2012

Indian Frybread - A Home Attempt

OK, so I took the massive-quantity, very vague "recipe" I learned from my expert Native friends and tried to make my own mini batch of Indian Frybread at home this weekend. Other natives we've talked to -- like at frybread stands at festivals -- have told us they use self-rising flour, so, rather than trying to figure out how much baking soda to use for my tiny batch, I figured I'd try this shortcut method.

Like I mentioned in my last post, I didn't figure out I needed to knead the dough until after I'd made it and wondered why it looked so different from my friends'. It must be because I arrived late to the frybread making session and the dough was nearly ready by the time I got there. Knead the dough. DUH.



I went ahead and made my dough balls, still not putting together the obvious.



 Traditional frybread is huge, about 10"-12" in diameter. I made mine much smaller, like frybread-ettes. 
Even though I tried to make a small batch, I still ended up with about a dozen too many. 
Of lumpy weird dough balls.

Because I didn't knead it, my dough was "short", not very elastic. I had trouble stretching my frybreads without breaking them and they wanted to drip and flop all over the place.
Also, they didn't produce the pretty bubbles like those of my native friends.
 I don't know if it's because of the self-rising flour or the lack of proper kneading.

(about 5" across)

Beautiful. Giant. Bubbly.

And I don't think my oil was hot enough. I had to cook them longer than seemed right, just to get the color somewhat right. But they still tasted great! We drizzled them with honey, making an awesome dessert!

(And there's my two holes from the fork!)

Though mine lacked the beautiful bubbles of the professionals, the inside came out
soft and wonderful just like it's supposed to.


A funny side note:
When I was "helping" make all the frybread for the work crew, I said to my native friends, "Ooooo, I bet these would be good with some butter and cinnamon sugar! Do you ever do that?"

They looked at me blankly and slowly said, "No-oooo", almost with a question in their voice. (Weird white woman!)

P.S. I don't suppose I feel too badly about my awkward first attempts at shaping frybread with the pros. They told me, "They say you have to make 1000 of them to get good at it." I suppose practice makes perfect with the dough, too. (Just keep repeating to yourself, Judi: "Knead the dough. Knead the dough.")

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