We’ve been out here just long enough to realize the wonder that is fry bread. A rather simple thing really, served with most Navajo meals and often used as an alternative to a taco shell, hamburger bun or roll. This wonder is usually salted, but we’ve heard of many variations such as powder sugar (think funnel cake), honey or syrup (think thick pancakes) and my favorite, red pepper flakes (nice and spicy).

Kendel and I have been fascinated by fry bread since our first encounter with it at a flea market when I accidentally ordered enough for three people (that’s another story). Since then we have been determined to create it for ourselves. After watching a community member make it earlier this week and helping to make some again at another fundraiser today, we came back to the mission with our own mission: make frybread! Here are the directions for you to follow along and try at home:

1. Gather ingredients (enough to make 8-10 fry bread)

  • 4 cups FLOUR
  • 1 tablespoon BAKING POWDER
  • 1 teaspoon SALT
  • 1/4 cup SHORTENING
  • 2 cups luke warm WATER
  • (2 cups VEGETABLE OIL to fry in)

2. Mix dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Cut shortening into dry ingredients. Mix well.

3. Add water.

4. Mix with your hands.

5. Prepare to get messy and be covered in goo while continuing to mix (we kept adding a little more flour, but not too much or it will taste like flour).

6. Keep mixing until it forms a soft dough and does not stick to the bowl. Roll into ball.

7. Cover and let stand 5 minutes.

8. Break the dough into small plum size balls (use flour if it is sticky).

9. Stretch and pat until the dough is flat and round (make sure it is smaller than your pan).

10. Heat the vegetable oil in a frying pan. Make sure this is very hot (should just start to smoke). Lay the dough into the oil carefully.

11. When brown on one side (only takes about 12 seconds), flip the bread on the other side and cook.

12. ENJOY!!! Pour on the salt, powdered sugar, honey, or eat with stew, soup or just by itself.

I promise you won’t be disappointed. Kendel and I plan on making it all the time when we go home. I have a feeling we’ll miss it…