Indian frybread is a traditional Native American food that has many variations, depending on the specific tribe or personal family recipe. Here’s a basic recipe that you can start with:
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder (some recipes use yeast, but baking powder is more common for a quick version)
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup warm water (you might need slightly more or less, depending on the consistency you prefer)
Vegetable oil or shortening, for frying
Mixing the Dough: In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Gradually add in the warm water while stirring to form a dough. If the dough is too sticky, you can add a little more flour; if it’s too dry, add a bit more water.
Kneading: Once the dough has come together, turn it out onto a floured surface and knead it for a few minutes until it becomes smooth.
Resting: Cover the dough and let it rest for about 30 minutes. This step is optional but helps to relax the gluten and make the dough more pliable.
Forming the Frybread: After the resting period, divide the dough into small balls (about golf ball size or slightly larger). Using your hands or a rolling pin, flatten each ball into a disk of about 1/4-inch thick. You can create a small hole in the center of each disk if you want, but it’s not necessary.
Frying: Heat about 1 inch of oil or shortening in a large skillet or frying pan over medium-high heat. You’ll know it’s ready when a small piece of dough sizzles upon contact. Carefully place one or two pieces of dough into the hot oil. Fry until golden brown on one side (usually takes 1-2 minutes), then flip and fry the other side.
Draining: Remove the frybread from the oil and place them on a plate lined with paper towels to drain any excess oil.
Serving: Indian frybread can be served both sweet and savory. For a sweet treat, you can sprinkle with powdered sugar or cinnamon sugar. For a savory dish, they can be topped with seasoned ground beef, lettuce, cheese, tomatoes, and other taco-like toppings for a dish called “Indian Tacos”.
Note: While frybread is a delicious treat, it’s worth noting that its history is complex and rooted in the hardship faced by Native American tribes. It’s always good to approach its preparation and consumption with respect and understanding of its cultural significance.