Hopi Tacos---Fry Bread

Fry Bread Topped with Chili/beans and taco toppings
We lived in Tucson for a long time and one of our favorite places to visit was the San Xavier Mission on the Tohono O'Odham Reservation. We often got the fry bread sold in the plaza across from the mission. You could get it sugared or topped with any and all taco toppings you wanted. Years earlier in Plymouth, we learned how to make fry bread from Hartman Lomawaima's mom Elsa, and from then on we were in love.

I will offer up one of the better fry bread recipes I have found, and can be made with all pantry items. Then just top anyway you like. This recipe comes from a cook book titled "Cocina de la Familia" by Marilyn Tausend.

Fry Bread

4 c. all purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1-1/2 tsp salt
4 Tbl solid vegetable shortening (you can use butter if you don't like vegetable shortening)
1-1/2 to 2 c. warm water

about 3 cups vegetable oil for frying

Sift all dry ingredients into a medium mixing bowl. Add shortening and using your fingers or a pastry tool, work into dry ingredients until evenly distributed. Do not overwork. Add the smaller amount of water and incorporate into the dry mix. The dough should hang together in a somewhat soft dough. I actually find I always need closer to two cups of water. 

Take the dough ball and knead on a lightly floured surface until smooth and little bubbles start to form under the surface. Place in a bowl, and cover with a cloth or plastic wrap and let rest for 20 to 30 minutes. This allows the dough to soften and get airy.  

Cut dough into smaller pieces, I usually cut into 8 pieces for large fry breads (or 16 for smaller breads). On a lightly floured surface, roll each piece into a small circle, about 1/4" thick.

Stack on a plate, lightly flouring to keep them from sticking together. Poke two holes in the center of each disk with your fingers.

You want only a dusting of flour, too much and you will get loose flour in your frying oil
You should have all the dough ready to cook when you heat the oil. It will be hard to roll the bread out while cooking the other fry bread.
Heat oil in a heavy skillet until it reaches 375 degrees. I usually test it with a wooden spoon handle. If you hold the handle end of the spoon upright into the hot oil, there should be little bubbles forming around the bottom. Place one disk at a time in the hot oil, carefully spooning oil over the top to get the bread to bubble up. Using tongs, turn over once when the bottom gets golden brown.

Fry the second side until golden brown, remove with tongs and drain on paper toweling. Top with beans or chili, and lettuce, tomatoes, sour cream, or any other taco like toppings.
Fry Bread is also really good drizzled with honey


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