Friday, February 17, 2017

Fried Dough #3: Fry Bread

Apparently all of the discussion of Fried Dough over the past few weeks got at least on reader to think about making Fry Bread. And, when he mentioned it, I was reminded that we had some Fry Bread Mix in the pantry.

(Oddly enough, we had two boxes. I don't remember buying two. So, please be aware that Fry Bread Mix might multiply if left in the pantry for too long.)
That's the entire recipe and ingredient list, right there.
Since we already had a pan of oil on the stove, frying up some bread and making a version of "Indian tacos" seemed like a good idea. (Does anyone else think it feels odd to say "Indian tacos"? But "Native American tacos" seems kind of like it's going to far the other way. Thoughts?)

So I got some hamburger out, as well as a can of refried beans (because they just sounded good), and along with the bread, we (Christopher typically makes our taco meat - very spicy, with a really great texture) set out to make dinner.

Umm... At this point, this blog post could get a bit boring. You see, here is the whole story of mixing the ingredients:
Since two of us were working on these, you get action shots!

I guess I could have taken a photo of the bowl with a lid on it in the porch where it chilled for a bit. (Because this is the part of the country where - in a normal winter - you use your porch as an auxiliary fridge or freezer, depending on the weather.)

It did "smooth out" a bit, during the chill. I wouldn't say it "rose" but it did relax a bit before we rolled it out.
This is a little more than half of the dough, rolled out to about 3/8 of an inch thick.

It rolled pretty easily, though it did give Christopher a little resistance, which might have been less bad with a longer rest/chill.
Christopher is much more technical in the kitchen than I am, so since he was helping out with this batch of frying we dug out the deep fry thermometer, heated up the oil, and started in.

Action shot! Do you see those tongs?

Remember how the oil looked really "dirty" when we were frying the donuts? Well... When you're working with something that loses flour into the oil, that starts to settle on the bottom. You can see it beginning to collect in this picture.
We fried up four of each and let them drain, so that we could serve them with the taco meat and beans.
Our colors varied, based on the temp.

Do you see the color of the meat at the bottom of the picture? It's filled with cayenne and chili powder and white pepper and garlic and salt... basically, a recipe for goodness.
Of course, if you're paying attention, you know that we had six pieces of dough. What did we do with the other two? We sprinkled them in cinnamon and sugar, of course!

The one issue we had was that these puffed up a little too much. A few of them worked really well for kind of tearing off the corner and stuffing them with filling, but not all of them. So we were left with this fried bread that wouldn't really fold, but also wouldn't work as a bun.

Luckily, we had about half of the dough leftover. So, a couple of days later, we tried the next batch.

This time, we made six individual balls of dough and then flattened each by hand. We were able to get them a little thinner this way, and that gave a nice outcome.

Can you tell that I had strained out the oil in between batches? I also tossed about a half cup that had turned the color of motor oil and was kind of clinging to the bottom of the pan.

Slightly thinner, still delicious.
We had leftover tacos with the leftover bread, and it was good, since the "leftover" bread had still been fried right on the spot. I had a couple of the last (already fried) pieces a couple of days later, and although the flavor was still good, the dough had gotten tough.

So... We've now had beignets, faux-nuts, and fry bread. Which, of course, means that next week we'll be back to beignets - this time with yeast!

See what happens when people suggest things for me to make? How fun and interactive is that? :-)

If you have any kitchen questions, recipes you want someone else to try, or foods that you think really ought to get their moments in the sun, let me know!

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