One food item we always encourage visitors to try out is Navajo Fry Bread; a traditional bread made simply of salt, baking powder, water and flour; then fried on both sides to a golden deliciousness. On Friday, November 7, 2014, local Navajo Weaver and Jewelry Maker, Anita Hathale, introduced locals and visitors to the art of making Fry Bread. Using an electric skillet and a deep fryer, Anita was able to show us the dos and don’ts of preparation.
|Melt shortening in skillet; or put one quart canola oil into deep fryer; temp must reach 375 degrees minimum.|
|Add salt and baking powder to flour.|
|Mix together dry ingredients.|
|Add warm water little by little; mix as you add.|
|The dough will form into a large, soft ball.|
|From the large ball of dough, portion out 1/2 cup smaller balls of dough.|
|Begin to stretch the dough using knuckles on hands.|
|Flatten and continue to stretch the dough using a flip-flop motion between the hands.|
|The 1/2 cup ball of dough becomes a 10 inch flat, round.|
|Yep, looks right and ready to be fried.|
Now Anita shows us what happens when the melted shortening in the electric skillet could not reach that minimum 375 degrees.
|Carefully place flattened dough into skillet.|
Even though the oil is bubbling around the dough, it is not hot enough for frying, so the dough only absorbs the oil and does not puff up.
|The result...a hard, browned Frisbee.|
Monticello local, Kim Young, came in specifically to learn about this traditional Navajo food item; Anita was not one to disappoint and happily educated us all on this art.
The correct way; flattened dough goes into a 375 degree hot oil for frying.
Immediately large bubbles form in the oil, while the dough begins to puff and brown.
|One side browned, a quick flip to brown the other side.|
|Hot fry bread...oh, so yummy!|
|Anita loves making fry bread!|
|Navajo Fry Bread|
Even Monticello Welcome Center Manager, Dorothy, couldn’t resist Anita’s fry bread.
Anita’s husband, Rick Jim, waits impatiently for his lunch. Sorry Rick, but we want the good stuff too!
Again, when you’re traveling through the southeastern end of Utah, tasting Navajo Fry Bread is a must if you want to have the full Southwest experience! Thank you Anita for putting this wonderful demonstration on for us; providing us with delicious eats, and see you next year for the 2015 season!
~ Mary Cokenour ~