Friday, November 8, 2013

Paiute Frybread


Another "gathered" recipe, this time by the late Paula Giese (Anishabeg).  This comes from one Phyllis Jarvis who is Paiute.  Every tribe in the US and Canada have their own version of Frybread; it has even spread to tribal people in Siberia!  The Nenets, for example, make over open fires, just like the Navajo do.  There are hundreds of variations on this native staple bread; and hundreds of ways to serve it.  Some are subtle variations, other, like adding colored corn flour, are not so subtle.  This is a straight wheat flour recipe, but some corn flour, particularly blue corn flour, can be added for texture, taste and color.  This makes 8 to 10 smaller round breads or 5 big flat ones that can be made into Indian Tacos.

Blue Corn Frybread


Paiute Frybread

2 cups flour 
3 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 cup milk
Deep hot fat for frying

1.  Sift the dry ingredients.  Then, lightly stir in the milk. Add more flour as needed to make a dough you can handle.  Knead and work the dough on a floured board, with well flour hands, until it is smooth.

2.  Pinch off fist sized limps and shape into a disk. (Actually shape this anyway you want, there are almost as many shaped for fried bread as there are recipes).  If you want large disks, the bread needs to be flat, with a depression (almost a hole) in the middle (actually some groups actually push a hole through the dough, to release "the frybread spirits, this is especially common here in the southeast).

3.  Fry in hot fat (around about 375º F), until golden and done on both sides, about 5 minutes.  Drain on absorbent paper.  Serve as is, with powdered or cinnamon sugar, the preserves or as the base for an Indian Taco.




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