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Native American Fry Bread

I’m really excited to share this recipe.  My own experience with it was born of necessity….. Mainly I made a batch of my sister’s AMAZING chili  and I’m one of those weird people who need crackers, or pasta, or cornbread to go with their chili.  The problem was… I ran out of crackers, had no pasta on hand, and didn’t have any cornmeal to make the cornbread with….. :(  Sure I could have went to the grocery store, that is only five minutes away! (But where’s the fun in that?!) Sure I could have just sucked it up and ate delicious chili without a starch (and be healthy).  However if I did those things (aka the obvious way) I wouldn’t have put on my thinking cap (which looks a lot like a Viking Helm) and realized I should try something different…. something new (well to my kitchen)… something delicious!  
And that folks is how I began making Fry Bread at home in my kitchen.  After that first batch my family has been hooked, and it really is a quick, easy, cheap, and Delicious Thing to add to your recipe line up.  
But wait… There’s more! 
Not only is this a great side but there’s also a history lesson here.  Fry Bread became a native staple after the US began to force Native Peoples from their lands and onto reservations.  The basic ingredients were made from the few things the government made sure to stock them with.  Making this food a good one to make over say… “Columbus Day” or around Thanksgiving.  Days in our American history that should have us reflecting on those who first settled this land, the price they paid, and the unfair treatment of our Native Peoples.  Research, Remember, Respect, and enjoy this bite of history…
Native American Fry Bread
4 cups of Flour
1 tsp of Salt
1 tablespoon Baking Powder
1 tablespoon Sugar
1 1/2 cups Really Warm Water
2 cups Shortening for Frying
1.  Prepare a dish lined with paper towels to drain your fry bread.  Also have a clean kitchen towel on standby to use as a “warmer”.
2.  In a straight sided skillet heat up your shortening till it’s melted and hot for frying.
3.  Mix dry ingredients together, then add water.  Stir until combined, then knead.  If it’s still sticky add a little more flour.
4.  Form into 1.5 inch (or so) balls for easy handling.
5.  Flatten balls into discs with either your hand (traditional) or rolling pin so they are 1/3 inch thick (or so you don’t have to be exact), then poke a hole in the middle with your finger.
6.  Fry one or two at a time (being careful not to crowd) turning over when browned.  Place on paper towels to drain.
7.  Once drained, move to the clean towel and fold the towel over to keep warm.
8.  Repeat till all are made.  
9.  Enjoy!  
Note: You can also make a sweet version of this by sprinkling them with cinnamon sugar.  Sometimes I’ll make a batch half and half so we have a built in dessert after Chilli!


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