Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Variety in the bread thing

For some reason when I was talking to a couple of friends recently, the subject of fry bread came up. I had fry bread with chili a long, long, time ago, but it was so good that I remember it I was interested in knowing how to make it. What I learned from this conversation was that you could just take regular bread dough, after it has risen, and instead of baking it in a loaf, just pull off balls of it, stretch them thin, and deep fry it. If I were to do this, I would be using this recipe, which I would give very high ratings for ease and success of outcome.

Ok, there are at least two problems (for me) with this. One, I am of the mind that if it ain't broke, don't fix it, so why would I want to potentially mess up a perfectly good loaf that is ready to go into the oven for an experiment that may or may not work out? And two, I had never deep-fried anything in my recollection. So the possibility of it not working out was actually pretty high.

So I went to a cookbook and found a recipe specifically for this sort of adventure. Powdered milk was involved (yay, dairy group!) and other non-yeast items that would be available in a food-storage only scenario. No rising, no waiting. So I heated the oil.

The plus side was that nothing caught on fire. The not so plus side is that I do not have a natural talent for making fry bread. The bread came out edible (and at least once in pieces) and was served with chili. Mixed reviews, but pre--ttty sure they would have been higher if the bread had come out lighter and less grease-laden. Practice, practice, practice, as they say. And since this was first attempted in a non-food-storage-only situation, we had some chips on hand as a backup. (Canned chili is one of our 3-month storage items (that we still need to get more of) and sometimes we just put it on top of corn chips with cheese and olives for a main dish. Since I made the frybread, the chips are on hand for another day....)

Gotta love a bread adventure that doesn't burst into flames and leaves tortilla chips in its wake. :) Hey, if you have any tips, would love to hear them--recipes and information are always welcome...


Kristen said...

I make fry bread once in a while. I use my tortilla recipe (that's what the Navajos do and they seem to have a corner on fry bread in the southwest). Anyway, make sure you keep your oil consistently hot while making it and it won't seem as greasy. Put a kernel of popcorn in the oil and when it pops, it's hot enough. Continue to put kernels in periodically if you are frying on the stove and don't have a handy electric applicance. I am glad you like the coffee cake recipe.

HermitJim said...

There ya go...talking about bread recipes again! Now I have to go and try this out...

I'm a BIG fan of chili, so that part is easy! And I am one of those that if it's fried, I'll almost always eat it!

Thanks for the idea...and the extra calories!

Marie said...

Kristen--Thank you very much for that tip! I'm pretty sure that uneven heat was part of my problem--I kept changing it because I was worried it was too high or too low...excellent idea that I hope you will not mind that I am now planning to use as a post. I now consider the coffee cake recipe a regular part of my recipe rotations--thanks for that and all of the other recipes you post--looking forward to the chicken hash recipe someday soon!

HermitJim--I love the fried food as well, and probably wouldn't make this recipe too often because of the calories that would rack up, but I figure if it were a food storage only situation, this would be a good treat, and you need some fat in your diet (although making this too often would make that "some fat" too much fat instead... :) so I figure that occasionally it will be okay. It was tasty, but hopefully it will be better next time if I can get the frying thing down--thanks so much for your comment!