How I learned to make Navajo Fry Bread
I was inspired to write this post when I watched one of my favorite youtuber “Life Of A Native Mom”. In her video she showed the recipe for making a fry bread. This took be back to the time I learned how to make dough. My late grandma always said “its best to know how to make dough for Navajo tortillas and fry bread”. “Navajo men love to eat Navajo tortillas with any meal, its time you learn”, grandma continued.
Grandma taught me step by step how to make my first dough. I tell you my dough was very sticky. I didn’t think I’d be able to make little dough balls out of it. With much flour ready to dip dough in, I managed to make a few dough balls while the lard or vegetable oil is heating in pan. Tip; I find its best to have one designated pan for only fry bread and one for tortillas. When oil is hot, form one dough into one flat round disk. This is all done while dough is in your hand. Grandma said “learn to form the dough in your hand, slowly and firmly, carefully flatten the dough by short gentle strokes pulling outward in a round formation”. “Then slowly put flatten dough into the grease”.
Learning to make fry bread was fun and scary at the same time becuase of the hot oil. I was always afraid of burning myself. But grandma made sure I was careful, she made me feel comfortable doing this. Your probably asking why I learn from my grandma instead of my mom.
Why I learn from grandma and not mom
I learned from my grandma becuase I spent lots of summers with her. During this time, my mom was working at her day job. Grandma simply beat mom to it. My mom was proud to see that I learned how to make dough. Mom says life is simple now that I learnt this knew recipe that is a tradition in the Navajo culture for so many decades. From that time on, I began to help mom in the kitchen. She loved that I learnt to make dough.
Now that I am a mom myself, I taught my daughter to make dough, she is still getting the hang of hand mixing the dough until its firm, soft, and round. We dont normally eat tortillas or fry bread everyday but when we do, either she will mix a dough or I will. My daughter often helps me in the kitchen each and every day. I appreciate her very much.
I have included a video below from “Life Of A Native Mom”.
Watch and enjoy!
If you try this recipe at home, please me know and post a picture on her instragram page.