When one recipe for a staple of life can be used for many forms of bread, it is a gem.
In the 1990’s, almost every year, my dad and I packed our two Shelties and headed for Mammoth Lakes, for a week or two of camping and fishing. Along with the Shelties, was a carefully thought-out list of food items to pack. Among the “must haves” was this recipe for Navajo Bread, I found in The Outdoor Chef by John Weiss.
6 cups of flour
1 tablespoon of salt (optional)
2 tablespoons of baking powder
1/2 cup dry mild powder (I use powdered coffee creamer)
I store this mixture in an air tight container. When packing to camp, I used a freezer bag to conserve space. If camping make sure you have a pan for heating the water (cold water can be used, but it is a chore to get the dough the right consistency to fry.) If at home, hot tap water works fine.
You will need warm water and cooking oil.
I have found that about 1/3 to 1/2 cup of mix is about right for individual servings. For a small appetitie, reduce the amount to 1/4 cup of dry mix.
Once you measure the amount of mix into a mixing bowl, then add enough warm water to make a soft dough and knead it thoroughly. I knead on a floured sheet of wax paper. And be sure to flour your hands, this dough is sticky!
Meanwhile, in a skillet large enough to fry the number of bread rolls you are making, heat about one inch of cooking oil until it is piping hot.
Froom the large lump of dough, pinch off equal portions for the number to be served. Roll each piece in your hand until if forms a ball. Flatten the ball and pat it between both hands, like you would a tortilla shell. When flat, punch a hole in the center (the handle of a wooden spoon works, so does your finger).
Lay the dough in the hot skillet and make the other servings putting them in the skillet to fry. As each fry bread becomes golden on the bottom, turn it over, allowing it to fry until it puffs and is golden brown on the bottom. Remove to a paper towel to drain before putting it on a plate to serve. Serve with butter, margarine, jelly, honey or syrup.
This recipe is great for a dinner bread, or with ham and eggs at breakfast. But for some, eggs and ham is just too much food for breakfast. Besides, many of us have a sweet tooth that needs to be satisfied in the morning.
The first variation is simply adding a tablespoon of sugar and a teaspoon of cinnamon to the dry mix, for each serving. After the bread has brown on the bottom, a spoonful of sugar-cinnamon mixture can be sprinkled across the top of each roll, after turning. And you have one delicious cinnamon bun hot and ready to devour.
A good way to get an added helping of fruit is to add raisins to the mix, before adding the warm water. Sugar can also be added to the mix if a sweeter roll is desired. After draining on the toweling, serve with honey or syrup.
Other healthful additions include chopped apples, or nuts. You add these ingredients, to the dry mix, before adding the water.
A couple teaspoons of powdered cocoa to the dry mix makes a wonder chocolate roll. Also adding chocolate chips. Fry according to the recipe, and once drained spread a thin layer of chocolate syrup or prepared chocoloate frosting on the top.
Canned blueberries drained well, can be added to the dry mix, like with the ingredients in the previous variations. Cream cheese prepared frosting is luscious on this variation.
For some of us, anything that comes close to a donut works perfect. Simply make the bread according to the recipe, adding about a tablesoon of sugar for each serving. Mix according to the recipe, and fry. After removing from the skillet, slather the top with your favorite flavor of frosting and garnish with cake decor candies, chopped nuts, coconut, chocolate or butterscotch chips.
A Recipe for All Times
This recipe is a good staple to have on hand, just for a special treat at any meal. But it is also a great addition to the food that you might be stock piling for the potential of foul weather or an economic crisis. It can be made in any quanity and stored along with staples like flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and biscuit mix.
Published in: Cooking