Whether you call this Indian Fry Bread for Navajo Tacos, or Sopapias as a dessert, the recipe remains the same. For Navajo Tacos you simply add browned ground beef, beans, chopped tomatoes, lettuce, cheese, and sour cream. However, if you forsake that, and just pour honey and/or powdered sugar inside it makes a delicious desert.
Indian Fry Bread – Sopapias – A Versatile Treat
- 2 cups Flour
- 1 tbsp Baking Powder
- 3/4 tsp Salt
- 1 cup Lukewarm Water
- 1 quart Oil (Canola or Vegetable work best)
- You can either sift the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a professional grade sifter… or you can be like me and simply whisk it together in a large mixing bowl.
- Once you have all the dry ingredients sifted together, slowly pour in the water and stir it together with a rubber spatula until is turns into a sticky dough.
- Use your hands to continue mixing the dough until you’ve completely mixed in all the water. You will end up with a sticky mess, just keep going until it’s done
- Allow the dough to rest a few minutes then divide it up into sixteen equal sized balls. I do this by making a big ball, and the cutting it in half, and those in half, and those in half, and then all of those in half again.
- At this point, pour your oil into your fryer, or frying pan, and begin heating it to 177°C (350°F).
- You can either use a rolling pin to make neat little circles a quarter inch thick, or you can use your fingers to knead them into circular shapes about a quarter inch thick… I like using my fingers.
- Once the oil reaches the correct temperature, simply fry the dough circles one at a time, until they turn light golden brown.
- Immediately place them on a plate covered with a paper towel to remove the excess oil.
Indian Fry Bread
I learned to make this, like most things, from my mom. This particular recipe though took me years and years of practice to understand how the dough works. Keep in mind, I never had any formal teaching, so something that might seem natural to some cooks, came after long hours of trial and error for me.
To roll out and fry the bread without it sticking to everything, you have to allow it time to sit and actually dry a little. I wait to begin heating the oil until I’ve finished separating the dough into balls. That way, while the oil heats, the dough has time to rest and get a sort of thin shell as the outermost layer dries. Then I roll them and throw them in until they look a delicious golden brown.
This fried bread recipe tastes delicious all by itself. The outer shell crisps ever so slightly, and the inside hollows out, with a layer of delicious moist bread. If you cut a quarter sized slit on one edge, you can pour honey inside and allow it to coat the entire layer, then pour a pinch of powdered sugar into it so that it clings to the honey.
I grew up in Colonia Juarez, Chihuahua, México, where people either owned cattle ranches or fruit orchards. Much of my work ethic came from working on Rancho La Mesa (my family’s ranch). That ranch also sparked what grew into my wild imagination. I read somewhere that you should write the story you want to read, and that stuck with me. My writing began in sixth grade, around the time I began learning to type.