Crave: With fry bread, flour tortillas, the possibilities are endless

photo by: Mother Earth News

Authentic, homemade tortillas are just a few steps away.

If you’ve never had Indian fry bread or homemade tortillas, you don’t know what you’re missing. Homemade tortillas are made with five simple ingredients and are a versatile base for any meal. Use them for wraps, burritos, soft tacos, or tostadas. The options are endless. Indian fry bread is typically thicker than tortillas, but look just as good sitting on your dinner table.

We hope you enjoy these wonderful recipes we’ve collected through the years from our loyal readers.


Indian Fry Bread

Yields 12 pieces.

Fry bread is the Native American counterpart to Mexican tortillas. Thicker and more substantial than tortillas, fry bread is delicious and filling. Made with lard and dry milk, it is truly authentic, as American Indians did not commonly have access to fresh milk. To substitute fresh milk, use 2 to 21⁄2 cups warmed milk and omit the water. Serve with seasoned meat, cheese, onions, lettuce, salsa, and beans for a fun twist on “taco night.”

Ingredients:

4 cups all-purpose unbleached flour

1 heaping teaspoon baking powder

3⁄4 cup instant dry milk

1 teaspoon salt

2 to 2 1⁄2 cups warm water

Lard, for frying

Directions:

1. In large bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, dry milk, and salt. Mix in just enough warm water to form soft dough. Cover and set aside for 2 to 3 hours.

2. Turn dough out onto floured board, and knead for about 1 minute. Shape dough into log, and then cut into 12 even pieces.

3. Using floured rolling pin, roll each piece of dough into 5-inch round.

4. Heat lard to 1⁄2 inch deep at 360 F in cast-iron skillet. Fry dough pieces, 1 at a time, for 1 to 2 minutes on each side, or until lightly browned, turning once. Drain and cool on paper towels.


Homemade Flour Tortillas

Yields 12 tortillas.

If you’ve never looked at the ingredients list on a package of store-bought tortillas, you should. Forgo the additives and make your own–authentically prepared with lard–from pure ingredients. Serve warm with butter and honey for a snack, or with fixings for burritos or wraps for a meal.

Ingredients:

3 cups all-purpose unbleached flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

4 to 6 tablespoons lard, cold and coarsely chopped

1 1⁄4 cups warm water

Directions:

1. In large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Using pastry blender, cut in lard until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add warm water, a little at a time, adding just enough to form dough that is soft and no longer sticky (do not use hot water).

2. Turn dough out onto floured board, and knead until soft and pliable, 2 to 3 minutes. Divide dough evenly into 12 portions the size of golf balls. Cover with linen towel, and let dough rest for at least 10 minutes.

3. Dust each ball with a little additional flour, and roll out with rolling pin or “palote,” as thinly as possible without tearing, 1⁄16 inch or thinner.

4. Heat griddle, comal, or cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. (Do not use a very hot griddle or the tortillas will cook too quickly.)

5. One at a time, lay tortilla on hot griddle. Let brown for a few seconds on one side, and then turn over and brown other side. Each side should be nicely speckled.

6. Place cooked tortillas on towel or in tortilla warmer to keep warm while you cook the remaining tortillas.

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