Thursday, August 14, 2014

Navajo Fry Bread, Gluten-free!

Fry Bread, Gluten-Free
During these blissfully cooler days, I make time to listen to the breezes sifting through the trees and rifle the cookbooks I received at Christmastime, which are still stacked under a plastic LED tree that I turn on now and then, because the twinkle lights make me happy.

I’ll read them all eventually, marking pages of interest, and file them in my office by subject – from left to right:

Cooking Techniques, Vermont, Grilling, Cheese, International - and nearest the window bathed in the light dancing through the trees, everything Julia Child.

It was on one of these indulgences that I discovered a simple recipe for Navajo “tacos”– which only required a pantry raid, resting period, and five minutes of frying.

I converted it to gluten-free using King Arthur multi-purpose blend.


It worked.  (Swapping out with GF can sometimes be a coin-toss.)
Look at how light and airy they are!
I used a tortilla press to make the flatbreads, but a heavy pan on the countertop will smush out a thin round just as easily.

How about the flavor?  This particular flour mix is made from rice and potato flours, which (in this recipe) tasted like a cross between potato chips and a fried-rice take-away.

The tacos were crisp right out of the oil but with fillings became pliable and did not break.

I used them to scoop up a hearty stew. Much better than anything else I can think of from a store.

Oh, and they can be reheated in the microwave, but will become very chewy.

Navajo Tacos
Navajo Fry Bread
Adapted from a recipe by Emeril Lagasse
Makes 6 breads

1 cup Flour (I used King Arthur Multi-purpose Gluten-free)
½ TB Baking Powder
¼ tsp. Salt
½ TB Peanut Oil, plus more for frying
½ cup Warm Water

Whisk dry ingredients together

Stir in ½ TB oil and enough water to create workable dough. 

Shape into a ball, wrap well in plastic and refrigerate for at least an hour.

Divide into 6 smaller balls. 

Cover a 7-inch area on the counter with plastic wrap or waxed paper.  Cover each ball with additional wrap. and press thin using a flat-bottomed pan.

Repeat, and set the stack of layered disks aside.

Heat enough oil over medium heat to come up at least ¼ inch in your pan.  Heat to 360f (about medium). 

Test a small piece of dough. If it immediately puffs and browns you are ready to go.

Carefully peel the plastic from the top of one flatbread, and turn into your other hand.  Peel the remaining plastic away.
Puffy Taco Underway
Slip the disk under the oil.  It should and brown and bubble right away.  Fry for about a minute each side.

Drain on paper towels.

Repeat until all are cooked.

These may be served immediately or refrigerated once cooled.