Fairs and Fry Bread

As the last breaths of summer cool down, fall tumbles in with many cute decorations, Halloween costumes, and one of my personal favorites: Fairs. The atmosphere is always exciting, with crowds cheering contestants in a pie eating contest, screaming on a roller coaster, or cooing at the animals. I look forward to the caramel apples with their sticky sweet shell uncovering the tart crisp with every bite, and the craft exhibits that inspire me to create with my hands.

Growing up, my family often attended the small Emery County fair in Utah, where friends of my grandparents had a stand of fresh Navajo Tacos (or Indian Fry Bread, as it is often called). I fondly remember the burning sensation my tongue would receive as I bit too early into the crisp crust with taco fixings on top, dousing the heat with a bit of sour cream and tomato. I remember the bread becoming dessert later, as my grandma would bring it over freshly fried, speckled with cinnamon and sugar. Those are the days that I look forward to now, when the fresh green leaves begin to dry, and I begin to break out my hoodie. I don’t live in Utah anymore, but this weather and fairs always brings back those fantastic Navajo Tacos.

Navajo Tacos

1 egg whipped + enough lukewarm water to ¾ cup

1 tsp lemon juice
2 T Canola oil
½ tsp salt
2 T sugar
2 C flour
1 tsp active dry yeast

1.) Combine egg and water, sugar and yeast  and let sit for about 5 minutes or until the yeast turns foamy. Combine the rest of the dry ingredients in a big bowl. 

2.) Add the egg/yeast/sugar mixture to the dry ingredients, along with the rest of the wet ingredients, stirring with a wooden spoon. When it gets too difficult to stir with the spoon, start kneading it with your hands (I keep it in the bowl still, but you can knead it on a lightly floured surface). Sprinkle on more flour if the dough is still very sticky, and knead until incorporated before adding more (only if needed!). 

3.) When the dough is reaches a smooth, yet slightly tacky consistency, form into a ball in the bowl and spray lightly with oil (this keeps the moisture in). Then put a slightly damp dishtowel over the top of the bowl, and place in a warm spot for about an hour or two, or until the dough doubles in size.

4.) When dough has risen, squeeze out small balls and work with your hands until dough is in flat disks. Heat about an inch of oil in a heavy pan (I use an enamel covered dutch oven) until the temperature is between 350 and 375 degrees. 

5.) Cook until golden brown on both sides, and serve hot with taco meat, cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, sour cream, guacamole, or whatever your heart desires on a taco. For dessert bread, melt a little butter and sprinkle cinnamon and sugar on top.


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