Fry bread recipes, common in many Native American kitchens, often call for water, but milk is sometimes used to make a richer dough. Serve this simple deep-fried pastry with butter, jam, powdered sugar, or cinnamon and sugar.
Sift 2 cups flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt into a bowl. Make a deep well in the flour mixture. Combine butter and milk; pour gently into the well. Stir the liquid in one direction; it will gradually absorb the flour and form a wet dough. Turn onto a floured surface; knead briefly, adding flour as needed, until dough is no longer sticky, about 1 minute. Return dough to bowl, cover, and let rise 10 minutes in a warm place.
Heat shortening or oil to a depth of at least two inches in a heavy, deep pan, wok or deep-fat fryer. Cut off a quarter of the dough ball with a sharp knife and place it on a floured surface. Pat the dough into a circle thatís about 1/3 inch thick. Cut the circle into 4 wedges and make a small slit with a sharp knife through the center of each. Test the heat of the oil by dropping a tiny bit of dough into it; the oil should begin to bubble around the dough upon contact. When the oil is hot, lower the dough pieces in and fry them until puffed and golden brown, turning once. Drain on paper towels. Keep warm or serve immediately. Repeat with remaining dough.
Copyright by Terese Allen