Friday, April 15, 2011

Gluten Free Fry Bread

Navajo tacos are one of my family's favorite dinners. One of those rare meal ideas that all five of us who can eat regular food enjoy. I don't doubt that Squirt will like it as well when he gets a bit bigger. It was all great until me and my husband decided that for my health, and the future health of our kids, that we should go on a gluten free diet. Last week I had Navajo tacos on the menu, thinking I would figure something out when the time came. I did some internet searching, but I did not find any really good recipes for gluten free fry bread. I took some regular recipes and a few recipes using commercial gluten free flour mixes, made notes, and came up with my own to try. It was pretty good, but I figured I could do a little better. So here you are, my newly thought up and tried recipe for gluten free fry bread. Today I made it into a beignet style doughnut for the kids. They were very pleased with my efforts.

1 1/2 cups rice flour
2/3 cups cornstarch
1/3 cups tapioca flour
3 Tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. xanthum gum
2 tsp. yeast
2 tsp. dry milk (you could probably skip this and use milk instead of water if you don't have any)
2 cups very warm water (approximately 115 degrees, but does not need to be exact)
Hot oil for frying

Mix together the rice flour, cornstarch, tapioca flour, sugar, xanthum gum, and yeast in a large bowl. Add in water and mix well. The dough will be fairly batter-like. Let it sit for about an hour. It should look something like this.
I won't does not look all that appetizing at this point. It will be a white and slightly gelatinous mass. Just stick with me, it gets better.

This next step can be a little fiddly, so don't get discouraged if your first couple tries are not perfect. First, start getting the oil ready for frying. Get your hands wet and just shake them off so they are not too dripping wet. Then, reach into the dough and scoop out some batter. It should not be about a half of a handful, but you can mess around with it and figure out the size that works for you. With your other hand (making sure it is wet), gently pat the dough to flatten it out a bit. Try to be gentle enough to not complete deflate all the air out of it. After that, slide the dough off your hand into the awaiting hot oil. These will take longer to cook than normal fry bread does, so just be patient. Mine took approximately 10 minutes per batch to cook through. You will need to rinse and re-wet your hands frequently, otherwise the dough will just stick to you and make a mess.When they are finished, get them out, drain them, and them top them with whatever suits your fancy. Today we topped them with powdered sugar. The texture is even better if you let them cool a bit, so try and resist the urge to stick them right in your mouth. Enjoy!