Saturday, November 12, 2011

Fry Bread

Tonight was our church's Progressive Dinner.This year's theme was Italian. If you don't know what a progressive dinner is; it is like a Gypsy potluck. We eat each course at a different house.
First we met at the church and dropped the kiddos off to be sat on. You know; babysat. Then a prayer, an icebreaker and some directions and we were off! The first stop was appetizers. Cheese, crackers, pizza, bread and toppings, meatballs and spiced cider; Oh My! I have to give a shout out to Russ for pouring! That was some good pouring!
Then we drove on to Soup and Salad. It was so hard to choose! I picked a soup that reminded me of the potato and sausage soup at The Olive Garden, green salad with pasta salad on top, homemade wheat bread, pea salad and a smidgen of a fruit salad. Ugh! This was all way too good and I was already full! But the show must go on!
So we drove to the main course. I tried to get just a bite of everything. Such good food and so much of it! This is also where my contribution to the night came in. I tried out a new recipe for fry bread. Marilee, a family friend, makes Italian fry bread for special occasions and it is the best! I love bread anyway but this stuff is the bombdiggity! When I heard we were doing the Italian theme I knew what I was going to bring! I  have to admit I was a little nervous about trying a new recipe to serve to everyone at church.What? I should have tried the recipe once before doubling the recipe and serving it to everyone? Naw. That's not how I roll. My dear, sweet, darling Noah joked, "I thought you like your church. What did they ever do to you?" But it turned out great and everyone else liked it too because there were NO leftovers! It also made me feel good to hear people talking about how good it was even when they didn't know I was the one who made it. I may be bragging a little but I'm pretty sure I have bragging rights at this point.
But we weren't done! We still had dessert. So many delicious things to choose from! Again I tried to take just a little bit of everything. Pumpkin bars, cheese cake, tiramisu with homemade lady fingers, and things that I don't even know what it was but BOY was it good! I do not consider myself a quitter but at some point I just couldn't eat any more. I was so full.
I loved getting to see the houses too. I laugh thinking about trying to squeeze all those people into my Little House! We were welcomed with such warm hospitality and beautifully decorated houses. I had an awesome evening eating and fellowshipping with my old friends and meeting new ones.
Besides the fact that our church rocks and has lots of talented cooks and bakers; the point of the story is that I made bombdiggity fry bread and wanted to share the recipe.

Fry Bread

1 cup milk
1 Tbsp salt
2 Tbsp butter
3 Tbsp sugar
2 packages yeast
1 cup warm water (somewhere around 100-110 degrees)
4 1/4 cups flour
(I doubled this recipe to make enough for the progressive dinner. It served a lot of people.)

Scald (I had to look this up) the milk, salt, butter and sugar. Let it cool.

In a large mixing bowl add the water to the yeast and dissolve. Add the milk mixture and flour and mix well. I had to knead it by hand at the end. It is sticky. Cover with a towel and let double in size. I put it in the oven and leave it but you have to remember to pull it out before you preheat the oven; especially if it is in a plastic bowl. My Grandma Mary Ellen always used to let the dough rise in the bathroom because it was usually the warmest room in the house.
Once the dough has doubled in size you will need to heat a few inches of oil in a pot or frying pan. I think Marilee uses a cast iron skillet. I prefer a large pot because it is tall so you don't have as many oil spatters to clean up when you are done. When the oil is hot enough to sizzle a water drop go ahead and start your pulling, stretching and frying. I pulled off pieces of my sticky dough and stretched them out a little and dropped them in. I could fit about 3 safely, 4 when I got impatient. Noah was in charge of turning them over and taking them out when they were golden brown. He said 4 was too many because they would stick together.
We served them with pastas. You could also sprinkle powdered sugar, or cinnamon and sugar on them and serve them for dessert like elephant ears. :o)
Go make some bombdiggity fry bread, give a prayer of thanks for all you have and go brag about your bombdiggity fry bread skills.

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