Fry bread: comfort food.
It was a cold blustery day, and I felt like some comfort food.
Daniel Leader's book "Simply Great Breads" has a formula for yeast-raised fry bread.
Years ago, I learned a simple way to make fry bread, without any leavening agent, just plain AP flour, salt, water, and powdered milk. As the moisture steams/boils off, it sufficiently aerates the dough. But I had forgotten the exact recipe. Lightly dust with sugar while the oil is still wet on the fried bun.
"Fry bread" is not taking a piece of bread and frying it. That would be toast.
"Fry bread" is taking a piece of dough, usually in the form of a disc, and deep frying it, or pan-frying in a sufficient layer of oil/fat to approximate deep frying.
Using baking powder, yeast, or sourdough starter, makes an even fluffier piece of fry bread.
The trick is to not use too much leavening agent, and don't let it rise too long if using yeast/sourdough. Too much will create a too big pocket of air.
I used mostly home-milled whole-grain flour. It still worked well, as I let the dough sit a while to fully hydrate.
375 F seems to be a good temp. I don't have a controlled temperature fryer. I just used a wok and a thermometer. Setting 4 on the electric burner's control dial seems to maintain 375 F. But adding the room temp dough drops the oil's temp quickly, so I was almost constantly fiddling with the dial, usually starting by getting the oil up to 400/425 F right before putting the dough in the oil.
I made enough dough for four pieces, intending to eat two and save two for later. I ended up eating all four. Such is the danger of comfort food.
My hood fan over the stove merely filters the air, it does not vent to the outside. So the oil frying smell lingered for a day or so.
I have one of those circular "turbo convection ovens", which is the predecessor of the "air fryer." It's a big glass bowl with the fan and heating element built into the lid. I might try that to make fry bread.