Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Chalupa Bread / Fry Bread Recipe

Chalupa Bread / Fry Bread Recipe

“Chalupa” is the Spanish word for “Boat”.  Chalupa bread can sometimes take on a bowl or boat-like shape to hold all the toppings or contents, or it can be flat.  It is basically another variation of Native American “fry bread”, which spread down through to Mexico in the past and is often used to make “Indian Tacos” in the USA, where it is topped with taco fillings.  It is also sometimes used as a sweet pastry, much like funnel cake-- topped with either powdered sugar, or cream cheese with jam.

This recipe however, unlike most Native American fry bread recipes, calls for baking powder rather than yeast.  It is more of a tender, light-and-crispy type bread.  Whereas traditional fry bread can sometimes be a bit tough or chewy and more dense.

**Makes 8 chalupas

2 cups all-purpose flour (wheat flour can also be used)
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 ½ tablespoon melted butter (warm, not hot)
¾ cup room-temperature milk
Oil for frying (at least 1 inch deep in the pan)

1.        In a large bowl, mix all dry ingredients together, thoroughly.

2.       Add melted butter, mix again with hands.

3.       Gradually add the room-temperature milk, little bits at a time, stirring as you add until completely blended.  Dough will be very sticky.

4.       Cover tightly and allow dough to rest for about 20 minutes.

5.       Lightly oil your (clean) hands to make dough easier to work with.  Knead for a minute or two until smooth.  Divide dough ball into 8 parts.   

6.       Start pre-heating your frying oil in the pan.   Try medium heat first.  If it smokes, it is too hot.  Turn it down and wait a bit.   Oil is ready when a pea-sized piece of dough dropped into it will quickly float to the top, but not darken too fast.   

7.       On a lightly floured surface, roll one of the dough parts into a circle, 8 to 10 inches in diameter (about ¼ inch thick).   Do not roll out all the dough parts at once.  Roll and cook only one part at a time, keep the rest covered with plastic while you work.  

8.       Carefully place the flattened dough circle in the pan of heated oil and fry until light-golden brown on both sides, flipping carefully with tongs.  Dough may puff up or bubble as it cooks, this is normal.

9.       Remove from oil and lay on a kitchen towel or paper towel to drain.   Continue the same way with the rest of the sections of dough.  

1.   Serve warm, with your favorite toppings, or eat plain.  

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