I’m slightly giggling as I just typed that title. It makes me smile because that is how my Navajo Tacos have been described. I’m not sure what makes them “fancy” but that is how my Navajo tacos have always looked since I was a child. I guess I have a fancy Navajo mom? Hahaha? Regardless it is completely flattering!
As far as I can remember I’ve always had a fascination with making homemade bread. I don’t mean a loaf of bread. I’m talking about Navajo bread like tortillas and my favorite frybread.
Anytime I saw my mom making bread, I pulled out a chair and scooted it right next to her watching her scoop handfuls of flour, a few pinches of baking powder, and a slight pinch of salt. Then mixing it by hand and taking her bowl to the sink and adding warm water. Then she would start kneading the dough and a few minutes later appeared this massive mound of smooth dough! There was something magical about it…how was she doing this without any measuring cups or spoons?!
As a kid I was like oh yeah I can do this. Just throw in this and that and BAM I made bread! Yeah….not so easy! I got the whole through in a bunch of dry ingredients but the proportions were uncannily off!! Adding the water part, forget about it. I ended up with over watered or really dry dough. It’s quite comical now that I think about the many attempts I made (but my momma applauded every effort and it gave my grandma a few chuckles).
I would ask my mom, what is the recipe? At which point she said there wasn’t one. My smarty pants self quickly replied well how did you learn to make bread then?! She said she learned by watching my grandma, the same way I was doing, and with practice and time I would master this skill.
I didn’t like this answer, but nonetheless I kept trying. I finally got the hang of it a few years ago as a 20 something year old. Well somewhat… I was able to figure out measurement via Google when I was in college (oh dear, I can’t believe I just admitted that) which also served as a guideline that I use now. My frybread is still not as perfect as my mom or grandmas, but it helps me and my husband get by when we want some comfort food or “fancy” Navajo tacos!