So I actually got this to work! In the past, the dough has fallen apart or for whatever reason ended up in small fried-scone-type condition. This recipe allows for big ol’ rounds, the kind you can load up as Navaho tacos. I’m guessing the powdered milk is key, as is keeping the oil at a constant temperature (the hardest part for me). This recipe is Beth Hensperger’s from “Breads of the Southwest.”
4 c. unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 c. nonfat dry milk
1 1/2 tablespoons baking powder (yes, it’s a lot)
1 teas. salt
4 tbs. vegetable shortening or lard
1 1/2 c. very hot water
Flour or cornmeal for dusting
2 quarts vegetable oil for frying
1) Mix first 4 ingredients. Cut in shortening until crumbly.
2) Add water & mix well, until dough comes together in a ball.Knead no more than 10 times in bowl. Dough should be soft but not sticky. Cover loosely w/ plastic wrap, let rest at least 30 min.
3) Dust worksurface w/ flour or cornmeal. Pull off 2 to 3 inch balls of dough until done (there should be 16-20) then cover with a damp towel. Roll out each piece one at a time into thin circles (leave the others covered). Keep the circles covered with plastic wrap. Let rest 20 min.
4) Heat 2 in. of oil in a Dutch oven, heavy wok, or fryer to 380 degrees. Fry a few at a time, about 2 minutes per side. Use tongs or a slotted spoon to remove, drain on paper towels, keep warm at 200 degrees in oven if necessary.
5) Enjoy! For a sweet variant, add 1/4 c. honey with the hot water back in step 2.