Navajo Tacos (Tuffies)

I grew up with a dad who loves the Native American culture and encouraged us as kids to study it as well.
 He would stop when we were on road trips and visit different little Native American shops in North Dakota, New Mexico, Colorado, etc.  They have pottery, instruments, little boxes all over their house. And something that we frequently ate as a family was Navajo Fried Bread, or scones as they are more popularly known.  We would have chili, cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, and sour cream on them.  Then with whatever was left, we'd add butter and honey and have dessert.

Jump to Utah and Idaho and my husband grew up eating these as well.  But they were called Tuffies in the Yates family.  Why Tuffies?  I've asked The Hubs, and he doesn't remember.  But their family had them with refried beans and ground beef.  So now we have a family dilemma - do we call them Navajo Tacos or Tuffies?  TUFFIES OF COURSE!  It's a much more fun name.  But in my childhood heart, I will always know them as Navajo Tacos.  This recipe makes a wonderful, fluffy yet crunchy fried bread ready for layer upon layer of delicious toppings.

Navajo Tacos (Tuffies)


3 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbs. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 Tbs. canola oil
1 cup cold milk
Canola oil for frying


Chili (or refried beans and ground beef)
Shredded Cheese
Shredded Lettuce
Diced Tomatoes
Sour Cream


1. Combine 2 cups flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl using a fork.  Whisk together to incorporate some air.  Add canola oil and stir again with fork until oil is well mixed in - only tiny lumps should remain.  Add milk and mix with fork until dry ingredients are moistened - there will still be lumps!

2. Gradually add remaining flour, 1/4 cup at a time, until dough becomes smooth.  Knead on a floured surface for 5 minutes, adding more flour as needed.  Dough should still be slightly sticky when finished.  Place back into bowl and cover with a towel.  Let rest for 30 minutes.

3. Pour canola oil into a large skillet or frying pan, enough to be 1 inch deep.  Preheat over medium heat for 5 minutes.

4. Divide dough, by hand, into 6 pieces for medium to large rounds or into 12 pieces for small rounds (ideal for dessert).  Using fingers, gently stretch each piece into a round about 6 inches in diameter for large pieces, or 4 inches for small.

5. Gently lay each round into hot oil and allow to fry for a few minutes, checking often, until browned.  Turn over and repeat on other side.  Remove from oil using tongs and place on a plate lined with paper towels to catch excess oil.

6. Serve with toppings suggested or your own preference while hot.

**Save room for dessert!  Smother hot fry bread with butter and honey for a Dessert Tuffy!  (The Hubs also likes to sprinkle them with powdered sugar for a Biegnet effect.)