My husband’s great-grandfather Allen Dodd, along with his brother William Dodd, founded Kosciusko. The honor of naming the settlement was given to William Dodd, who served as the first representative from Attala County in the Mississippi State Legislature.
The Dodd brothers’ grandfather served in the Revolutionary War with Tadeusz Kosciuszko. William had inherited his grandfather’s admiration for the Polish hero, so he suggested “Kosciusko” to the Legislature.
Allen Dodd married a tall and beautiful Alabama Cherokee lady, and she bore him many children including Steve’s grandmother Fannie. Fannie was named after her aunt, William Dodd’s wife, who was also named Fannie.
Fannie Dodd Bailey was half Cherokee. Stephen Dodd Bailey is my husband’s name, and he is named after his great-grandfather. Steve’s father is a quarter Cherokee Indian; Steve is one-eighth; and our child Max is one-sixtheenth. Max is the last in the Bailey family line who is an official member of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians.
Indian fry bread was created out of pure necessity when the Native American populations were moved onto reservations and were given government rations. The rations included lard, flour, and salt.
This recipe shows the resiliency in which the Native Americans were able to survive in such difficult times because they did not use white flour or a lot of fat in cooking. They created this recipe in order to feed themselves.
Although none of Steve’s known ancestors were removed, the Native Americans considered themselves One People, and this is a great recipe to share. The original recipe used only flour, salt, water and lard.
In this day and age, Indian Fry Bread has improved with the addition of baking powder and milk and is used as a base for Indian Tacos, Indian Burgers and as a sweet treat when sprinkled with syrup and sugar.
You can make them bigger or smaller, thinner or thicker.
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup milk (water can also be used)
Mix together. Form into 6 to 8 balls and let them rest 10 minutes. Stretch each ball into a 4-6 inch disc that is about ¼ to ½ inch thick. Pull a small hole into the center of each disc. Fry in shortening, oil or lard on medium high heat. Brown on one side, flip over and brown on the other side.
Add taco meat and toppings to the fried disc and eat like a tostada.
Use two pieces of fry bread as a top and a bottom “bun” for hamburgers.
Sweet Fry Bread
As soon as the bread comes out of the skillet, drizzle with syrup or honey. Sprinkle on sugar or brown sugar or cinnamon sugar. You can also just skip the syrup and just douse with powdered sugar like a beignet.