Easy, 4-ingredient traditional fry bread recipe! This simple fry bread is so easy to make, and it makes a great base for so many toppings.
Fry bread is sometimes called Navajo fry bread or Indian fry bread. It’s made from a simple, 4-ingredient dough that’s fried in oil, shortening, or lard.
Fry bread can be eaten by itself, or it can be topped with sweet or savory toppings.
What is fry bread?
Fry bread began as a way to make use of the simple food from the rations that the U.S. government gave to Native Americans while relocating them. Different Native American tribes have different versions of fry bread, but it’s often associated with the Navajo and used to make Navajo tacos.
The dough is made from four, simple ingredients. You’ll just need
- All-purpose flour
- Baking powder
- Water and
- Oil to fry the dough in.
How to make fry bread
Step 1: Stir together the flour, salt, and baking powder in a large mixing bowl.
Step 2: Gradually whisk in the water until incorporated to form a sticky dough. You may find that you need to add additional water.
Step 3: Cover with plastic wrap and let the dough rest for 2 hours.
Step 4: Divide the dough into pieces the size of a tennis ball.
Step 5: Gently flatten out the dough as thin as possible without tearing it.
Top tip >> You can use a rolling pin or your hands to gently stretch the dough. Just avoid overworking it as that will give you tough fry bread.
Step 6: Pour 2 inches of oil into a large heavy pot. Heat the oil to 350 F.
Top tip >> If you have a cast iron skillet with high sides (deep iron skillet) that will also work. However, regular iron skillets don’t have high enough sides.
Step 7: Make a small hole in the center of each piece of dough.
Step 8: Fry one piece of dough in the hot oil until golden brown on one side. Flip and continue cooking until golden brown on the second side.
Step 9: Place the fry bread on a paper towel-lined plate.
Step 10: Repeat with the remaining dough. Serve topped with desired toppings.
- Oil: You can use another oil with a high smoke point, like peanut oil, instead of vegetable oil.
- Temperature matters! To make sure that your fry bread fries properly, it’s important to have the oil at the correct temperature.
I recommend using a deep-fry thermometer. If it isn’t hot enough, the dough will take on too much oil as it cooks and become soggy and greasy. If it’s too hot, the dough will cook outside before the inside has cooked.
- The pieces of dough are pretty generous. Feel free to make smaller pieces of dough, about the size of a golf ball, if you’d like.
Fry bread can be the base for a number of savory or sweet toppings. It can be topped with chili or taco-seasoned ground beef and lettuce, diced tomato, cheese, sour cream, and diced avocado or guacamole.
For dessert fry bread, top a piece with butter and honey, cinnamon sugar, or powdered sugar.
It will keep in an airtight container for about 2-3 days, but it’s best eaten when fresh.
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Traditional Fry Bread Recipe
- Large heavy pot
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 ½ tablespoons baking powder
- 1 ½ cups hot water not boiling
- 1 quart vegetable oil for frying
- Stir together the flour, salt, and baking powder in a large mixing bowl.
- Gradually whisk in the water until incorporated to form a sticky dough. You may find that you need to add additional water.
- Cover and let the dough rest for 2 hours.
- Divide the dough into pieces the size of a tennis ball.
- Gently flatten out the dough as thin as possible without tearing it.
- Pour 2 inches of oil into a large heavy pot.
- Heat the oil over medium heat to 350 F.
- Make a small hole in the center of each piece of dough.
- Fry one piece of dough in the oil until golden brown on one side.
- Flip and continue cooking until golden brown on the second side.
- Place the fry bread on a paper towel-lined plate.
- Repeat with the remaining dough.
- Serve topped with desired toppings.
- Nutrition values are estimates.
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