November 28, 2022

Canadiannpizza

Cooking Is My World

Fry Bread – Chelsea’s Messy Apron

Fry Bread is a flatbread made with simple and accessible everyday ingredients. The dough is deep fried in oil and can be enjoyed right out of the oil or with various toppings — sweet or savory. 

Overhead image of the Fry Bread on a plate

Our Favorite Fry Bread Recipe

Different variations and versions of Fry Bread can be found in different cultures and countries all around the world. Ingredients can vary a bit, but a unifying trait is how basic it is to make. The ingredient list is typically short — featuring simple, everyday ingredients. 

However, don’t be fooled by the short and simple ingredient list, because this is truly the best Fry Bread I’ve ever tried! It has a lightly crisp exterior from being fried. The interior is soft, chewy, and so flavorful.

Another nice thing about fried bread dough is how quickly it comes together. Unlike when you’ve got to wait for white bread, honey whole wheat bread, or dinner rolls to rise, this recipe doesn’t require any rising time!

QUICK TIP

The recipe I’m sharing isn’t an authentic Navajo Fry Bread Recipe. My good friend from The Stay At Home Chef shares her traditional fry bread recipe from her aunt who lived with a local Native American tribe. You can try that recipe here!

Process shots-- images of the dry and wet ingredients being combined

What Is Fry Bread?

Also called Navajo Fry Bread or Indian Fry Bread, this is a quick-to-make flatbread that is deep fried in oil, shortening, or lard. The bread puffs up as it’s fried, creating a golden brown dough with a phenomenal texture — crisp on the outside, soft and chewy on the inside.

There are numerous ways to enjoy it:

  • Right out of the fryer (It practically melts in your mouth!)
  • Sweet fry bread: Top it right out of the fryer with honey, honey butter, jam, syrup, and/or a sprinkle of powdered sugar (we call this sweet treat Utah Scones!).
  • Dredge in cinnamon sugar: Right out of the fryer, dredge both sides in a mixture of 1/2 cup granulated sugar and 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • Top with savory toppings such as shredded beef, pork, chicken or seasoned ground beef
  • Use as a flatbread or a replacement for bread (make sandwiches with the fried bread)
  • Use to replace tortillas in a taco-like meal (like Navajo Tacos)
  • Dunk in your favorite crockpot chili or soup recipe

QUICK TIP

There is a fun Fry Bread House restaurant close to where I live that has some fun and unique toppings. Browse through their menu for more inspiration for how to top your fried bread!

Process shots of Fry Bread-- images of the dough being rolled into a ball and then it being divided into 8 parts and each part being pressed into 6-inch rounds

How To Make Fry Bread

The dough for this basic Fry Bread comes together quickly and doesn’t require rising time — score! The dough does rest for a little bit which is the perfect time to heat up the oil for frying.

Once the dough has rested, it’s time to fry. A couple of different options here:

  1. Use a deep fryer (We love this deep fryer). It makes frying very easy and less messy than using a pot– thanks to the deep fryer lid. It also ensures the temperature stays consistent (you can set a temperature and forget about it!), which is important for even frying.
  2. If you don’t have a deep fryer, you’ll want a heavy-bottomed deep pot (I recommend using a large (5 quart) cast iron pot) and thermometer to gauge the temperature of the oil and ensure it maintains the right heat throughout frying. We want to ensure the temperature stays consistent and doesn’t get too hot (or too cool) which affects how the bread fries.
    1. If you don’t have access to a thermometer, try this trick: stand a wooden spoon handle in the hot oil. When bubbles gather around the stick, the oil is ready to fry.

QUICK TIP

By using a large, deep pot instead of a shallow skillet, you’ll have much less mess! The oil won’t pop out on you or all over your stove.

Process shots-- images of the dough being fried

Recipe Notes

  • Yeast. There is yeast in the dough, but it does not require rising time. We do rest the bread for 15-20 minutes to allow the gluten to relax; this makes it easier to form pieces of dough before frying.
  • Kneading. No kneading is required for this dough! In fact, the less you touch the dough, the better.
  • Dough texture. The dough is shaggy and rough looking. It is supposed to be sticky, but not so sticky that you can’t work with it. Add a touch of extra flour if needed, but avoid adding too much extra. On the flip side, if the dough is overly dry, you may need a touch more milk. (There are always going to be variations due to climate, humidity, and individual measuring discrepancies.)
  • Rustic is the goal. The more bubbles and bumps on the bread, the better! This is the perfect surface area to add lots of toppings! Roughly press the dough out with your hands — don’t use a rolling pin– it’s not needed!

Up-close overhead image of Fry Bread on a plate

STORAGE

How Long Will Fry Bread Stay Fresh?

Like most fried foods, this bread is best right out of the fryer! I don’t recommend frying ahead of time, but the dough can be prepared ahead of time!

Make-ahead: Cover the dough tightly and place it in the fridge. Refrigerate up to 8 hours. When ready to fry, remove dough from the fridge and allow it to come to room temperature before frying.

Keep it warm: Add an oven-safe cooling rack to the top of a sheet pan. Place Fry Bread pieces straight from the fryer onto the cooling rack in a single layer. Place sheet pan in a 200 degree F heated oven until the rest are fried. 

Store: Store Fry Bread loosely wrapped with plastic wrap for 1-2 days. The texture and flavor do suffer the longer the bread has been out of the fryer.

More Fried Foods To Love

Fry Bread

Fry Bread is a flatbread made with simple and accessible everyday ingredients. The dough is deep fried in oil and can be enjoyed right out of the oil or with various toppings — sweet or savory. 

Fry Bread

Fry Bread is a flatbread made with simple and accessible everyday ingredients. The dough is deep fried in oil and can be enjoyed right out of the oil or with various toppings — sweet or savory. 

Instructions

  • DOUGH: Melt butter in the microwave. Let the butter cool back to room temperature (it’s important it’s not hot!). Microwave the milk until just warmed (Note 2), but not hot. Mix together melted butter and milk and set aside. In a large bowl, add the flour, sugar, baking powder, yeast, and salt. Whisk to combine. Add the milk mixture to the dry ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon until the dough comes together.

  • DOUGH CONT.: Dough should be rough, shaggy, and fairly sticky, but not so sticky you can’t work with it. Lightly flour your hands and knead the dough just a few times to shape it into a ball, being careful not to overwork/over-handle the dough. In the same bowl you used for mixing, drizzle a tablespoon of vegetable oil in the bowl. Rub oil on the bottom of the bowl and slightly up the sides. Add the dough ball back into the bowl and turn the dough to coat in the oil. Cover the bowl with a damp kitchen towel. Let it rest for about 15-20 minutes. We don’t need the dough to rise, just the gluten to relax!

  • PREPARE FOR FRYING: Add 1 inch of oil to a large cast iron pot and heat to 350 degrees F. Divide the rested dough into 8 equal portions (cut the ball of dough in half then half again to get 4 large triangle pieces. Cut each triangle into 2 pieces to get 8 equal triangles). Lightly flour your hands and work with one piece of dough at a time (keep the rest of the dough portions covered). Holding the piece of dough with your hands, gently work the dough into a circle pressing it out with your fingers. (Don’t roll out the dough with a rolling pin or flatten on the table.) The dough should make a thin 5- to 6-inch circle and doesn’t need to look pretty — it’s supposed to be rustic looking! The thinner the pieces, the better; keep working the dough outwards, being careful to not rip it.

  • FRY: Gently drop only one piece of dough at a time into the fully heated oil. Fry about 30 seconds to 1 minute per side (if not using cast iron pot, it will be longer) — fry pieces to a dark golden brown color, flipping the dough with 2 forks (or tongs) halfway through. Use a large slotted spoon (or tongs) to remove the dough onto a paper-towel-lined plate. Repeat to fry the remaining dough.

Recipe Notes

Note 1: Frying equipment options:

    1. Use a deep fryer.
    2. If you don’t have a deep fryer, you’ll want a heavy-bottomed deep pot (I recommend using a large (5 quart) cast iron pot) and thermometer to gauge the temperature of the oil and ensure it maintains the right heat throughout frying. We want to ensure the temperature stays consistent and doesn’t get too hot (or too cool) which will affect how the bread fries. If you don’t have access to a thermometer, try this trick: Stand a wooden spoon handle in the hot oil. When bubbles gather around the stick, the oil is ready to fry.

Note 2: Test milk temperature: Drizzle a few drops of the warmed milk onto the inside of your wrist. If it is warm and comfy it will be perfect for the yeast. If it feels hot, it will be too hot for the yeast. Too cold and the yeast will simply remain dormant.

Nutrition Facts

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 200kcal | Carbohydrates: 33.7g | Protein: 5.2g | Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 8.2mg | Sodium: 16.4mg | Fiber: 1.2g | Sugar: 2.7g

We do our best to provide accurate nutritional analysis for our recipes. Our nutritional data is calculated using a third-party algorithm and may vary, based on individual cooking styles, measurements, and ingredient sizes. Please use this information for comparison purposes and consult a health professional for nutrition guidance as needed.