Native American Fry Bread

Classic Native American Fry Bread

The Spruce / Diana Rattray

  • Total: 16 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins
  • Cook: 6 mins
  • Custom: 16 mins
  • Yield: 4 servings

Fry bread is a Native American bread, and there are many versions, depending on the region and the tribe. There are versions made with yeast and cornmeal, and some are made with the addition of shortening, lard, or another fat, and might include an egg.

This version, made with all-purpose flour and baking powder, is a very simple fry bread with no extra fat or eggs. It's an excellent choice to go with a hearty stew or chili, or make Indian fry bread tacos with seasoned ground beef and your favorite toppings (see below). Or serve the fry bread with honey, maple syrup, or fruit jam or preserves.

This recipe makes four small fry bread loaves; the recipe is easily scaled up for a larger family.


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • Vegetable oil (or shortening for deep frying; enough to reach 1-inch depth)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Native American fry bread ingredients
    The Spruce
  2. In a deep cast iron skillet or heavy saucepan heat about 1 inch of oil to 350 F. If you don't have a deep-fry thermometer to attach to the pan, dip the handle end of a wooden spoon in the oil. The oil should bubble around it fairly steadily when it's ready. Another way is the popcorn method. Put a kernel of popcorn in the oil. It will pop when the oil reaches 350 F to 360 F.

  3. Meanwhile, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl; mix well to blend.

    Native American Fry Bread dry ingredients
    The Spruce 
  4. Add the milk and stir until the dough holds together. Knead 3 or 4 times on a floured surface.

    Adding milk to Native American Fry bread ingredients
    The Spruce
  5. Divide the dough into four uniform pieces and shape each into a ball. 

    Native American Fry Bread dough balls
    The Spruce
  6. Roll each ball of dough into a circle with a lightly floured rolling pin. Make a depression in the center of each round of dough.

    Rolling out Native American Fry Dough balls
    The Spruce
  7. Carefully slide one or two into the hot oil and fry for about 1 to 2 minutes on each side, or until lightly browned.

    Frying Native American Fry Dough
    The Spruce
  8. Remove the fried dough to paper towels to drain.

    Native American Fry Dough
    The Spruce
  9. Serve and enjoy.


  • Fry dough can also be spiced and sweetened with sugar and then served with syrup or honey. 
  • Serve the bread as a base for taco salad, or cut hot fry bread into wedges and serve with salsa or a dipping sauce.