Fry Bread

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  • This Indian fry bread is deep fried until golden brown and then served as savory or sweet. Perfectly crispy and bubbly on the outside, while soft and chewy on the inside.

    Can you even beat fried bread?! It’s perfectly crispy, chewy and soft all at the same time. Plus the flavor is absolutely delicious. Indian fry bread is a favorite, as well as homemade churros, beignets and maple bacon donuts.

    fry bread with powdered sugar and honey on top

    What is fry bread?

    If you’ve never had fry bread (also called Indian fry bread), you need to try it ASAP! The dough is deep fried until golden brown and then served as savory or sweet. It’s perfectly crispy and bubbly on the outside and soft and chewy on the inside.

    We love to use fry bread to make Navajo tacos or serve them with powdered sugar and honey. You can even skip the homemade dough and use Rhodes rolls or Pillsbury biscuits if you’re looking for a quicker option. My mom made it this way growing up and it’s super easy. All you do is let them rise and then roll out each individual roll and fry.

    And if you’re wondering if fry bread is the same as the fried elephant ears that you get at your local fair – there actually is a difference between the two. Fry bread has a thicker and more chewy dough, while elephant ears are bigger and thinner.

    step by step process of making fry bread

    What’s it made of?

    The ingredients needed to make this Indian fry bread recipe are super simple. You most likely already have them on hand. You’ll also need vegetable oil for frying the bread in the skillet.

    • Yeast
    • Warm water
    • Egg
    • Milk
    • Baking powder
    • Granulated sugar
    • Salt
    • All-purpose flour

    How to make fry bread

    Dissolve yeast in water. Add yeast and 1 Tablespoon sugar to bowl of warm water and let dissolve for about 10 minutes, or until very bubbly and frothy.

    Make dough. Add in egg, milk and sugar and whip until foamy. Then add flour, salt and baking powder and mix until the dough is thick. It should be soft and stick to your finger a little. Don’t over knead.

    Let rise. Cover and let rise in a warm place for about 30 minutes.

    Roll into pieces. Roll the dough out on a floured board until it’s 1/4 inch thick. Divide the dough into 12-16 equal sections by pinching off golf-ball sized balls of dough. Then roll out the dough balls on a lightly floured surface into roughly 4-5 inch thin circles.

    Keep them covered with plastic wrap while you prepare to fry them. Then poke a small hole in the center with a fork.

    frying bread dough in oil

    Fry the dough. Next, heat the vegetable oil (about 1 1/2″ deep) in a large skillet until it reaches about 400°F. Place the dough circle in the oil and cook until golden brown. Flip and cook other side until brown. Then transfer to a paper towel lined plate. Repeat for all dough circles.

    Optional: Keep warm. If you aren’t planning on enjoying the fry bread right away, you can keep them warm in the oven until ready to serve. Simply place them on a baking sheet in the oven at 200°F.

    Top and serve! Serve with taco meat and your favorite toppings to make navajo tacos. Or top with honey or powdered sugar to make a sweet dessert.

    stack of fry bread

    Favorite toppings

    Cooking tips

    • Don’t over knead! The dough should be soft and a little sticky to touch.
    • For a quicker dough option, you can use Rhodes rolls or Pillsbury biscuits. Simply let them rise and then roll out each individual roll and fry.
    • Keep warm: Place fry bread on a baking sheet and keep warm in oven at 200°F.
    • To store: Add to a zip top bag and keep at room temperature for 1-2 days.
    • To freeze:  Wrap in plastic wrap or foil and add to a freezer bag. Store in freezer for about 2-3 months.
    • Reheating: Wrap bread with foil and reheat in oven at 375°F for about 10 minutes.

    fry bread with honey and powdered sugar

    More homemade bread:

    stack of fry bread

    Fry Bread Recipe

    Course: bread
    Cuisine: Indian
    Keyword: fry bread, fry bread recipe, indian fry bread, navajo fry bread
    Prep Time: 20 minutes
    Cook Time: 20 minutes
    Let Rise: 30 minutes
    Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
    Servings: 10
    Calories: 227
    Author: Jamielyn Nye
    This Indian fry bread is deep fried until golden brown and then served as savory or sweet. Perfectly crispy and bubbly on the outside, while soft and chewy on the inside. 

    Ingredients

    • 1 package yeast , about 2 1/2 teaspoons
    • 1 cup warm water
    • 1 large egg
    • 1 cup luke warm milk
    • 1 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 4-5 cups all-purpose flour

    Vegetable oil, for frying

      Instructions

      • Dissolve the yeast and 1 Tablespoon sugar in warm water. Let stand about 10 minutes or until very bubbly and frothy.
      • Add egg, milk and sugar. Whip until foamy. Add flour, salt and baking powder and mix to a thick dough. The dough should be soft and stick a little bit to your finger. Do not over knead.
        Cover and let rise for 30 minutes in a warm place. 
      • Roll dough out on a floured surface until it's 1/4 inch thick. Divide the dough into 12-16 equal sections by pinching off golf-ball sized balls of dough. Then roll out the dough balls into roughly 4-5-inch thin circles on a lightly floured surface. Keep them covered with plastic wrap while you prepare to fry them. Poke a small hole in the center with a fork.
      • Heat vegetable oil (about 1 1/2" deep) in a large skillet until it reaches about 400°F. Place the dough in the oil, and then cook until golden brown. Then flip and cook the other side. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate.

      Notes

      • To keep the fry bread warm, place in a pan in the oven at 200°F. 
      • Serve with taco meat and your favorite toppings to make navajo tacos.
      • You can also serve with honey, jam or powdered sugar for a dessert.
      • For a quicker dough option, you can use Rhodes rolls or Pillsbury biscuits. Simply let them rise and then roll out each individual roll and fry.
      • To store: Add to a zip top bag and keep at room temperature for 1-2 days.
      • To freeze:  Wrap in plastic wrap or foil and add to a freezer bag. Store in freezer for about 2-3 months.
      • To reheat: Wrap bread with foil and reheat in oven at 375°F for about 10 minutes.

      Nutrition

      Calories: 227kcal | Carbohydrates: 45g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 24mg | Sodium: 254mg | Potassium: 141mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 1.4% | Calcium: 5.6% | Iron: 13.6%
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