Authentic Indian Fry Bread Recipe

Authentic Indian Fry Bread Recipe is a classic Navajo recipe that is so easy to make and completely delicious. The dough is deep fried until golden brown and covered in savory toppings to make Navajo tacos, or sweet toppings like powdered sugar and honey.

Fry Bread is very common in the American southwest and it can be served up sweet or savory. No need to seek it out at a restaurant though, because it’s surprisingly easy to make at home.

Stack of fry bread.

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Table of Contents
  1. Why We Love This Recipe
  2. Ingredients For Fry Bread
  3. How To Make Indian Fry Bread
  4. FAQs
  5. How To Serve
  6. Storage
  7. Expert Tips
  8. More Bread Recipes to Try
  9. Authentic Fry Bread Recipe

Why We Love This Recipe

Indian Fry Bread looks like a flat, slightly puffy, deep fried tortilla. It’s light and crispy on the outside like a taco shell, and dense in the center.

  • It’s so easy – Active time making this recipe is about 15 minutes and there are only 4 ingredients. It is nearly impossible to mess up!
  • Versatile – The fry bread itself has a neutral flavor, so it lends itself to a variety of different toppings, from sweet to savory.

Ingredients For Fry Bread

  • All-purpose flour
  • Baking powder
  • Salt
  • Hot water
  • Vegetable oil – for frying

How To Make Indian Fry Bread

  • Mix the dough. Whisk together flour, salt, and baking powder in a large mixing bowl.
  • Add water. Slowly pour in the hot water and mix constantly with a wooden spoon until a sticky dough forms. Cover the bowl with a towel and set aside for an hour or in the fridge overnight.
  • Divide into 12 pieces. Once the dough is done resting, divide it into 12 equal-sized pieces, and stretch out thin without tearing it. It doesn’t have to be perfectly round.
  • Heat oil for frying. Choose a large, deep, heavy-bottomed pot, or use a deep fryer. Fill the pot at least 3-inches high and heat the oil to 350℉.
  • Fry the dough. Drop each thin piece of dough, one at a time, into the hot oil and let it puff up and turn golden brown, then flip to brown the other side. Using metal tongs, pull the piece out of the oil, letting the excess drip off, and transfer to a paper towel lined plate.
Stack of fry bread pieces.

FAQs

Can you make fry bread ahead of time?

Fry bread is best served hot and fresh out of the fryer. However, you can definitely make the dough in advance. Make the dough, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 24 hours. Let it sit on the counter and come to room temperature before dividing and frying.

How To Serve

There are truly so many ways to serve up this deep-fried Indian bread. It’s frequently served as Navajo tacos with lots of delicious taco toppings, or as a sweet dessert.

  • Sweet: If you are going for the sweeter approach, you can top it with powdered sugar and honey or Honey Butter and jam. As a dessert that really reminded me of Spanish sopapillas! The honey seeps into all of the nooks and crannies of the fry bread and it’s wonderful!
  • Navajo tacos: If you want to use it in a savory recipe, there are so many options! The most popular way is in a Navajo taco, which is the fried bread topped with taco ground beef, cheese, lettuce, black olives, tomatoes, and sour cream. Exactly like a normal taco or tostada but just with a fun, puffy shell.
  • Meat: shredded chicken, steak, pork carnitas, etc.
  • Vegetarian: Beans and cheese, bell peppers, jalapenos, cilantro rice.
  • Cheese: Sprinkle with some pepper jack cheese on top for a great lunch! Any other cheese you might like, cheddar, mozzarella or a Mexican blend.
Fry bread taco with meat, cheese, sour cream and tomatoes.
Indian Fry Bread topped with honey and powdered sugar.

Storage

Make sure you plan ahead when you make this fry bread recipe and try to make the amount that you plan on eating. It doesn’t save too well since it gets a bit soggy but the recipe is easy to cut in half or double, depending on how many people you are feeding.

That said, you can store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days. Reheat in an air fryer for best results.

Pro Tips

  • To prevent your dough from curling into a bowl shape as it fries, cut a small slit in the center just before placing it into the fryer.
  • To keep the bread warm as you work through the batches, place a baking sheet in a 200℉ oven.
close up of navajo taco made from Indian fry bread.

More Bread Recipes to Try

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Authentic Fry Bread

Authentic Indian Fry Bread is a classic Navajo recipe where dough is deep fried until puffy, golden and crispy, then served with sweet or savory toppings.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 1 hr 30 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 12 pieces
Calories 114kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups hot water
  • Vegetable oil

Topping Ideas:

  • Honey & powdered sugar
  • Cinnamon & sugar
  • Bean & Cheese
  • Taco – beans cheese, lettuce, tomato, olives & sour cream

Instructions
 

  • In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, salt, and baking powder. Mix until combined.
  • Slowly add in hot water and continuously mix with a wooden spoon until the dough comes together. It will be quite sticky.
  • Cover with a towel or plastic wrap the dough and let it sit for 60 minutes.
  • Once dough is done sitting, divide it into 12 even pieces and stretch each out until it is very thin. Make sure to avoid letting the dough rip. It is okay if the dough isn't perfectly shaped.
  • Add enough oil to either a deep fryer or a large pot to be at least 3 inches deep. Turn the heat to medium-high until the oil reaches 350℉. You may have to adjust the heat once you start frying because the temperature will drop when the dough goes in.
  • Place one piece of the dough into the hot oil at a time and leave it until it is golden brown on the bottom before flipping. Once both sides of the dough are completely cooked, drain off excess oil and then transfer to a plate lined with paper towel. Repeat with each of the pieces of dough.

Notes

Make sure you plan ahead when you make fry bread and try to make the amount that you plan on eating. Fry bread doesn’t save too well since it gets a bit soggy but the recipe is easy to cut in half or double, depending on how many people you are feeding.

Nutrition

Calories: 114kcalCarbohydrates: 24gProtein: 3gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 170mgPotassium: 34mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gCalcium: 45mgIron: 2mg
Keyword authentic fry bread, fry bread

Madison

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Comments

    1. We go on missions to the Navajo and some also use chili beans and salsa with lettuce, cheese, tomatoes and blk olives and sour cream are optional. They also
      love Blue bird flour.

  1. Don’t mix with a spoon. Real Navajos use their hands to mix the dough. This way you know how the dough feels and should be able to adjust consistancy as needed. Vegetable oil is nice but it makes the frybread a little chewy. Try usuing Manteca or a vegetable based lard. The taste will change but the bread will be softer.

  2. I’m looking for an Indian fry bread recipe that I used to enjoy while living in Lawton, Oklahoma. It was alwys topped like with taco fillings. If anyone has the recipe please post it or forward to my email below. Thanks so much

    1. Joyce if you received topping recipes, please send to me. I also enjoyed the bread in Lawton. Thank you. Santa