Frybread Recipe on Food52 (2024)

5 Ingredients or Fewer

by: Erin Jeanne McDowell



6 Ratings

  • Prep time 1 hour
  • Cook time 20 minutes
  • Makes 12 large fry breads
Author Notes

Frybread is a delicious, easy-to-make recipe that I love to make, and is an undeniable crowd pleaser. But before you try your hand at making it, it’s important to consider the fraught origins it has in this country. When the United States government forced indigenous tribes into reservations, tribes like the Navajo were forced off of lands that provided some of their most relied upon crops and foraged foods, and were instead supplied with a variety of processed foods, like flour and lard. Frybread was born out of necessity, but nevertheless became extremely popular amongst a number of tribes. I grew up attending annual art festivals at Haskell Indian Nations University in Lawrence, Kansas - which is where I had my first ever, hot, fluffy, and perfectly chewy frybread. This version is especially quick and easy, because it’s made with baking powder (though you can also find a super flavorful yeast-raised version in my newest book, Savory Baking). I love it for its ability to throw together quickly, while simultaneously being the kind of recipe that makes people crowd in the kitchen to know exactly when the food’s ready. Serve it all on its own, or with something to dip it in (and honestly, it’s good with everything). Or, make frybread tacos or tostadas, a favorite amongst my family. Another move at our house? Save some of the dough for dessert! Toss the warm frybread in cinnamon sugar, vanilla sugar, or citrus sugar while it’s still warm - or to serve it showered in powdered sugar like a treat from the county fair. —Erin Jeanne McDowell

Test Kitchen Notes

Featured in: A Step-By-Step Guide to Making Fry Bread. —The Editors

  • Test Kitchen-Approved

What You'll Need

  • 4 1/2 cups(542 g) all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons(6 g) fine sea salt
  • 1 tablespoonplus 1 teaspoon (16 g) baking powder
  • 6 tablespoons(85 g) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 cups(340 g) water
  • oil for frying
  • your favorite toppings: taco style, guac, queso, or all of the above!
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, mix the flour, salt, and baking powder on low speed to combine. Add the melted butter or lard and water and mix until a smooth dough forms, 2-3 minutes. (You can also mix the dough by hand in a large bowl with a spatula or wooden spoon - mix for about 4-6 minutes, until the dough is smooth.)
  2. Turn the dough out of the bowl, form into a disk, and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Let rest at room temperature for 30 minutes-1 hour.
  3. Pour 2-3 inches/5-8 cm of oil into a large, heavy-bottomed pot. Attach a deep-fry thermometer to the side of the pot, and heat the oil over medium heat to around 350°F/175°C (or use an instant-read thermometer to carefully check the temperature). I generally deep-fry food between 325-340°F/165-170°C, but it’s best to heat the oil hotter than you need to start, as the temperature will drop once you add food to it. Set a wire rack over a baking sheet for draining the frybreads.
  4. Meanwhile, turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface, and divide it into 12 even pieces (about 80 g each). Working with one piece of dough at a time, roll the dough out into a rough round about ⅓ inch/8 mm thick. Exact shape doesn’t really matter, but try to reach the proper thickness and keep the thickness even. Use your thumb or a knife to make a hole in the center of the round - this helps the dough maintain an even thickness during frying. Repeat with the remaining dough.
  5. When the oil is hot, add one piece to the oil and fry, turning once, until evenly golden brown on both sides, 2-4 minutes per side. Use a large spider or tongs to gently flip the frybread and to transfer it to the wire rack to drain and cool when it’s fully cooked.
  6. Repeat until all the pieces of dough are fried. Serve immediately, warm. Serve warm or at room temperature, plain or with toppings. (I like to use them as a taco/tostada shell, filled with ground beef and tons of veggies!)


  • Bread
  • American
  • Fry
  • 5 Ingredients or Fewer
  • Serves a Crowd
  • Vegetarian
  • Side

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Mika

  • HalfPint

  • Jenny Joyes

  • americanborn

I always have three kinds of hot sauce in my purse. I have a soft spot for making people their favorite dessert, especially if it's wrapped in a pastry crust. My newest cookbook, Savory Baking, came out in Fall of 2022 - is full of recipes to translate a love of baking into recipes for breakfast, dinner, and everything in between!

Popular on Food52

6 Reviews

Mika January 8, 2020

Thank you, thank you, thank you for including gram measurements!

Jenny J. November 11, 2019

If you are using a scale to weigh the ingredients, please note the water weight is inaccurate. 1.5 cups of water will weigh 336 grams.

americanborn October 22, 2019

you can buy all ready pizza dough,instead of making. also you can form the the dough into shapes.

Alura728 September 10, 2019

An easy recipe, dough responded amazingly well to pulling and stretching before frying. However, being a fried dough enthusiast, ok, maybe only at county fairs but I was savoring for a little bit more of the puff you'd get from yeast. In retrospect, that was an unfair comparison. Recipe does provide a quick fix, especially if you have no tortillas on hand. Save the oil, drop in a couple of umeboshi plums, let it settle and it'll clear for the next round of sin, hmmm, maybe some fried fish.

Tamara N. March 31, 2019

Okay sounds good but 4 inches of oil? That’s a lot! What do you do with it after you are done? Throw it away? Doesn’t it make a huge mess? And kinda expensive to use that much oil each time. I shy away from frying cuz of these questions.

HalfPint August 23, 2019

You can clarify the used oil with gelatin and reuse it. My mom use to strain out any bits and use up the oil in other cooking. I tend to shy away from deep frying because of the amount of oil needed but there are few things as good as French fries and/or fried chicken.

Yes, it can be a lot of oil, but cooking oil is not expensive unless you are using some fancy/organic/artisanal oil which in itself would be a travesty.

Yes, it can be messy, but cooking food in oil, even a little oil, can be messy. I say 'cooking' because it gets messy with baking too. I find cleaning the oven more onerous than wiping down the stove and counter tops.

Frybread Recipe on Food52 (2024)
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