Fry Bread

South Dakota State Bread


Navajo frybread

Native American (Navajo) frybread; photo by Jimmy Emerson, DVM on Flickr (noncommercial use permitted with attribution / no derivative works).

Fry Bread

South Dakota designated fry bread as the official state bread in 2005. Also known as "squaw bread" in some areas, fry bread is a native American food - a flat dough (usually leavened with yeast or baking powder) fried or deep-fried in oil, shortening, or lard.

Fry bread is served with sweet toppings such as honey or powdered sugar, or as a "Navajo taco" with toppings such as beans, ground beef, lettuce, onions, tomatoes, and shredded cheese.

Navajo Fry Bread

(Condensed from: Food Timeline: Mexican & Tex Mex foods History)

One of the foods many people today connect with the Navajo American Indian is fry bread. Native Americans in most areas traditionally ground corn/maize into flour for tortillas and other breadstuffs - baked, dried, fried and cooked on griddles. Native leavening agents were wood ash, lime, lye, and sourdough. Nut oils and animal fat were used to cook some of these corn-based foods.

Recipes for "traditional" Navajo Fry Bread (or Indian Fry Bread, Squaw Bread) call for ingredients (wheat flour & baking powder) and cooking utensils (frying pans, iron cauldrons) that were not traditionally used by Native Americans, but introduced to this continent by European explorers and pioneer families.

Deep fried doughs flavored with honey, nuts and spices were also enjoyed in ancient Greece, Rome and Egypt. In many places they were called "fritters." European and American cookbooks from all time periods abound with recipes for fried breadstuffs.

South Dakota


Native American frybread; photo by John Pozniak on Wikipedia (use permitted with attribution / share alike:  CC 3.0).

Native American frybread


Navajo Fry Bread