5 Ingredients or Fewer


June 14, 2017
4 Stars
Photo by Julia Gartland
Author Notes

Frybread has a fraught history in our country. More than 150 years ago, the United States government forced Navajo tribes to move from Arizona to New Mexico. They were supplied with a variety of processed foods, like flour and lard. Frybread, then, was born out of necessity, but over time it became very popular among Indigenous tribes.

Unsurprising, since frybread is quick and easy (my version isn't yeast-risen). I love it topped with guac or a drizzle of queso sauce, but it's wonderful all on its own. My absolute favorite way to use it is as a combination crispy-fluffy base for tacos or tostadas: All you need is some simply seasoned ground beef, chopped red onion, lettuce, tomato, and avocado. With a splash of salsa and sour cream and you're good. —Erin Jeanne McDowell

Test Kitchen Notes

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

  • Prep time 1 hour
  • Cook time 20 minutes
  • Makes 12 large fry breads
  • 4 1/2 cups (542 g) all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons (6 g) fine sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon plus 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!
In This Recipe
  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, mix the flour, salt, and baking powder to combine. Add the melted butter and water and mix on low speed until the mixture forms a smooth dough, 2-3 minutes.
  2. You can also mix the dough by hand—start by using a flexible spatula for 1-2 minutes and then switch to your hands once the mixture comes together. Knead for 4-6 minutes until smooth.
  3. Wrap the dough tightly in plastic wrap and let rest at room temperature for 30 minutes to an hour.
  4. Lightly flour your work surface. Unwrap the dough and divide it into 12 even pieces. (I use my bench knife for this, but any knife works.)
  5. Heat about 4 inches of oil in a large, deep pot until it registers about 350°F (or you can tear off a little scrap of dough and toss it into the oil as a tester—if the dough immediately rises to the surface and has small bubbles all around it, you’re good to go).
  6. Working one piece at a time, roll out the dough into a round about 1/4 -1/3 inch thick. Pierce the center of each piece of dough with a paring knife. (Don’t worry, it just keeps the dough from forming one giant air bubble when you’re frying it later. You won’t even notice it.)
  7. Working in batches (sometimes I do it one at a time—they’re pretty big!), fry the dough until golden brown on both sides, 2-4 minutes per side. If large bubbles form in the dough, you can pierce them with the tip of a knife to remove the excess air.
  8. Remove the frybread from the oil and drain on a rack set over absorbent paper towels.
  9. 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!)

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Mika
  • HalfPint
  • Jenny Joyes
    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, The Book on Pie, came out on November 10th, 2020, and my pie merch collaboration with Food52 is out now too: https://food52.com/shop/merchants/manifest-food52/food52-x-erin-mcdowell

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.