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If you’ve never had Native American fry bread, you’re missing out. One bite and you’ll be reminded of elephant ears, funnel cakes, or other fair foods.
It’s pretty much exactly what the name implies — bread that is fried — so it’s not particularly healthy, but it is delicious. It’s also pretty easy to make, so if you like funnel cakes, but not fairs or carnivals (me!) making it yourself is the perfect option.
I made some recently because I was working on a bunch of breads for a different project. I made some with vegetable oil, but then thought I should at least try it with my Ava Jane’s Kitchen extra-virgin avocado oil. The result was good enough that I thought I’d share it here.
Before you start, I want to give you some tips and suggestions based on my experiences. First, the basic recipe is a dough made of flour, water, and baking powder, so it’s a blank canvas for what you do with it when you’re done. You can sprinkle it with sugar to make it more like an elephant ear, or coat it in cinnamon sugar for more of a churro option. Fry bread is often served with jam or honey, and that is definitely delicious.
But you don’t have to eat it for dessert — it also makes a good savory bread to eat with soup, salad, or a curry. Sprinkle it with Colima Sea Salt or some herbs and you’ve got something to go with your dinner.
I made both sweet and savory, and I was worried that the avocado oil would leave an unpleasant aftertaste, especially with the sweet ones. If I was going to coat these in cinnamon sugar, I would probably use vegetable oil or shortening, but for everything else, the avocado oil worked beautifully, and was especially good with strawberry jam.
I fried mine in my cast iron skillet, so they were a bit flatter than if you put them in a big pot filled with oil. Drain on paper towels and then immediately add your flavorings while they are still hot. Your dough might puff up due to air bubbles; you can avoid this by pricking it all over with a fork before frying.
- 2 cups AP flour
1/4 teaspoon Colima sea salt
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 3/4 cups warm water
Ava Jane’s Kitchen extra-virgin avocado oil, for frying
- Toppings of your choice: sugar, jam, honey, Colima sea salt, dried herbs, chili peppers
- Sift the flour, salt and baking powder in a large bowl. Stir in the water and mix until you have a soft, firm dough. Divide into 6 equal portions.
- Flatten each dough ball into a 3-4 inch circle and press until even in thickness. Using a fork, poke holes all over the dough. Let rest for 5 minutes while you heat the oil.
- Add about an inch of avocado oil to a heavy bottomed skillet or pot. Heat over medium high heat until shimmery. Fry the bread until golden brown on both sides. Drain on paper towels and immediately coat with your choice of toppings.
Download this recipe in easy to print PDF format: Fry Bread