Almost Navajo Fry Bread

The following recipe makes four individual servings of fry breads.


2 cups flour
1/2 t salt
3/4 T baking powder’
Approximately 2/3 cup warm water
Vegetable oil to cover the bottom of a large skillet

Spoon Mage™ Notes:

Most of the fry bread recipes I’ve seen have the same four ingredients with minor variations as to the percentage of salt and baking powder. Some add a little fat, most don’t. The texture is crisp, yet chewy, stretchy, and satisfyingly similar to naan. If you love salt (we are not big fans) then you might want to round that measurement just a little. The recipe should be easily doubled, tripled, etc. At this size, it is perfect and perfectly easy to make for a family of four.

Prepare a full cup of the warm water, but use only what you need to in order to get a dough ball that holds together but is not sticky.

Traditional Navajo fry bread is deep fried – which is why this recipe is only “almost” Navajo fry bread. Instead of the light fry I did here, you could use non-stick spray or lightly brush on the pan as you would for tortillas, but the crisp from frying is an important element of this bread, so give it a try this way first.


In a medium bowl, combine the flour, salt, and powder. Add warm water a little at a time. Use a fork and stir until a dough ball forms and most of the flour is pulled from the bowl.

Using your hands and a little more flour, knead briefly in the bowl about 10 times. The goal is for it to be lovely and round, soft, but not sticky. Cover, and let it rest for an hour.

Divide the dough into four pieces and roll them into balls. One at a time, flatten pull and shape into circles that are as large as the piece can be without being so thin it tears. Don’t make it perfectly round. This is rustic bread. As they are made, place them between flour dusted sheets of wax paper. If they touch, they will stick to each other and slow things down at the skillet.

Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Be patient here and wait until the pan is very hot. Add enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan. The breads do not need to float. Wait another 30 seconds or so for the oil to hot up to the same point as the skillet.

One at a time, place a round into the hot skillet. Let it sizzle and sit a minute before checking the bottom to see if it is starting to brown on the edges and the bubbles that formed. Do not over brown. When it is near ready to flip, it will be quite crisp and lift without bending.

Flip when the bottom is prettily brown. Fry until that side is a pretty brown as well, remove to a plate, and press slightly between two pieces of paper towel to absorb excess oil. Cover with a tea towel to keep warm.

Repeat with the other three pieces, stacking as you go.


2 thoughts on “Almost Navajo Fry Bread

  1. Kris

    My college roommate used to make a version of this bread – we LOVED the delicious decadence of it since in those days no frying and no bread were the rules! Will have to try this recipe over the weekend – thanks!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s