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FRY BREAD FACTS
1) Navajo Fry Bread – The dough used in making this
flat bread is a variation of the dough for flour tortillas,
consisting of wheat flour, shortening, salt, and water,
leavened sometimes by baking powder and sometimes by yeast.
Today, there are endless regional variations of this Native
American flat bread. Each tribe, and also each family, has
their own special recipe. The making of Fry Bread is
considered a source of pride. Navajo Fry Bread is considered
a tradition in Arizona and New Mexico, and dry bread with
honey butter is a specialty of New Mexico.
2) Frybread was named the official "state bread" of
South Dakota in 2005
3) Also in 2005, frybread became the center of a
controversy involving its role in obesity and diabetes among
4) The U.S. Department of Agriculture reports that a
plate of fried bread consists of 700 calories and 27 grams
5) Frybread is also known in South American cooking as
6) Frybread (also spelled fry bread, also known as
bannock) is a Native American food, found throughout the
United States. (It is also known as "squaw bread" in some
areas.) Frybread is a flat dough fried or deep-fried in oil,
shortening, or lard. The dough is generally leavened by
yeast or baking powder.
7) Frybread was created in the 1800s, when Native
Americans were forced onto reservations and given rations of
flour and lard by the government. Native Americans did what
they could, and fried bread in lard.
8) Topped with additions such as beans, ground beef,
or shredded cheese, frybread is served as Indian tacos or
Navajo tacos. If sweetened, or served with sweet toppings
such as honey or powdered sugar, frybread is very similar to
an elephant ear or to the confection simply known as fried
9) Health and diet-conscious people will note that fry
bread is not very "healthy" food, with its high-fat content,
and nothing but white flour. (The milk is water in more trad
rez recipes. Who could get milk? Now you can get commodities
powdered milk. For kids/school affairs, I add extra dried
milk powder if I can get it) Frybread was developed by
Indian women in response to commodities issue on early
reservations, which included little more than flour, salt,
sugar, coffee, and corn oil. It does taste quite good, and
is very individual even though almost everybody uses just
about the same proportions of ingredients because it tastes
different according to how you knead and shape it (and what
kind of oil it's fried in). Frybread began as Indian women
making the best of what was often poor-quality issue of
rations in the new prison camps (reservations). The
traditional part -- frying in oil -- does predate rations,
using bear and deer tallow to fry cakes made of various seed
meals,but frying in deep oil post-dates iron frypans
obtained in trade goods. FRYBREAD POWER!
10) Fry bread is served with honey or powdered sugar.
Among the Plains tribes, a sweetened chokecherry gravy or
sauce is popular.
11) Traditionally fry bread is fried in lard or grease
which gives a nice brown finish, but has lots of
12) Although not uniquely Cherokee, Fry Bread is a
standard with most Indians. Different tribes make the bread
in different ways and here is one recipe for a common Fry
Bread in Cherokee communities.
13) Fry bread is an excellent MONEY RAISER for clubs,
student organizations, etc. as it can be made easily at the
function site, needs no refrigeration, smells divine while
cooking, and is economically a very great producer.