Courtesy Citizen Potawatomi Nation
Fry Bread FireLake Fry Bread Taco of the Oklahoma-based Citizen Potawatomi Nation in Shawnee, OK.

Great Frybread Recipes from Montana to Argentina

Alex Hamer

As pow wow season has started and festivals spring back to life, larger and larger amounts of frybread will be made and consumed. Some like it with powdered sugar, others like to order a ‘Frybread Taco’ stuffed with everything from venison, bison, beef and beans.

A tasty scone or frybread treat was something my Oneida mom made for me as a kid, with sugar and cinnamon on top. As an adult, I look forward to having venison with my frybread.

When I became older and was able to travel, I discovered that frybread is as varied as all the Native Nations of Turtle Island. So here are a few recipes, starting with the way it was taught to me and adapted to make two large pieces.

Editor’s Disclaimer: We know many, many, many, many of you frybread professionals out there might have a slight variation in the ways expounded here. We respectfully acknowledge your artistry and bow with humility. And proceed…

Good Old Fashioned Frybread

One cup of flour

One teaspoon of baking powder

1/8  teaspoon of salt

½ cup of very warm water  

In a large bowl combine and whisk the dry ingredients. Add warm water and begin to mix with my hands into a ball. I add more flour as needed to end up with a sticky ball of dough. The dough should be sticky (i.e. you’re scraping dough off your hands and back into the mix.) Once mixed, cover the dough for a minimum of 30 minutes, although 45 minutes is better.

Fill a large cast-iron skillet with an inch and a half of oil and heat it (medium-high). To test when the oil is ready I use a small piece of dough that will float and bubble when dropped in. I then take a piece of dough and stretch it so it is very thin in the middle and carefully place it in the hot oil. Once the dough becomes brown on either side it now has the ability to impart “Frybread Power.” Move the frybread to a paper towel while you cook the next piece of dough.

Once done, garnish however you wish.

Slight Variations on Frybread

For a larger mix:

4 Cups Flour

4 Teaspoons Baking Powder

1 Teaspoon Sugar

½ Teaspoon Salt

Add one cup of water and one cup of milk (combined) to dry ingredients after they are mixed together.

Lummi Frybread

3 Cups Flour

1 Tablespoon Baking powder

1 Teaspoon Salt

1 Tablespoon Sugar

1 ½ Cups Water

Once the dough is set, roll it out into small pieces and cut a hole in the middle of each. Fry in oil and butter.

Fry Bread from FireLake: Fry Bread Taco of the Oklahoma-based Citizen Potawatomi Nation in Shawnee OK Photo: Courtesy Citizen Potawatomi Nation

Chippewa Frybread

2 Cups Sifted Flour

½ Teaspoon Salt

4 Teaspoons Baking Powder

1 Egg

½ Cup Warm Milk

Mix dry ingredients and then add a beaten egg, followed by the milk. Knead the dough a bit then roll out to about ½-inch thickness and cut into pieces. Cut a hole in the middle of each and fry.

Potawatomi Frybread

3 Cups Flour

2 Teaspoons Sugar

3 Teaspoons Baking Powder

2 Cups Warm Milk

2 Tablespoons Melted Bacon Fat

Add the milk and bacon fat to dry ingredients after they are mixed. Knead the dough until soft. Shape pieces into rounds ½-inch thick and fry.

Haudenosaunee Frybread (Skon)

3 Cups Flour

1 Tablespoon Baking Powder

½ Teaspoon Salt

1 Teaspoon Sugar

1 ½ Cups Milk or Water

Oil a medium-sized cast iron skillet up to 400 degrees in the oven as it preheats. Once the dry ingredients are mixed and the milk or water have been added, remove the hot skillet from the oven. Take a piece of the dough, stretch it out and place it in the skillet. The skillet goes back in the oven for about 10 minutes. Remove the skillet and carefully flip over the frybread, (I use tongs). Cook for another 10 minutes and remove.

Argentinian Frybread

I reached out to Argentinian born Chef Gabriel Stivala to inquire about how some of the indigenous people of Argentina prepare their frybread. He stated to me via email that that 500 grams of flour (2 ¾ cups) combined with 250 grams of warm water  (1 1/3 cups) with 2 Tablespoons of Corn Oil and a pinch of salt. The dough would be shaped into discs and fried. Chef Stivala stated that there are thousands of very old mills all over Argentina that the Indigenous people of Argentina use to make their own flour.

These are just a few of the many ways in which frybread can be prepared. At Kanatsiohareke, the Mohawk Community in Fonda, NY, the frybread is broken up into pieces and used for strawberry ‘shortcake’ during the annual strawberry festival.

So no matter if you like your frybread with venison or beans in a taco style, stuffed with pulled pork like a pita or simply slathered with honey or jam, there are many ways to prepare and enjoy frybread.

This article is reprinted from our latest ICTMN Pow Wow Magazine. Read and download ICTMN’s Spring #PowWow Issue here –

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