Apache Frybread


Apache Frybread

Katie Rautenberg - Native American mission team
Course side
Cuisine Apache
Servings 6


  • oil, shortening, or lard
  • 4 cups flour
  • 2 tbsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp salt
  • warm water


  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Slowly add water, little by little, as you knead the dry ingredients into a dough ball.
    When dough is smooth and elastic, separate the dough into about 6 balls (depending on the size frybreads you want).
    Put the balls into baking pan to rest and soften. Cover the dough ball pan with a clean dish towel to keep the dough moist.
  • Pour/place the oil, shortening or lard into a heavy pan--cast iron if available. Heat the one inch of oil on the stovetop until very hot and fumes are visible. You can test the oil by placing a bit of dough in the oil. If it browns (but doesn't burn) quickly, then it's ready.
    When the oil is hot, roll a dough ball out with a rolling pin into a flat circle as thick as the dough for a pie crust. Gently place the round, flat dough into the hot oil.
    Using a 2-pronged fork, lift the bread after 20 seconds to see if it's brown and ready to flip.
    When ready, carefully flip with the 2-pronged fork. Remove from oil and place on a plate covered with a paper towel.
    Place a new paper towel on top of the finished fry bread to prepare for the second piece.
    Alternate the frybread/paper towel layers until the last frybread is on top of your stack.
  • Serve frybread immediately with cooked pinto beans for a meal or honey or powdered sugar as a dessert.


I have never seen an Apache make fry bread using a recipe. As I've seen, it is always done by feel and sight. After 14 years in the White Mountains, a dear friend was finally able to give me the ingredients using cups, teaspoons, and tablespoons. Thank you, Joni! I added the other steps for nonnatives. Natives don't use a rolling pin.
Keyword apache, Frybread