Fry Bread – South Dakota

Fry bread is a scrumptious puffy, chewy carb that is associated with state fairs, powwows and fun. Although it’s the official state bread of South Dakota, fry bread has a complicated and painful history. In

Fry Bread - South Dakota

1864, the U.S. government forced Native Americans in Arizona to relocate to an internment camp 300 miles away in New Mexico. Called “The Long Walk,” the government gave them canned goods, sugar, white flour and lard to prevent starvation. Native Americans created fry bread with these staples and it caught on with many tribes in the plains and southwestern states. Many North American Indians now regard fry bread as a symbol of both persistence and pain.

Lots of variations of this recipe exist, some using yeast and some not. We went with a traditional, no yeast version that uses baking powder as its leavening agent. While fry bread is not going to win any nutritional awards – it’s basically fried dough – it’s a delicious once-in-a-while treat that can be either sweet (drizzled with honey, topped with jam, dusted with powdered sugar) or savory (topped with ground beef or turkey and other taco fixings for fry bread tacos).

Visit Crazy Horse Memorial in the Black Hills. Standing 641 feet long and over 500 feet high, this still-in-progress monument accepts no federal funds. Its mission is to protect and preserve the culture, tradition and living heritage of North American Indians.

Fry Bread

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 3 heaping teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup milk
  • ¼ to ½ cup warm water
  • Crisco (for frying)

Instructions

 Place dry ingredients in a medium mixing bowl. Add milk and mix with a fork. Add water a little bit at a time and mix just until the dough comes together (do not overmix!). Cover with a tea towel and let sit 30 minutes.

Heat Crisco in an electric or cast iron skillet to medium heat. Pinch off an egg sized piece of dough. On a work surface dusted with flour, flatten and stretch the dough, working out from the center, until it reaches your desired size. Gently place in hot oil and fry until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Flip dough over and fry on the other side. Remove to paper towels. Repeat with remaining dough.

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10 thoughts on “Fry Bread – South Dakota”

  1. We were just at the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, DC. I came across a recipe for Fry Bread tacos in The Mitsitam Cafe Cookbook based on recipes they serve in their cafeteria. I’ll have to use your recipe when I try them. Thanks!

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