“Sweet Corn Prayer”
… at winter’s table, may we all, think upon, the first green shoots, those gone, and those to come.”
–“White Corn Sister”

Navajo Fry Bread

Recipe Provided by:
Roberta Goh, Tuba City High School
Email: berta_7@yahoo.com

To make Fry Bread, you will need the following:

2 cups unsifted flour
1/2 cup dry milk solids
2 teaspoons double-acting baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons lard, cut into 1/2-inch bits,
plus 1 pound lard for deep frying 1/2 cup ice water.

Combine the flour, dry milk solids, baking powder and salt, and sift them into a deep bowl. Add the 2 tablespoons of lard bits and, with your fingertips, rub the flour and fat together until the mixture resembles flakes of coarse meal. Pour in the water and toss the ingredients together until the dough can be gathered into a ball. Drape the bowl with a kitchen towel and let the dough rest at room temperature for about 2 hours.

After the resting period, cut the dough into three equal pieces. Then, on a lightly floured surface, roll each piece into a rough circle about 8 inches in diameter and 1/4 inch thick. With a small sharp knife, cut two 4- to 5-inch-long parallel slits completely through the dough down the center of each round, spacing the slits about 1 inch apart.

In a heavy 10-inch skillet, melt the remaining pound of lard over moderate heat until it is very hot but not smoking. The melted fat should be about 1 inch deep; add more lard if necessary. Fry the breads one at a time for about 2 minutes on each side, turning them once with tongs or a slotted spatula. The bread will puff slightly and become crisp and brown. Drain the Navajo fry bread on paper towels and serve warm.

Makes three 8-inch round breads.

Navajo Taco

To make tacos, you will need the following:

6 Rounds of fry bread
1 T Lard
1 Head of lettuce
3 Tomatoes
1 Onion
1 1/2 lb Ground lamb
1/2 lb Cheddar cheese
Green chilies

Grate cheese. Shred lettuce; chop tomatoes and chilies. Brown lamb in lard. Divide onto 6 fry bread rounds. Top with cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, chilies and onions. Serve with salsa!

How to Make Frybread

Making Frybread
Alfred Thompson
Ms. Knotts’ Class
Chinle Elementary School
Navajo Reservation, Arizona

To make frybread, you need these materials: warm water, flour, baking powder, salt, powdered milk, a bowl, oil and pan. To start, get about 41/2 cups of flour, about 1 1/2 TBS of baking powder, about a teaspoon of salt, about 1 cup of powdered milk. Then mix the water in until you get a dough. Then flatten the dough in your hands and then put the dough in the pan with grease. When it turns light brown on one side turn it over. When it’s done, take it out and eat it.

Blackfoot Fry Bread ~ Double Recipe

2 cups warm water
2 packages dry yeast
4 Tablespoons soft butter
2 Tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons salt
6 cups white flour

Place water in bowl. Sprinkle yeast over water and allow to stand in a warm place for 5 minutes. Add butter, sugar salt and flour. Knead awhile, adding a tad more water…or flour to proper consistancy. It will make a stiff dough.

Allow to rise in large bowl covered by a towel in a warm place for 1 hour. Place lard or oil in a large deep sauce pan and heat to almost boiling. Form dough into 4 inch discs about 1/4 inch thick and fry until golden brown on each side. Drain over paper towels on serving plate.

Serve with butter, jam, sugar, cinnamon sugar, or what ever you like…or make ³Indian Tacos² as you would any other taco replacing tortillas with fry bread.

Note: Frying in lard is best and make a small hole in the center of each before frying!

Indian Fry Bread

To make Fry Bread, you will need the following:

3 c Flour
Enough cooking oil for pan
1/2 ts Salt
1 1/4 ts Baking powder
1 1/3 c Warm water

Mix flour, baking powder and salt. Add warm water and knead until dough is soft, not sticky. Stretch and pat dough until thin. Tear off one piece at a time; poke a hole in the center. Drop into skillet of hot cooking oil. Brown on both sides. Serve hot. Very good with honey or dusted with powdered sugar. Makes delicious hamburger buns and is great sliced into two taco shells.

Indian Fry Bread

3 C flour
lard or cooking oil 1 teaspoon baking powder
dash of salt

Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Push to the side of the bowl. Add water, slowly kneading into the dry mixture to make a stiff dough. Knead dough very thoroughly. Heat lard or cooking oil in a deep pan, preferably a heavy cast iron pot or pan. Shape dough into approximately four inch patties. Fry until brown on each side. Drain to remove excess oil. Serve with honey, jam. or powdered confectioner’s sugar.

Gila River Fry Bread

To make Fry Bread, you will need the following:

2 1/4 c Flour
3/4 c Warm water (or a little less)
3 T Solid vegetable shortening
1 ts Salt
2 ts Baking powder
Fat or oil for frying

Mix flour, baking powder and salt. Cut in 1 T. of shortening. Melt and cool remaining 2 T of shortening and set aside. Add just enough water to flour mixture so dough holds together and can be handled easily. Knead on a lightly floured board until smooth (30 seconds), adding only enough flour to work dough.

Form dough into smooth 2-inch balls. Brush each ball with cooled shortening and let stand 45 minutes. On a lightly floured surface, with the heel of your hand, flatten each ball out into a round circle about 6 inches in diameter.

In a deep skillet or deep fryer, heat fat to 360 degrees. Ease dough into deep fat. Dough will bob to surface. Cook until dough is a light brown (45-60 seconds). Turn and cook other side (45-60 seconds). Remove from fat immediately and drain on paper towels. Makes 6 individual breads.

Fry bread should never be made in advance. The only way to enjoy it is sizzling hot from the skillet. Try drizzling its crusty golden skin with honey or dust it with powdered sugar; great for breakfast or addition to soup or a stew meal.

Apache Bread

To make Apache Bread, you will need the following:

1 c White cornmeal
1 c Yellow cornmeal
1 ts Salt
1/2 ts Red pepper
1/2 c Bacon drippings
1 c Boiling water
Green corn husks

Mix dry ingredients; add boiling water and bacon drippings. Form into small rolls and wrap in green corn husks. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour. Makes 12 individual breads.

Pueblo Bread

To make Pueblo Bread, you will need the following:

9 c Flour
1/2 c Warm water
4 T Melted lard/cooking oil
Pinch of white sugar
2 pk Dry yeast
2 ts Salt
2 c Water

Soften yeast in warm water; add pinch of sugar. Mix melted lard or oil, salt, and yeast in a large bowl. Alternately add flour and water, a little at a time, beating thoroughly after each addition, kneading in last of flour until dough is very smooth. Shape in ball and let rise, covered with a damp cloth, in large greased bowl until doubled in bulk. Punch down and knead on floured board for at least 5 minutes. Shape into 4 balls. Put in greased baking pans, cover with cloth and let rise 20 to 30 minutes in warm place. Bake in 400 degree oven for 50 minutes or until tops are browned and loaves sound hollow when tapped. Makes 4 loaves.

Banaha Choctaw Corn Shuck Bread

To make Choctaw Bread, you will need the following:

6 c Corn meal
2 ts Baking soda
Boiling water
Corn shucks

Pour enough boiling water over the meal and soda mixture to make a soft dough which can be handled with the hands. Prepare 4 to 6 handfuls of corn shucks by pouring boiling water over them to cover, then strip a few shucks to make strings. Tie 2 strips together at ends. Lay an oval shaped ball of dough on shucks. Fold carefully and tie in the middle with strings. Place in large stew pot and boil 30 to 45 minutes.

Chippewa Bannock

To make Chippewa Bread, you will need the following:

2 c Flour
3/4 c Water
1/4 c Cooking oil
5 T Bacon drippings
1 ts Baking powder
1/2 ts Salt

Sift together the dry ingredients, then mix in the bacon drippings and water. Heat the oil in a large, heavy skillet until a drop of water sizzles. Drop the batter from teaspoon, flatten into cakes and cook 3 to 5 minutes on a side or until well browned. Serve hot or cold. Makes 6 servings.

Cracklin Bread

To make Cracklin Bread, you will need the following:

2 c Cornmeal
1 c Cracklins (Fried pork skin)
1 t Salt
Hot water

Add enough hot water to make into dough thick enough to shape into small loaves. Break cracklins into small pieces and add to dough. Bake in 350 degree oven for 45 minutes. to an hour. Makes 1 batch.

Fried Cherokee Squash Bread

To make Squash Bread, you will need the following:

2 Summer squash, diced
1 c Corn meal
1/4 c Buttermilk
1 Egg

Cook squash in water until soft; leave 3/4 c. water in pot. Combine other ingredients with squash and water; mix together. Fry in hot oil until golden brown. Makes 1 batch.

Cherokee Huckleberry Bread

To make Cherokee Bread, you will need the following:

2 c Self-rising flour
1 c Milk
1 Egg
1 ts Vanilla extract
1 c Sugar
2 c Berries (huckleberries or blueberries)
1 Stick of butter

Cream eggs, butter and sugar together. Add flour, milk, and vanilla. Sprinkle flour on berries to prevent them from going to the bottom. Add berries to mixture. Put in baking pan and bake in over at 350 degrees for approximately 40 minutes or until done. Makes 1 loaf.

Hopi Piki Bread (Traditional)

To make Piki Bread, you will need the following:

1 c Green juniper ash
Sunflower oil (For greasing the cooking stone.)
1 c Blue cornmeal
1 c Boiling water
3 c Water

Mix ash with boiling water; strain juniper ash into pot. Stir. Add blue cornmeal. Stir with wooden spoon or stick. Let cool. Spread on hot, greased griddle or stone with palm of hand. Be certain the layer is very thin. Cook for a very short time. Carefully lift the paper-thin layer from griddle by rolling from one end to the other jelly-roll fashion. Makes 1 batch.

Indian Bean Bread

To make Bean Bread, you will need the following:

4 c Cornmeal
1/2 ts Soda
2 c Cooked beans
2 c Boiling water

Put cornmeal in bowl; mix in drained beans. Hollow out a hole and put in soda and water. Make a stiff dough to form balls. Drop balls into pot of boiling water. Cook 45 mins. or until done. Serve with cooked greens and pork. Makes 1 batch.

Indian Bread

To make Indian Bread, you will need the following:

3 c Flour
1 3/4 c Cornmeal
2 ts Salt
1 ts Baking soda
1/4 ts Nutmeg
1 c Molasses
3 1/3 c Milk

Sift together the dry ingredients. Combine the milk and molasses. Ass the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients and beat until smooth. Pour into a well-greased 2-quart steam mold, cover and place on a rack in a deep kettle that has a close-fitting lid. Pour enough boiling water into the kettle to come about halfway up the mold. Cover the kettle and steam the mold for 3 hours. Remove the mold from the kettle and let stand 20 minutes. Remove the cover and let stand 10 minutes longer. Loosen the edges with spatula; invert onto plate. Let stand until bread unmolds. Serve with lots of butter. Makes 1 batch.

Indian Sun Bread

To make Sun Bread, you will need the following:

2 pk Dry yeast
1 T Sugar
2 T Melted fat
2 c Water
6 1/4 c Flour
1/2 ts Salt

Combine yeast with 2 1/4 c. flour in bowl. Heat water, shortening, sugar and salt. Add to flour. Beat until mixed. Add remaining flour and knead until smooth and elastic. Place in a large greased bowl. Cover and let rise in a warm spot until doubled in bulk. Divide in half. Bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes.

Indian Mothers Bread

2 c Flour
1/2 ts Baking powder
1 ts Salt
Milk (enough to mix)

Mix all ingredients. Divide the dough into parts and shape each into round pone about the size of your skillet and 1/8th of an inch thick. Fry the bread in about 1/4 inch hot cooking oil until golden brown on each side. Cut into wedges and serve hot. Delicious with butter, jams or other sweet spreads.

Tortilla Bread

To make Tortillas Bread, you will need the following:

2 3/4 c All purpose flour
2 c White cornmeal
2 ts Salt
1 T Sugar
2 c Warm water
1 pk Dry yeast

Mix flour and yeast. Mix water, sugar and salt. Add to flour; stir well, then beat vigourously for about three minutes. Stir in cornmeal and enough flour to make a stiff dough. Knead 3 to 5 minutes. Form into ball; let rise in covered greased bowl for one hour. Punch down; let rest 10 minutes. Shape into two round loaves and put into two greased round pans. Let rise 30 to 45 minutes. Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes; remove from pans and cool on racks. Makes 2 loaves.

Indian Tortillas

To make Tortillas, you will need the following:

2 c Whole wheat flour
2 c White flour
2 ts Baking powder
2 1/2 ts Salt
1 T Shortening or lard
Water or milk to make dough

Mix both flours, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Work in shortening thoroughly. Add liquid gradually to make a stiff dough. Knead for 5 minutes until springy. Roll dough into small balls. Roll balls until round and flatten.

Heat large iron griddle to very hot. Place tortilla onto ungreased hot griddle. Brown on one side about 2 mins., turn over, and brown other side.

Wild Apple Cornbread

To make cornbread, you will need the following:

1 c Wild apples, peeled & grated
2 c Yellow cornmeal
1 T Cold water
2 Eggs, beaten
2 c Buttermilk
1/4 c Granulated sugar
1 ts Baking soda
2 T Margarine, melted
1/2 ts Salt

Mix together in top of double boiler the cornmeal, sugar, salt, milk and margarine. Set over hot water and cook for 10 minutes. Cool. Add eggs, soda (dissolved in water), and apples. Pour into greased baking dish and bake in preheated oven at 400 degrees for 30 minutes. Serve with wild honey.

Water Crackers

“Wind River Reservation”

To make crackers, you will need the following:

1 lb flour
Powdered milk
1 T (big) Vegetable shortening
1 ts Baking soda
1 ts Salt

Mix all ingredients except powdered milk together. Add a small amount of water to powdered milk; add milk to other ingredients to form a dough and beat it up. Roll it very thin and bake it quickly.


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For amazing, authentic Native American cuisine in Washington D.C., be sure to visit the Mitsitam Cafe at the National Museum of the American Indian, which features Native American dishes from different regions throughout North America!

If you are in the New Orleans area, check out the farmer’s market at the Downtown Neighborhood Market Consortium!

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