Sourdough Fry Bread

Sourdough Fry Bread

Reading Time: 2 minutes

by Hannah McClure Y’all, nothing beats homemade bread. Homemade anything cannot be beat. Bread is indeed the center of most meals, unless you have eliminated it from your menu. For me, bread is a joy to make and a cultural lesson to be learned. Not to mention the flavor it adds to many meals and the nutritional value it can hold when made with quality ingredients. Fry bread, a Native American bread developed in 1864 when the U.S. government relocated tribes to New Mexico in what is known as “The Long Walk,” is among my favorites. While the bread is a Native American bread and enjoyed by many tribes, it originated within the Navajo Nation. It has since become a well-known part of powwows and family dinners. This recipe is my sourdough version of fry bread, which I use for many purposes from sandwiches and pizza crusts to a sweet treat topped with butter and cinnamon-sugar or honey. While it originated as survival food, it is, in my opinion, a versatile and delicious bread that offers a tie to part of my heritage. I sure hope you enjoy this non-traditional fry bread. 

You will need: 

  •  1 cup sourdough starter (fed or unfed) 
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder ***Unfed sourdough only*** 
  • 2¼-2½ cups all-purpose flour **plus additional for kneading** 
  • ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons goat milk 
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil (set aside 1½ tablespoons for dough; remaining for cooking) 

OPTIONAL: 1 tablespoon seasoning of choice such as taco seasoning, rosemary, Italian seasoning, powdered cheese, dry ranch seasoning, or pizza seasoning. 

How To:

  1. Mix together sourdough, salt, baking powder, flour (starting with 2¼ cup), goat milk, seasoning (if using), and 1½ tablespoons olive oil in a large mixing bowl or stand mixer bowl till well incorporated. If the dough is super tacky, add the remaining ¼ cup flour. If using fed sourdough, please omit the baking powder.  
  2. Either by hand on a floured surface, or using the dough hook on a stand mixer, knead your bread for six minutes until the dough is smooth and no longer gummy. Add flour a little at a time, only if needed.   
  3. After you finish the kneading process, set your dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover. Allow to rest for one hour if using unfed sourdough. Allow to rest for six to eight hours or overnight if using fed sourdough.   
  4. Once rest is complete, pinch off dough balls to roll and fry. Dough balls should be about the size of a golf ball.   
  5. On a floured surface, roll out each dough ball into a circle that is about ¼ inch thick.   
  6. Brush one side with olive oil (from the remaining ¼ cup) and lay the oil side down in a hot cast-iron skillet. Cook for about a minute and a half until the top looks bubbly. Lightly oil the top and flip. Continue to cook for an additional minute.  
  7. Remove from the cast iron skillet to a cutting board or plate and repeat the process until all dough balls have been cooked.   

Enjoy alone, with dip, use in place of bread for sandwiches, or as a crust for personal-size pizzas. 

Originally published in the September/October 2022 issue of Goat Journal and regularly vetted for accuracy.

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