The first time I had fry bread I was not quite 20 years old. My friend Kat is Native American and it is one of her family's staples. She invited a bunch of friends over for lunch and this was one of the amazing things she made.
Fry bread is a super super simple dough that is deep fried (usually in lard or shortening, but any cooking oil able to handle frying temperatures is just fine). Because it is such a simple dough, it can be morphed into something sweet or savory. Ingredients.. flour, baking powder, salt and water (or milk).
For a sweet version that is like a fry bread doughnut.. I add a few tablespoons of sugar to the dough.. sometimes cinnamon.. sometimes I sprinkle it with powdered sugar and cinnamon.. or dip in chocolate.
Like a dummy I made the milk chocolate ones and cinnamon sugar ones first, so they didn't survive long enough to make the picture. While I was finding batteries for the camera.. my husband, daughter and two of her friends dove head first into them.
For a savory spin I add herbs and experiment with various spices. I have made assorted mini rolls to create little appetizer sized sandwiches. Huge hit. Sage in the sandwiches with pork... rosemary and lemon for the chicken... garlic and basil to go with roast beef.. I've even made ones with dill that had cream cheese, smoked salmon, super thin sliced onion and capers.
It is a bread that is really easy to make, and if you make it on the stove top vs firing up the oven.
This is the rough recipe... rough because I can't say I ever stick to it exactly. I suppose it is more like the general fry bread guidelines lol. When I lean more towards the pastry direction, I am careful to not overmix the dough and I let it rest a bit so it is more tender (I also use milk in the pastry ones). For sandwiches I like the bread a bit chewier, so I do knead it a bit more.. as well if it is bigger "rolls" I am making.. I will use a fork to puncture it a bit to control how much it fluffs up. (Kat would make large ones for burgers.. which were amazing and don't fall apart like regular store bought buns).
2 cups flour
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup water (or milk)
Roll dough out to 1/4th inch thick. Can cut into any desired shape. Drop into hot oil (test with toothpick or wooden spoon.. when put in oil it should bubble well). It cooks quickly, make sure to flip when golden brown. Put on paper towel to drain/ cool.
(If you are going for a garlic bread type spin.. lightly sprinkle with salt and dust with garlic powder right when you pull them out.)Also if you add sugar to the dough, I only add maybe 2 tablespoons. Too much and the dough tends to get darker when it fries.. plus we tend to top it with something sweet or cut them open and put a dollop of jam inside.. so a little sweet is all that is needed.