Fry bread was created when Indigenous people were given flour with their rations decades ago. Video produced by Tawnya Plain Eagle.
Fry bread is often mistaken as a traditional food to Indigenous peoples due to its popularity at powwows and family gatherings, but the fried-dough recipe is similar to other bread in different parts of the world.
The deep food is commonly served at indigenous events often had with soup, a taco or just by itself. Wacey Little Light, a student at Mount Royal University, says fry bread is a delicacy to him because he doesn’t get to eat it often.
“No one in my family knows how to make it, I often get it at powwows or when it is served in the Iniskim Centre.”
“Fry bread is a treat,” says Kelli Morning Bull, student success coordinator for the Iniskim Centre at Mount Royal University. “You can’t have it every day, it is just flour, it is not that great for you.”
Kelli learned to make fry bread from her mom, but she says that her mom doesn’t have specific measurements.
“She just eyeballs everything.”
Because Indigenous people had no tools to measure their ingredients with, there is no set recipe for cooking fry bread.
“It’s kind of interesting that it is not written down anywhere, so every batch is different,” Morning Bull says.
Indigenous people from Canada often passed down their stories and traditions orally, which is why the history of fry-bread and Indigenous cuisine is difficult to find.
Fry bread, however, comes from the rations they were given years ago.
“That was the best thing we could make from what we got, ” Morning Bull says.
Recipe of Fry Bread:
- Four cups of Frybread
- Two tablespoons of baking powder
- Dash of salt
- Add luke warm water.
- (Every two cups of flour, use one cup of water)
- Mix together dry ingredients and create a well in the middle of the mixture.
- Slowly pour the water into the centre of the well while pushing the mixture into the water with a spatula.
- Knead the bread.
- Break dough apart into small circles.
- Deep fry dough for one minute on each side.
- Repeat steps 9 & 10 until complete.
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