Gluten Free Lakota Fry Bread

Gluten Free Lakota Fry Bread

By Nicole Klimek


  • 2 ½ Cups + 2 Tbsp all-purpose GF flour (I use my own mix but Pamela’s is the best store brand I’ve found.)
  • 1 ¼ tsp xantham gum (unless your blend has it already added)
  • 6 Tbsp Expandex modified tapioca starch (I’ve only used this brand but know there are others. I’m not sure if the ratio is the same with the other brands.)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp instant yeast
  • 1 Tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 ½ tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable shortening, melted and room temp
  • ¾ Cup warm milk (Best alternative to use is oat.)
  • 3oz warm water + more as needed
  • Oil for frying (I like avocado or olive oil.)
  • Powdered sugar (If you like it sweet.)


Photo courtesy of Nicole Klimek.

In a large bowl, place the flour blend, xanthan gum, tapioca starch, baking powder, yeast and granulated sugar, and whisk to combine well. Add the salt, and whisk again to combine. Create a well in the center of the dry ingredients, add the melted shortening, milk, and water and mix to combine until the dough comes together. With clean hands, squeeze the dough together into a ball. It should hold together well, and not be so stiff that it is hard to knead. If it is hard to knead, add more water by the teaspoonful, kneading it in after each addition, until the dough is pliable but still holds together very well. Transfer the dough to a large piece of plastic wrap, and wrap tightly. Allow to rest at room temperature for 15 minutes.

Unwrap the dough and divide it into 6 equal portions, each about 4 ounces. On a large, flat surface, roll each piece of dough into a ball and, with a rolling pin, roll into a round about 6 inches in diameter and about 1/4 inch thick. For perfectly uniform rounds, cut off the rough edges with a 6-inch cake cutter. (The lid of a pot in the proper size should work, too.) Place the rounds in a single layer, about 2 inches apart from one another, on a flat surface covered in unbleached parchment paper. Cover with lightly oiled plastic wrap, and allow to rise for 30 minutes or until beginning to puff.

While the dough is rising, place 2 inches of oil in a heavy-bottom saucepan. Clip a candy/deep fry thermometer to the side of the saucepan, and bring the oil to 350°F. Place the risen rounds of dough, one at a time, in the hot oil and fry until lightly golden brown on both sides (about 1 minute per side). The dough will bubble and puff. Tongs are useful in flipping the dough from one side to the other, but take care not to pierce the dough with the tongs or oil will rush in to the dough and your bread will be quite oily. Remove the dough from the oil, and place on paper towel-lined plates to drain. Dust lightly with confectioners’ sugar and serve warm.

Notes: I like to deep fry, rather than shallow fry them.

Editor’s note: Nicole also recommends the Metis Cookbook and the Sioux Chef as a way to learn more about Native food recipes and traditions.

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