Gluten Free Indian Fry Bread (Navajo Flatbread)

Navajo fry bread was made by the Navajo Indians. Once other tribes began creating their own versions of the bread, it was known as Indian fry bread. Not all recipes for Indian fry bread contain yeast, but this version does. Some use cornmeal, while this one does not. I got the idea when a reader recently emailed me about how my gluten free pizza dough recipe (that you can make in a bread machine or not) turned out to be perfect for gluten free Indian fry bread. She doesn’t use a bread machine, but makes the dough by hand. You can do either. I have adjusted the recipe a bit if you just wish to try 1/3 of the pizza dough recipe. I used less egg white, a little more oil, a little more water, and a higher ratio of cornstarch for crispness. To my amazement, it was absolutely fabulous! I didn’t expect this Indian fry bread (actually a flatbread) to be appealing since it is a thicker dough than I am accustomed to using for what I consider American-Mexican food, but it was. Enjoy!

Ways to Serve Indian Fry Bread

  • Use for base of Indian tacos (more like a tostada)
  • Eat them warm, plain.
  • Stir together honey and melted butter and coat the top of each fry bread.
  • Sprinkle with a cinnamon-sugar mixture
  • Dust with confectioners’ sugar

Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 60 minutes
Inactive: 60 minutes

Gluten Free Indian Fry Bread (Navajo Flatbread)

Yield: Makes four 5-inch fry bread/Serves 2

Gluten Free Indian Fry Bread (Navajo Flatbread)

Make tacos Native-American style by making this simple gluten free Indian fry bread recipe. It's surprisingly delicious!


  • 1 - 2 quarts neutral-flavored cooking oil, for frying
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk
  • 5 teaspoons water, at room temperature
  • 1 large whole egg, at room temperature
  • 4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup brown rice flour
  • 1/3 cup white rice flour
  • 1/3 cup potato starch, plus extra for rolling
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch
  • 1/3 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 2 teaspoons instant yeast


  1. Add the ingredients into your bread maker in the order listed. Set to the "Dough" setting and allow it to knead for 30 minutes and rise for 1 hour. Alternatively, whisk together the dry ingredients and wet ingredients in separate bowls. Then combine them using your stand mixer. Allow to rise in an 80°F environment.
  2. Preheat a deep-fryer according to the manufacturer’s instructions, or heat a heavy skillet with 1-1/2 – 2-inches of oil to 375°F. Line a plate with paper towels; set aside.
  3. Dust a sheet of plastic wrap with potato starch. Scoop 1/4 cup of dough at a time onto the dusted wrap. Dust the dough with potato starch and pat or roll into a 5-inch disk. Invert the disk onto a metal spatula and slowly remove the plastic wrap.
  4. Using a straw or similar object, create a 1/4-inch hole in the center of each disk. (This keeps the dough flat when frying.) Repeat with the remaining dough.
  5. Using a metal spatula, dip the dough into the preheated oil. Fry for about 30 seconds, then loosen it off of the spatula using a butter knife. Fry on both sides until lightly golden brown, 5 minutes. Transfer fry bread to the paper towel-lined plate to drain.
  6. If serving more than one person, continue to make other fry bread and keep them warm in a 170 - 200°F oven for up to 1 hour.
  7. Serve warm. Top them with your favorite taco filling and toppings. Alternatively, while they are still warm, shake them with some granulated sugar and cinnamon in a paper bag. You may also dust them with confectioners’ sugar. They are also delicious with melted butter and honey.
  8. Cover and refrigerate or freeze leftovers. Defrost at room temperature. Then reheat in a preheated 350°F oven for about 10 minutes.



For the taco filling, I had about 2 tablespoons of browned, ground beef leftover and I mixed it with about 2 tablespoons of gluten free refried black beans. I added a few dashes of chili powder and less of ground cumin. Then I thinned it all out with a splash of chicken broth. I topped it all off with shredded lettuce and shredded cheddar cheese. Delicious!

While this recipe is located in the gluten free indian category, it is not East Indian as the other recipes. It is native American.

3 Replies to “Gluten Free Indian Fry Bread (Navajo Flatbread)”

  1. Facebook Comment – Feb. 18, 2015,

    “I made this but didnt put it in the bread maker. I did “play with the dough ” for about 20 minutes and i added a lil more rice flour and it came out fluffy and really good. I also didnt roll it out i just made the patties in my hand”


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