Susan Spess Shay

Still playing make believe.


Fry Bread

We used to call this Squaw Bread, but that just doesn’t sound very nice.

This is a recipe Mama got from Grandma Reeves, who lived in Cherokee County near Tahlequah for a while, and I believe she got the recipe there or from one of her neighbors in one of her many moves.

Grandma raised her family during the Great Depression of the ’30’s. During that time, Grandad worked where ever he could while Grandma kept the family together. At one time he went off to Illinois or Iowa or one of those “I” states to work while she stayed alone with their seven kids.

Mostly Grandad worked in the oilfields of Oklahoma and some in Baja-Oklahoma (Texas) although they did raise chickens at one point in Park Hill.

I’ve never met anyone who has eaten Squaw Bread and wasn’t related to me, but I found two nearly-the-same recipes also called Squaw Bread in a sorority cookbook my MIL gave me years ago. Here’s the recipe from Mama/Grandma–

2C flour
2T baking powder
1T shortening
1t salt

Mix these ingredients, then add enough milk to make a dough. Knead in flour until no longer sticky, then roll out to about 1/4″ to 1/3″ thick. Cut slits in the dough and fry in oil until golden brown.

Drain on paper towels, top with syrup and enjoy.

I know it sounds a little like sopappas (I can’t spell it, but I mean the dessert you sometimes get at Mexican Restaurants and eat with honey) but it’s not really. 

They’re delicious but aren’t diet food!