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!


Author: Susan Shay

For as long as I can remember, I've loved two things--reading and people--and that led me to become a writer. Many of my stories are set in Small Town Worlds. I'm a wife, mother, sibling and an aunt. I have a deep faith in God, and an exciting life in Christ. Maybe I shouldn't be (after all, he's God!) but I'm constantly amazed at the things He's up to. :)

11 thoughts on “Fry Bread

  1. Why do you tempt me?
    This was one of my favorites growing up, and I would have Mom make it every time she came to visit.

    • Have you ever made it? It’s so easy and tastes soooo good! Mama watched over us while we ate. (Cloud of witnesses all the time, so she did today, too.)

  2. It looks like frybread.

  3. Susan, I love your recipes, but most of all the stories behind them. Also, I admire the courage of our
    Grandmothers & Mothers who worked so hard just to put a delicious dish of food on the table for us. And always, they did it lovingly! 😉

    • Thank you, Sharon. Grandma was an amazing woman, as was Mama. And boy, could they cook! (I got the cooking gene from both side of my family–as well as the eating gene. LOL.

  4. I remember when Grandmommy would make Squaw Bread SO DELICIOUS! Daddy used to make it for breakfast on Saturday mornings. Thanks for the recipe and the sweet memory.

    • Your daddy is a good cook, isn’t he? How sweet of him to do that for you guys. I’m glad you have so many wonderful rememberances of Mama. She was the best!

  5. Yumm. I love fry bread, but with taco filling instead. Wonderful!

  6. Pingback: Small Town World

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