Maori (New Zealand) Fry Bread

Total Time
1hr 10mins
Prep 25 mins
Cook 45 mins

I was given this recipe by a Nagati Tarawhai cook while in New Zealand. The bread was wonderful . . . I've never tried to make myself, however I believe I've converted the recipe into U.S. standards. I made the original recipe notation in parenthesis. Since this is a worldwide site, thought this would be a perfect place to share!

Ingredients Nutrition

  • 946.36 ml water, 110 degrees (as written -4 Breakfast Cups a bit hotter than warm, but not too hot to kill the yeast)
  • 29.58 ml yeast (as written - 2 dessert spoons yeast)
  • 29.58 ml sugar (as written - 2 dessert spoons sugar)
  • 29.58 ml all-purpose flour (as written, use plain flour, definitely not self-rising flour)
  • 1892.72-2365.9 ml all-purpose flour
  • 0.25 ml salt
  • 946.0 ml cooking oil

Directions

  1. Stir together water, yeast, sugar and 2 tablespoons flour.
  2. Leave to stand for 15 minutes in a warm position. At the end of 15 minutes this should have about 2 inches of froth on top.
  3. In a large bowl put in 8-10 cups plain flour.
  4. Add a pinch of salt and stir.
  5. Make a well in centre and add the yeast mixture. Gradually stir in flour but don't add too much flour at once - a light hand is the story.
  6. When the liquid has absorbed as much flour as necessary for it to be kneaded place on a floured board (in my case on1y plain paper) and knead until you can sit the dough in the palm of hand.
  7. Spread some plain flour on a baking board. Let this stand for 15 minutes -- this is the working time for the yeast and the dough should be nice and spongy and fluffy.
  8. As soon as I have let the dough stand for 15 minutes I prepare my cooking pot. Sufficient lard, dripping, cooking oil or tallow to cover at least 1/3 of cooking utensil. Heat until blue smoke rises (for us in NZ on electric store this takes 15 minutes).
  9. Cooking tip: If the fat does not smoke at end of 15 minutes add a wee bit of used fat -- new fat takes forever to reach the required temperature.
  10. Again! Don't worry overly much about the dough. If it fluffs up nice and spongy and fat is not ready to fry bread, then just knead the dough again and let stand, but perhaps for only 10 minutes this time.
  11. All things being equal, the dough and the fat should be ready together by this time.
  12. So press the dough out (add flour if the board is sticky).
  13. Cut into required (triangles, squares, etc) shaped, pressing to about 1/4 inch thick.
  14. Fry one side, then brown fry other side and there is your bread.
  15. Well, hope you enjoy your cooking and eating.
  16. Signed -- Ngati Tarwhai Cooks.
Most Helpful

Kia ora! Thanks for adding this recipe :) Been looking for a good, easy to follow recipe for fried bread and yay you added it here... Nga mihi ki a koutou nga kaitunu no Ngati Tarawhai, He reka!!

BE VERY CAREFUL - SERIOUS BODILY HARM OR FIRE DAMAGE CAN OCCUR<br/><br/>I was trying to surprise my wife by cooking a Waitangi Day themed meal and followed the instructions on this website precisely.<br/>Where things went terribly wrong was the point the recipe instructed to cook oil until blue smoke came of the pan. At this point I had a 4 foot (1.5m) flame reach out to the ceiling and our kitchen nearly burnt down.<br/><br/>I was lucky enough I was able to fetch the pan and toss it out of the kitchen into the backyard but I could have seriously hurt myself with burning oil had it splashed or in case I had tripped.<br/><br/>I would recommend putting a warning at the top of this recipe.<br/><br/>Unfortunately I didn't get to try the fry bread :-(

5 5

Tino pai kai! No problem with portion size here - whole lot skoffed down by family very fast - will make this again. Didn't deep fry - just used non-stick electric fry pan and some oil - still tasted great but probably not authentic.