Maori (New Zealand) Fry Bread

Prep Time
Cook Time
1h 10m
Ready In

"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!"

Original recipe yields 10-12 servings


  • Serving Size: 1 (201.3 g)
  • Calories 387.2
  • Total Fat - 1.2 g
  • Saturated Fat - 0.2 g
  • Cholesterol - 0 mg
  • Sodium - 22.6 mg
  • Total Carbohydrate - 81 g
  • Dietary Fiber - 3.4 g
  • Sugars - 2.8 g
  • Protein - 11.5 g
  • Calcium - 18.8 mg
  • Iron - 1.2 mg
  • Vitamin C - 0 mg
  • Thiamin - 0.4 mg

Step 1

Stir together water, yeast, sugar and 2 tablespoons flour. 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.

Step 2

In a large bowl put in 8-10 cups plain flour. Add a pinch of salt and stir.

Step 3

Make a well in centre and add the yeast mixture.

Step 4

Gradually stir in flour but don't add too much flour at once - a light hand is the story. 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.

Step 5

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.

Step 6

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).

Step 7

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.

Step 8

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. All things being equal, the dough and the fat should be ready together by this time.

Step 9

So press the dough out (add flour if the board is sticky). Cut into required (triangles, squares, etc) shaped, pressing to about 1/4 inch thick. Fry one side, then brown fry other side and there is your bread.

Step 10

Well, hope you enjoy your cooking and eating. Signed -- Ngati Tarwhai Cooks

Tips & Variations

No special items needed.



The conversions in this recipe are wrong. A Tablespoon and a dessert spoon are two different measurements. A dessert spoon is equivalent to 2 teaspoons, where as a tablespoon is equivalent to 3 teaspoons. They way the poster has converted, has you putting far too much yeast in the dough. Also this is Maori fry the name suggests it is fried, not put in an oven.

review by:
(31 Oct 2020)


I'm just going to give this an informational review since I'm not sure if they turned out exactly as they should have. I made a half recipe with about 1/3 whole wheat pastry flour, hand flattened and formed them, and fried them in lard. We enjoyed some right away with butter and honey or jam. They tasted like yeasty bread. Once they had sat awhile they became too tough to eat. I'm not sure if I didn't knead them enough or fried them too long or if that is just how they are. My Hubby did like the first one I did best which fried up more like a ball and the middle was softer. A Maori friend of my Mom's said mine look just like her Mum used to make. Made for the Shoot Me Please! photo forum event.

review by:
(6 May 2013)