Gluten-Free Fried Dough

Fried dough, topped with sugar, syrup, or even marinara, has been a mainstay of county fairs and American home cooking for years. Many cultures have their own well-loved version of this crispy/tender treat; fry bread (or frybread) has been a key part of Navajo tribal tradition since the 19th century. While most fried dough cooks in deep fat, this easy homemade version uses just 1/4" of vegetable oil: no deep-frying necessary. 

We know you’ll love this gluten-free version of our County Fair Fried Dough recipe, a long-time favorite here on our site. Substituting Gluten-Free Measure for Measure Flour for the flour in that original yields golden, crispy-tender treats that are sure to be a hit with friends and family following a gluten-free diet. Enjoy!

Prep
10 mins
Total
30 mins
Yield
8 servings
Gluten-Free Fried Dough - select to zoom
Gluten-Free Fried Dough - select to zoom
Gluten-Free Fried Dough - select to zoom

Instructions

  1. In a medium-sized bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, and salt.

  2. Work in the cold butter, using a pastry blender, your fingers, or a mixer.

  3. Stir in the warm water to make a soft dough. Cover and let rest for 15 minutes.

  4. Divide the dough into eight pieces. Working with one piece at a time, roll into a thin 5" round about 3/8" thick.

  5. Heat about 3/8" vegetable oil to 375°F in an electric frying pan, or in a pan over a burner set to medium heat. If you're using a 10" diameter pan, you'll need 2 cups of vegetable oil. If you're not using an electric frying pan, use a candy thermometer to take the temperature of the oil; or guesstimate it by seeing if the first piece of dough fries nicely in the time specified.

  6. Pick up one dough disk and carefully lower it into the pan. Let it cook for 60 seconds (it'll puff up on top and become light brown on the bottom), then flip it over and cook until light brown on the other side, about 60 seconds. You don't want to cook these too dark; they'll become overly crisp.

  7. Remove the fried dough from the oil and set it on a paper towel-lined baking sheet. Place in a 200°F oven to keep warm while you make the remaining fried doughs.

  8. Serve warm, with maple syrup or cider syrup; confectioners' sugar or cinnamon sugar, or the topping of your choice. Some folks enjoy a savory version with marinara sauce and cheese.

  9. These are best eaten right out of the fryer/oven but you can store any leftovers, lightly wrapped, at room temperature for a day or so. Reheat in a toaster or your oven before serving.

Tips from our Bakers

  • Peanut oil is our favorite deep-frying oil; it has a higher smoke point and neutral flavor.

  • Gluten-free dough tends to be more fragile than dough made with regular all-purpose flour. One of our readers offers this suggestion for frying: "I found it easiest to roll out the dough, then place it on a parchment square and put the whole thing in the hot oil, then remove the parchment right away when it released from the dough (which was as soon as it hit the oil) ... It worked well, using tongs — none of them broke apart."