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Donna Bulf’s family loves it when she makes squaw bread to serve with dinner in the fall and winter. She most often makes it as the bread to serve with vegetable soup or chili.
“I make it more during the winter months for hot bread,” said Bulf. She recently made a double batch to serve at a Waterford Homemakers monthly potluck lunch meeting.
Recipes for squaw bread online and in cookbooks tend to be either whole wheat or rye based load breads made with molasses. Bulf’s version of squaw bread is also called Native American Fry Bread in some areas. It is used for Indian tacos or eaten as a dessert with honey. There is debate over the origin of the word squaw, but some sources indicate that it is a vulgar word.
Bulf has had the recipe for over 25 years. She does not remember where she got the recipe, but believes it came from one of her aunts.
“The last time I fixed it was with pot roast and vegetables,” said Bulf of the versatility of the bread. “There wasn’t a piece left, so I guess it was ok!”
She suggests serving it at breakfast or after dinner with honey. It can also be sprinkled with powdered sugar or cinnamon and sugar.
Bulf said that the cinnamon and sugar version is good with ice cream.
The bread is best when served hot. Bulf usually waits to make the dough until shortly before the meal is ready to serve. She then cooks the bread while her guests are fixing their plates.
“It’s good when you’ve got company coming,” said Bulf. “Some people don’t like crackers with their soup or chili.”
The bread is slightly sweet and salty. The flavor is reminiscent of a homemade donut. It is soft and slightly chewy. Bulf advises tearing the bread open to reveal a pocket, and then filling it with honey.
“Kids really like it. I haven’t seen a kid not like it,” said Bulf. “I’ve got a 13 year old grandson and he won’t leave the table until the last piece is gone.”
1 package dry yeast
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 ½ cup lukewarm water
Dissolve yeast in lukewarm water. Make sure the water is not hot or the yeast will die. Stir in sugar and salt. Add enough flour to make a soft dough. Roll out on floured board for 15-30 minutes to rise. Cut in pieces and fry in hot oil
Drain on paper towels. Serve hot.