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Nearly every area of the world has a recipe for fried bread. The actual term may refer to a British treatment of sliced bread but also can reference any type of bread that has been fried. There are leavened fried breads, such as Native American frybread, and unleavened breads such as tortillas. Though many recipes are simply flour and water that have been blended together and fried, some are more elaborate.
The name "fried bread" is specifically used in the United Kingdom to indicate a slice of white bread or soda bread that has been fried on both sides in a pan of bacon fat. The bread can be fried in oil and is traditionally served with other foods or as part of a large breakfast. It also can refer to toast that has been dipped in egg and fried, known as French toast.
Similarly, "frybread" is a term used to describe a variety of bread recipes cooked by Native Americans. Native American frybread is most often a mix of water, flour and salt that is fried over a fire or deep fried in oil. There are many variations, including recipes that have squash or other vegetables included in the dough.
In Mexican and South American cuisine, fried bread could be known as a tortilla, amongst other names. A tortilla is made from simple dough comprised of water and white flour or corn flour. The dough is pressed down to form a wide, thin circle and then fried, sometimes in oil or lard. It is often used as a vehicle for other foods.
In areas of India, a type of unleavened fried bread known as chapatti or roti is common. Chapati also is just a blend of water and flour that is formed into discs. The discs are cooked in a dry pan until they take on some color. While served with dishes and used to dip into other foods, the bread itself can be covered in butter or ghee before being eaten.
In China, there is a type of fried bread known as youtiao. It is leavened bread that is formed into long strips and then deep fried. Youtiao is enjoyed for breakfast along with a sweet rice dish.
Foods that are considered fried breads can take on many shapes. One of the more common fried breads is a pancake. This is just a batter that is fried in a skillet until cooked through. It is sometimes served with sweet syrup on top.