We've made a type of deep fried bread in my family for years, which we've called "scones". I'm fairly certain these aren't actually scones, and have no idea what their name would properly be.

The recipe is very free-form, and uses whatever bread dough happens to be on hand. The last time I made it I used bread-machine pizza dough, previous times I've used dough from sourdough bread, no-kneed artisan bread, and baguettes.

The dough is pulled into thin disks, whose shape and thickness are generally close to, but not quite, uniform.

The dough is then deep fried, cooled on a rack over paper towels for the oil, and is ready to be eaten.

The end result looks like this: enter image description here The valleys are generally filled with jam, butter, honey, or honey butter.

So my question is: does this have a name?

  • A staple of fairs in the northeastern USA, anyway - 'fried dough" - usuually pulled a bit larger and thinner, guessing at the size of these - thin in the middle, thicker on the edges, typically.
    – Ecnerwal
    Commented Jan 2, 2017 at 1:56
  • @Ecnerwal The size varies according to how big we can pull a particular dough, and the available frying vessel. The ones in this batch were about the size of an open palm. Occasionally we've done batches twice that diameter.
    – Morgen
    Commented Jan 2, 2017 at 2:05
  • 3
    There are two good answers here already, but they strike me as being a bit US-centric. In my experience as a European, you’re more likely to hear them referred to as lángos in this part of the world (mandatory butchering of the Hungarian language included free of charge). At least that was the only name I ever knew them under until I heard the term ‘(Navajo) fry bread’ in my twenties. Commented Jan 2, 2017 at 6:51
  • @JanusBahsJacquet Please feel free to write that up as an answer, making the selection somewhat less US-centric (and there we seem to be divided anyway.) Ah, rumtscho already did...
    – Ecnerwal
    Commented Jan 2, 2017 at 19:23
  • @Ecnerwal I see rumtscho has done that already. :-) Commented Jan 2, 2017 at 20:12

5 Answers 5


Fried Dough As mentioned in comment, it's something I'm mostly used to seeing at fairs - the dough does not do well in a communal fryer where it could pick up other flavors (hmm, fishy fried dough - yuck) and deep frying at home is kind of a chore (but you are up to it!)

Scones are one of the many alternate names given in the linked wikipedia article.

fried dough image from king arthur flour site

  • 1
    I'm sure there are different names used around the country. In the parts that I've been in, "fried dough" is a generic term and not the actual name. "Fry bread" is the name and online searches support it. I'm curious in what part of the country have you seen "fried dough" used? Commented Jan 2, 2017 at 3:52
  • Some quick searches suggest that fried dough might be further east and frybread in the West? Commented Jan 2, 2017 at 3:56
  • 2
    @Sobachatina In my hometown in Maine, we use the name fried dough.
    – 2cents
    Commented Jan 2, 2017 at 18:40
  • 2
    Might even be Northeastern USA rather than just Eastern USA, but here, it's fried dough (I looked for a good picture that wasn't promoting one specific vendor and gave up on it after a while, but the concession trailers will have a big sign that says fried dough, and in my experience the good ones are very product specific, and will have real maple syrup among the things you can put on your fried dough (powdered sugar, cinnamon sugar, and not infrequently some sort of tomato sauce for folks that prefer that sort of thing.)
    – Ecnerwal
    Commented Jan 2, 2017 at 19:29
  • 2
    Known in midwestern county fairs as "elephant ears". Commented Jan 3, 2017 at 2:57

This is a staple of Balkan cuisine. You will see it named Lángos (and derivatives) in Hungary and Mekitza (and derivatives) in Slavic languages. Either of these words is used in Western Europe, depending on which group popularized it there.

I am not sure this wording has spread outside of Europe, and cannot say if it was imported in the USA or developed there independently, but it is certainly the same end result.

  • The vast majority of our food traditions are imported, often many times over as various people immigrated with their various food traditions. But mangling the names is pretty common...
    – Ecnerwal
    Commented Jan 2, 2017 at 20:16

Fry bread. They are often served as tacos with savory toppings. Sweet toppings like butter, honey, or cinnamon are also common.

They are also similar to sopapillas.

As far as I can tell, these are called scones only near Utah, USA. I haven't been able to figure out why. Some guess that it is related to the sconecutter restaurant.

Everywhere else in the world scones are biscuit-like pastries.

  • That sounds plausible. My maternal grandfather was an electrician, and they moved around quite a bit. It's entirely possible my grandmother picked up the term as they passed through Utah on the way to the next construction job.
    – Morgen
    Commented Jan 2, 2017 at 2:02
  • Navajo fry bread is a quick bread made with baking powder, not a yeast bread.
    – Debbie M.
    Commented Jan 2, 2017 at 2:09
  • @DebbieM. That's a good point. What practical difference will that make in the result? It's possible that was originally intended, and would produce better results, but I really don't know.
    – Morgen
    Commented Jan 2, 2017 at 2:10
  • @debbiem look at recipes online. Yeast risen dough is very common but you are right that there is some variation in recipes. Some recipes are chemically risen. Commented Jan 2, 2017 at 2:11
  • @Sobachatina according to Wikipedia fry bread is typically made using baking powder, it does appear as though the Lakota tribe recipes use yeast. I have lived in AZ for 50 years and do not remember ever seeing a recipe that used yeast. Now I know there are some.
    – Debbie M.
    Commented Jan 2, 2017 at 3:20

It's a party food also in the south of Italy, usually prepared as street food too. We call it "pizzillo", and it's made by deep frying the same bread dough used for Naples' pizza, and served with a little of salt on top of it.

Search "pizzillo fritto" ("fritto" means "fried") on Google Images, not all images are correct, but you'll find a lot of pictures identical to yours!

Source: I'm from the south of Italy, and my dad and his mom always made it.


Looks like a Kiachl, a traditional dish from Tyrol and Bavaria. Here in Austria, we serve it either as a sweet dish with cranberry yam and sugar or "piquantly" with Sauerkraut. It's a yeast dough where you pull the edges of it towards the outside so the middle becomes thin, while the edge becomes thick and fluffy.

The dish has a variety of synonyms. Depending os where in Austria you are, it is called "ausazochene Nudeln" (noodles pulled towards the outside), Kiachl or Ziachkiachl (pulled Kiachl).

See also this recipe.

  • I know Krapfen only as made from sweetened enriched dough, not from standard bread dough
    – rumtscho
    Commented Jan 2, 2017 at 22:14
  • Yes, you are right. The word Krapfen refers to a sweet-dough pastry that is filled with apricot yam. Traditionally, it is made only during the carnival season. It differs from Kiachl. I was thinking about Kichtagskrapfen (Krapfen of the church day), which are a third kind of sweet pastry served on sundays. Commented Jan 3, 2017 at 5:20

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