What Is Squaw Bread?

Squaw bread is a type of flatbread that originated from Native American tribes. The name comes from the word squaw meaning woman or female. 

This delicious snack was traditionally eaten during hunting season. But where does it come from? How do you make it? Find out below.

What Is Squaw Bread

What Is Squaw Bread’s Origins?

Squaw bread has a long history, dating back to the 1800s. In fact, it was once considered a delicacy. The bread was made by German immigrants in the United States, who were influenced by the Native Americans. Because of this history, it is also referred to as “Indian Bread.”

Today, it is enjoyed across the country. In particular, it is still popular in some parts of the United States and Canada.

What Is Squaw Bread And How Is It Made?

This bread is usually baked in a skillet, but you can also bake it in a cast iron pan. The dough is typically mixed together using flour, water, dry yeast, honey, and butter. Different recipes will vary in terms of what ingredients they use, but these ingredients are found in most recipes. 

The yeast mixture is used to create a spongy texture. The ingredients are then added and combined to form a sticky dough. Once the dough is ready, it’s formed into the shape of a loaf of bread and placed on a baking sheet. 

Often, the bread is then left to rise fully before it is cooked. Usually, it will double in size, giving you a nice big loaf of bread. 

The bread will then need to be cooked in the oven, roughly for 30-35 minutes. Before cooking, the baking sheet is normally sprinkled with cornmeal. Once cooked, the bread will have a delicious golden-brown color. Plus, it will have a hard crust and soft innards.  

You can add different ingredients such as cheese, bacon, onions, peppers, and more. You can even use your favorite spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cayenne pepper, and garlic powder. 

Molasses is also commonly used to give the bread a sweeter taste. Cocoa powder is used for a similar effect, creating a type of bread that has a dark brown hue.

It’s best served warm with honey, butter or maple syrup on top. You can also use it to make toast or a scrumptious sandwich. 

Can I Freeze Squaw Bread?

Yes! If you want to freeze this recipe for later, just wrap the pieces individually first before placing them into an airtight container. They will keep well for up to one month.

Variations Of Squaw Bread

Variations Of Squaw Bread

There are many variations of the bread. For example, some people prefer their bread to be softer while others prefer it to be crunchier. 

Some people may choose to sprinkle the bread with salt instead of sugar. This will depend on whether you want a sweet or savory taste to your bread.

This results in it being a versatile recipe that can be adapted depending on your needs. If you prefer sweet flavors, you may want to add cocoa powder or molasses. 

As mentioned earlier, these are common flavorings. These will have an impact on not only the taste, but also the appearance of the bread. 

What Does “Squaw” Mean?

The term that gives its name to this bread has potentially offensive origins. It is named after the Native American women who would prepare the bread. 

The word is often derogatory. Many consider it to be misogynistic and racist. Because of this, many Native American groups condemn the use of the word “squaw.”

However, the word “squaw” has been used since the 1600s to refer to any woman. This fact complicates the racial element of the term, though it could reinforce the notion that it is misogynistic. 

The word is believed to derive from various terms meaning “women.” During the 1970s, the word “squaw” was also used to refer to the genitalia of women. 

This problematic origin has resulted in some calling for the name of the bread to be changed. In fact, many place names that feature the word “squaw” have been altered. For example, in 2017 Missouri’s Squaw Creek National Wildlife Refuge was rechristened “Loess Bluffs National Wildlife Refuge.”

Perhaps it should go by the nickname “Indian bread”? However, this may also have some offensive connotations. The word “Indian” is now rarely used to refer to indigenous people, with the term “Native American” being the correct way to refer to the indigenous people. 

Some people have instead acknowledged the German history of the recipe, referring to it as “German bread.” 

On the other hand, you could argue that this erases the Native American influence and history of the dish. 

Whatever the case, it is important to acknowledge the controversy surrounding the name of this recipe. As long as we are using the term, it’s important to understand why it is considered so offensive.

What Are Some Recipe Inspirations?

If you are eager to make this bread, here are some of our favorite recipes:

We encourage you to make these recipes if you like the sound of this bread. Not only will it taste divine, but it can provide an opportunity to learn more about Native American culture. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Squaw Valley Known As Now?

In 2021, Squaw Valley in California was given the new name “Palisades Tahoe.” This was done to distance it from the offensive term “squaw.”

Is Bread Healthy?

Bread is one of the most commonly eaten foods in the world. It provides us with energy, nutrients, and fiber. It is essential to our diet. 

We eat bread most days, whether it is toast, bagels, rolls, pizza crust, English muffins, biscuits, tortillas, etc.

It is easy to see how much we rely on bread. It is a staple food for many cultures around the globe. It can be an essential part of your diet. 

However, you should be sure to not eat too much bread. Like any food, it becomes unhealthy when consumed in excess. 

How Long Can I Store Squaw Bread?

You can store your squaw bread for up to three weeks at room temperature. If you freeze it, wrap it well and thaw it before thoroughly serving.

Final Thoughts

By now, you will have a deeper understanding of this delicacy. 

If you are eager to learn more about Native American culture, knowing the history of this dish will be one way of doing this. If this guide has whetted your appetite, you should consider baking the bread.