The best ones are yeast based, but most commonly seen from-scratch recipes use a biscuit type base.
You can see in these recipes a lot of poverty and government hand out history.
As pointed out, flour, but you 'll also see powdered milk in most recipes and as I mentioned with the biscuit types, baking powder. Paul Prudhomme tweaked the powdered milk to a non-dairy creamer in one of his books and I think that's better than the powdered milk. That too is a calorie booster but see below.
Frying of course is the cooking method. That makes these a bit greasy and pumps calories way up which has been linked to obesity rates among various Native American groups, the Navajo in my state for example.
So, on to my current recipe. You'll note I skip the powdered milk and just use milk for liquid and skip the creamer since it's whole milk.
4 cups flour, additional 1 cup flour for shaping
1 scant tablespoon dry yeast or 1 packet
1 tablespoon sugar
2-3 teaspoons salt, to taste
2 cups milk, warmed
oil for frying
I usually make this in the food processor since the kneading is FAST and easy, but you need a food processor big enough for the task, 9 or more cups.
Dry ingredients into the food processor, pulse a bit to mix. While processing, pour in the warm milk. Continue processing until the a lump of dough forms and the processor strains a bit. In larger processors, you may have different clues for doneness, but in my 9 cup, it's when the processor struggles a bit, usually around 45-60 seconds of processing.
This is a STICKY dough. Scrape it into an oiled bowl to rise. Cover the bowl. When it doubles, punch it down, about an hour in my environment. Flour your hands and a work area. Start forming thin disks of dough 6 inches in diameter. As this is still sticky, I usually raise these disks on silicone baking mats. Baking parchment works OK, as do oiled baking sheets. Cover and let rise 1/2 an hour or so.
Meanwhile heat oil for frying, 325 -350 is good. Fry a few at a time to not lower the oil temp too much until browned and cooked through. Best eaten HOT.
If you're in a rush, you can do this in the biscuit style. For the yeast, add just one teaspoon. This is for a bready yeasty flavor. Add 4 teaspoons baking powder. Do not mix in the food processor. Rather, combine the dry ingredients in a bowl. Add cool milk and mix with a sturdy wooden spoon as for biscuits. You don't want to knead this dough like a bread dough. And it will be soft and sticky; you may need extra flour for shaping. Once shaped in disks, you can fry immediately.