The smell of coffee beans and fried dough. That's the best way to make Beth Dutton, played by Kelly Reilly, come downstairs for breakfast. An especially touching scene, Rip Wheeler, played by Cole Hauser, is making Beth one of his favorite breakfasts: yummy fry bread topped with scrambled eggs and bacon. Emotional and raw, Beth found herself deeply touched as she ate the crispy golden brown Indian fry bread as Rip watched her eat from across the table. If that's not romantic I don't know what is!
What is Fry Bread?
Made with all-purpose flour, lard, sugar, baking powder, and salt, this Native American fried bread is a popular recipe in states such as New Mexico, Oklahoma, Utah, and Arizona. Frybread is an important part of Native American culture, a symbol both of nourishment and oppression. While many indigenous tribes have some kind of traditional flatbread or tortilla, what we call fry bread took its modern form during the Long Walk in 1864, when U.S. troops force-marched thousands of Navajos from their homes in Arizona, relocating them to New Mexico. Most of what they had to eat were government rations (white flour, salt, sugar, lard). In order to survive, the Navajo turned those basic ingredients into bread dough, and in turn, the fry bread recipe became a symbol of perseverance.
Used as a base for sweets like powdered sugar or savory toppings such as ground beef and sour cream (also known as Navajo tacos), all you need to make this dish are a frying pan and some hot oil.
How to Make Rip's Famous Fry Bread
To start, combine all-purpose flour, baking powder, salt, and milk and stir. Add in just enough warm water to bring the dough together. There's no need for excessive kneading. Cover the bowl and let rest for 45 minutes.
On the stovetop, Preheat a cast iron skillet filled with 1-2 inches of vegetable oil over medium-high heat.
When ready, remove a golf ball size of the bread dough from the bowl and place it on a floured surface and press it into a circle or use a rolling pin and roll it into a circle. Add the piece of dough to the oil and fry 1 minute on each side. Remove to a paper towel using tongs and allow them to drain the excess oil.
If you want to go all the way, like Rip did, top with scrambled eggs, bacon, and a mug of steaming hot coffee.