Thursday, March 10, 2011

Naan Bread

Naan is one of my favorite things, it is the perfect companion for pretty much any Indian dish, and I will eat it with pretty much any food that has a sauce. Why I haven't tried to make my own before is crazy to me. Probably because traditional naan is baked in a clay oven called a tandoor oven that reaches temperatures over 500 degrees. There is a wide variety of recipes on the internet all with varying ingredients and reviews, and after considering and dismissing many recipes I decided to use one that looked good and used a conventional oven from Manjula's Kitchen.

The recipe calls for a baking stone - alas another piece of bakeware I'm not in possession of. I used a cast iron skillet in place of the baking stone and I think it worked almost just as well.

- 2 cups of All Purpose flour (Plain flour or maida)
- 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- Pinch of baking soda
- 2 tablespoons of oil
- 2 1/2 tablespoons yogurt (curd or dahi)
- 3/4 cup lukewarm water

Also Needed:
-Flour for rolling
-Ghee or clarified butter (or butter if you are like me and lazy, but ghee is traditional)

1. Dissolve active dry yeast in lukewarm water and add the sugar. Let it sit for 10 minutes or until the mixture becomes frothy.
2. Add salt and baking soda to the flour and mix well.
3. Add the oil and yogurt mix, this will become crumbly dough.
4. Add the water/yeast mixture and make into soft dough.Note: after dough rise will become little softer.
5. Knead until the dough is smooth. Cover the dough and keep in a warm place for 3-4 hours. The dough should almost be double in volume. (I didn't leave it for that long, I just waited until it doubled and then went for it)
6. Heat the oven to 500 degrees with pizza stone for at least thirty minutes so stone is hot. Using a pizza stone will help to give naan close to same kind of heat as clay tandoor. (I used my cast iron skilled instead and it worked pretty well)
7. Next turn the oven to high broil.
8. Knead the dough for about two to three minutes and divide the dough into six equal parts.
9. Take each piece of dough, one at a time, and roll into 8-inch oval shape. Dust lightly with dry flour to help with the rolling.
10. Before putting the Naan in oven, lightly wet your hands and take the rolled Naan, and flipp them between your palms and place onto your baking/pizza stone into the oven.
11. You can place about 2 Naan on the baking/pizza stone at a time. The Naan will take about 2 to 3 minutes to cook, depending upon your oven. After the Naan is baked(Naan should be golden brown color on top).
12. Take naan out of the oven and brush lightly with clear butter or ghee.
13. wait 2 to 3 minutes before baking the next batch of naan. It gives oven the chance to get heated again to max. came out good enough for me. I like my naan soft and spongy so I pulled mine out after about 3 minutes, even though they weren't always browned on top. Also, my oven kind of sucks, so I'm not entirely convinced it was hot enough for that. It was still tasty enough to eat way to many of in one sitting.

If you manage to have any left over, wrap them in tin foil and keep them in the refrigerator. When you want to eat them pop them into the oven again for a few minutes to heat them up.

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