Friday, August 5, 2011

Homemade Naan

Oh my goodness. I thought I did everything wrong with this naan recipe.  I almost gave up but decided to make just one naan to see if it was worth eating.  And it was.  In fact, we didn't want to stop eating it.  Even though my dough didn't rise (so I assumed it would be flat and dense), the naan ended up being light and having wonderful air bubbles in the bread.

The naan is easy to put together, although it needs to rise (well, my didn't rise so it really just rested) for 2 hours before cooking it.  It doesn't take long to cook -- about 30 seconds per side -- but in my cast iron skillet, I could only cook one at a time.  I wanted to eat it hot, so I enlisted the help of my husband to butter each naan after I finished cooking it. We had a bit of an assembly line and were able to enjoy it with some homemade baingan bharta (an Indian eggplant dish) and green peas for dinner.  Fresh off the stove with melted butter and minced garlic, it was delicious.  But it also made great leftovers the next day!

Homemade Naan
Taken from: Tasty Kitchen
Makes 8 loaves
  • 2 cups all purpose flour or wheat flour (I used 1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour and 1/2 cup all purpose)
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cups warm milk
  • ½ cup plain yogurt (I used nonfat)
  • ½ tablespoon oil (I used canola)
  • Additional herbs or seasonings for naan, optional (I used melted butter and minced garlic although the recipe suggests others such as butter naan, cumin naan or cilantro naan)
  1. Mix all the dry ingredients together and make a well of flour. Mix milk and yogurt together and pour half of it into the well and slowly combine it together.
  2. Continue adding liquid slowly and combining it all together slowly until a soft dough is made (you made not need all of the milk-yogurt mixture). The dough should be soft enough for you to be able to dig your finger into it without applying any pressure. If dough sticks to your hand too much, then use little bit of oil on your hands and then punch into the dough.  Cover with a damp cloth and let it sit in a warm place for at least 2 hours (mine didn't actually rise).
  3. After a few hours, dust your working board, take out the dough and knead it for about 2-3 minutes. Divide the dough into 8 smaller balls.
  4. Dust the board again and flatten each balls so it is thin and elongated.
  5. Now sprinkle one side of the bread with your desired flavor (I used about 4 cloves of minced garlic).
  6. Brush the other side with water.
  7. Heat a thick-bottomed skillet or a wok or any heavy-bottomed pan with a lid (I used my cast iron skillet which was perfect). Once it is nicely hot, place the naan wet side down (it will stick) and cover it with a lid.
  8. Let it cook for about 30 seconds or until you see bubbles on it. Now flip to the other side of the naan and continue to cook, uncovered, for 30 more seconds (if you have a direct flame on your burner, you could also hold the second side over the flame with tongs until you see some charred brown spots). Continue with all of the dough until you have 8 naans (I had to do mine one at a time).
  9. Brush with melted butter and serve.


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