Naan Bread

I’m not entirely certain why I made naan a few days ago….there was a reason, but it escapes me what. Doesn’t matter the reason, they’re amazing and soft and they soak up juices and wrap up tasty things and it’s not difficult to do so they should be made all the time. They are, without any doubt, far better than store bought even if your bread skills are a little shaky. This is a yeast recipe, so if you have issues with bread making, this is a good way to get some practice in.

Recipe:

  • 1/2 cup warm water – NOT hot, it will kill your yeasty beasties and that’s not ideal
  • 2 tsp instant yeast
  • 1 tsp sugar – don’t skip, this feeds the yeast and makes it bloom & grow
  • 3 TB olive oil or any mild tasting oil you have
  • 1/4 cup plain yogurt (or sour cream) *don’t use flavoured yogurt, you’ll be sorry 🙂
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 1/2 to 3 cups flour
  • 2 TB melted butter (optional)
  • 2 tsp garlic, minced (optional)

Mix the water, yeast & sugar in a large bowl (everything else will go into this bowl). Let it sit for 5 or 10 minutes to wake up the yeast – this also lets you know that your yeast is active, without wasting all your ingredients & time.

The yeast is bloomed. There are bubbles and the surface is puffed up.

Add olive oil, sour cream (which is what I used), egg, salt & 2 cups of flour. Stir till smooth. You can use a mixer for this.

Using a Danish dough whisk, which is pretty much the best toy ever! I have a massive Kitchen Aid mixer, so this is nice when I don’t want to drag out the beast.

Add enough flour to make a soft dough. Knead a few times on a floured, solid, surface until it’s smooth.

Place dough in a greased bowl and cover it. Put it in a warm place until it’s risen. My oven temp starts at 100 F, so I set my oven to that and plop my dough in there to rise. It’s winter here, and a little cool in the house – yeast prefers warm. If I happen to be using the oven when I’m making something that needs to rise, my stove is the one with the vent from the oven through the back burner and I will put my metal (not plastic) bowl on or very near that back burner.

Once your dough has risen, push it down and cut into 8 pieces. On a floured surface, roll out each piece into a 6″ circle….or a longish oval or whatever the ornery dough will let you do. If your dough refuses to stay as you rolled it (keeps shrinking back), leave it for 15 minutes or so to rest and try again. Just means the gluten needs to “chill” out a bit.

Heat up a frying pan – I used a cast iron pan. The original recipe called for you to spray the pan with non stick cooking spray but it’s not something I did. Try to brush off any excess flour, though, as it will come off in the pan and probably burn.

Cook each piece for 2-3 minutes or until it’s bubbly and light brown on the bottom. Flip and cook for another 2-3 minutes. This is not something you can walk away from for long, so don’t. Keep an eye on the heat of your pan. The cast iron gets very hot and stays that way, so the heat had to be adjusted down a couple times during the cooking of the naan. I also had to wipe out the pan twice to get the burned flour out of the way.

If you are using, brush the top of each one with melted butter or melted butter infused with garlic. I didn’t do this, but it would probably be pretty tasty.

Apparently, these freeze well. I say “apparently” because they didn’t make it to a freezer.

These take some time (an hour or so) but they are not hard to make and even if you screw them up, they’ll still taste good and be great for soaking up butter chicken or curry or stew.

:S

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