Naan bread


Ok, let me preface this by saying you won’t get restaurant style naan bread at home – naan bread is traditionally cooked in a tandoor oven, which can hit temperatures of 480 C (900F) – naan bread is slapped on the inside of the oven, which gives naan the flat, crisp underside and the soft, bubbly upper.  However, naan is a favourite, so this is my way of trying to make it at home without a tandoor oven – not quite the same, but still pretty awesome.

Ingredients:

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Plain white flour – 3 cups  – if you have some Maida Flour, then add 1 cup of this and 2 cups of plain white flour, but it’s ok to leave out – Maida gives your naan a much silkier texture
Yeast – 2 tbsps or 1 instant packet
Honey – 2 tbsps
Salt – 1/2 tsp
Plain yoghurt – 3 tbsps
Warm water
Melted butter (for topping)
Toppings of your choice (garlic, seeds, cheese etc.)

Method:

Activate your yeast – I start this by putting the honey in 1 cup of warm water and disolving – you can use any sugar product, but try to get something to a rich, caramel taste – raw sugar works well.  I like the taste and texture honey gives.

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Add in your yeast – if you’re using an instant packet, then you won’t need to activate it like this – just follow the instructions on the packet.

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Let the yeast bubble (usually takes about 10 mins) – If it doesn’t bubble, throw the mixture away – it didn’t work – try again – if it’s still not working, then your yeast may be dead – go grab a new batch.  No frothy yeast water = no rising in your dough.

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In the meantime, combine your flour and salt with your plain yoghurt.

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Give it a quick mix till the flour takes on a crumbly texture.

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Add your water & yeast mix while mixing

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Mix till combined, then keep mixing for at least 5 more mins.  You want to have a soft, stretchy dough.  If you need to add a little more water, then do so a little at a time.

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Give your dough a hand kneed to really combine the gluten strands – gluten will give the naan its texture, so make sure you get a nice dough – good dough = good naan.

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Stick your dough back in your bowl and cover – place in a warm area to rise (needs to double in size – mine took about 40 mins – I have forgotten about it and had it try to escape out of the bowl – but try not to do this).

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After it’s risen, punch the middle of the dough and pull it out on to a well floured board.

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Rip off a palm sized portion of dough and roll in to naan(ish) shapes.

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Your naan should be stretchy, but not fall apart in your hands.  Pinching one end and lifting your dough will give your naan the traditional shape.  I promise, that’s the last time I’ll say ‘dough’ – it’s like reading a recipe written by Homer.

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Now, to cooking – this is how I do it to try and mimic a restaurant the best I can – I put my naans on a hot pizza stone under a hot grill (broiler) – this means that they are cooked a little on the underside but get direct heat from the top – it’s not quite the same, as my grill won’t get higher than 250C, so less than half a tandoor.  Keep your naans in until they start to brown (4-5 mins) – they may try to rise, so punch them down (you don’t want them touching the hot grill or you’ll end up with a small fire – please, learn from my mistakes)

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Once the first side is browned, flip your naans over and brush with melted butter.

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This is also the time to put on any toppings you want.

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Back under the grill for 3-4 mins more, until lightly browned.

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Serve with any curry – naans are usually best with rich the gravies that come with meat dishes, but seriously, they can go with anything – nothing like dipping naan into tomato soup to really go over the top – the toppings I used are sesame seeds, mustard seeds, garlic – traditionally, you’d put onion seeds on, but it’s not a commonly stocked item.  Feel free to experiment with whatever you want!

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Ok, as a bonus recipe, some of you might have some…errr…uncooked breadlike substance, – you can use the same stuff for making pitas.  Roll small hand-sized rounds and place in a dry pan.

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Let it start to rise and flip over.

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Push down to burst any bubbles.

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Serve with humus or, well, anything! My kids are having this for lunch tomorrow instead of a sandwich.

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11 responses to “Naan bread

  1. Pingback: Naan bread… | Ekant Cook Curry·

  2. Pingback: Seekh Kebab | Ekant Cook Curry·

  3. I’ve had good luck making my Naan on the barbecue. It tends to make those nice large bubbles though one side comes out looking grilled. I use garlic butter and sesame seeds on top. Mmm so good.

    • Take my paneer recipe (under skills) or get some premade paneer and crumble it. Add in some spices, like cumin and coriander powder – chilli, too! Then combine it like I do with my Aloo ka Paratha recipe (under bread) – BUT, rather than frying, I would cook under the grill. Beautiful :)

      Sent from my iPad

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