Naan at Home

Remember the other day when we were talking about soup and naan? It made me hungry and set me to work. Even before then, scarcely a week would go by before I would just happen to make it again. And now is the time to share it with you (like there’s ever a bad time for Indian food).

For those unfamiliar, naan is an Indian flatbread that is utterly delicious. It’s light and fluffy but has the power to absorb heavy sauces like a champ. It’s a staple in most Indian restaurants and tables. Traditionally, it’s made in hot clay ovens called tandoors (see also: tandoori chicken); the dough is rolled out and the discs are thrown against the side of the oven to cook. It’s blistered on the outside and warm on the inside, a perfect balance that doesn’t overwhelm a dish’s flavor.

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It’s also foolishly easy to make. It’s darn near pancakes easy. It is yeast-based, so it requires a couple of hours of waiting. And the obvious task of rolling. I can assure you it is well worth the little effort it requires. Make it yourself one time and you’ll never buy the overpriced grocery store crap again. 

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A note on the yeast:  the original recipe author is quite serious about the need for instant yeast. Fleischmann’s Rapid Rise is the same thing (different from the active dry, what it being all instantaneous and such). I have not tried it any other way.

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Naan

adapted from The Cupcake Project

1 tsp instant yeast

1 ½ cup warm milk, under 100F (I microwaved mine for forty five seconds. Use an instant read thermometer to be safe)

3 ½ cup all-purpose flour

1 tsp sea salt (less if you’re using iodized)

½ tsp sugar

Extra virgin olive oil

Garlic powder (optional)

Dissolve yeast in milk. Let sit for 10 minutes (if yours is not foamy, do this again with new yeast).

In a large bowl, whisk the flour, salt, and sugar to aerate and make a well in the center. Pour the milk mixture into the well. Knead dough until soft and elastic. Cover with a towel and place in a dark area for about two hours. Dough should roughly double in size.

Lightly flour your work surface and rolling pin. Break off a hunk of dough about the size of a tangerine. Roll into elegant circles laissez-faire random blobs. How thin you want them is really up to you; I like them pretty light but a thick naan is never unwelcome. Lay rolled naan on waxed paper. They take up more space when flattened, so I usually layer a row of them between sheets of wax paper and stack it up. Once rolled, season one side of dough with garlic powder (or really, whatever spice you prefer even if that’s none at all). Brush the other side with water.

Heat up about a teaspoon of the olive oil in a skillet (it’s a lot easier if it’s nonstick). Lay the naan, wet side down, in the skillet. Bubbles will start to form. After this happens, check the underside of the na’an for preferred brownness. Once you’re there, flip and cook the other side until browned This will take significantly less time. Repeat, lightly oiling the skillet before you cook each (you can put some olive oil on a paper towel and give it a quick swipe to keep the oil content lower).  Keep cooked naans warm in a clean towel until all are ready to serve.

Serve with saucy dishes, skewered meats, or soup. These reheat very well in a toaster oven but can certainly also be microwaved. I strongly recommend serving them warm.

Makes 6-8 big naans.

-April

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11 Notes

  1. starcrossedcooks posted this