The Fresh Loaf

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Indian Bread

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dabrownman's picture

We were feeding the yeast water on the 3th of July and didn’t want to throw any YW away.  With the 4th of July the next day and knowing it would only be my apprentice and I for dinner that night, we decided to have some rib eye steak kabobs, veggie kabobs and garam masala rice and beans.

 What was missing was some Naan to put the dinner in to eat it properly.  We decided not to bake the Naan or cook it on the stove top but dry fry it in the cast iron skillet on the grill while grilling the kabobs.  After making pizza the other day on the grill we thought it would be fun.

 We were inspired by Sonia101’s unusual Roti here:

and by Delta_v’s stove top Naan here:

You can see my Naan were larger than 12" and got squished at the edges to fit the pan - no worries !

 We built a 2 stage yeast water levain, 4 hours each using durum atta and AP flour.  After 8n hours it had doubled and was ready to go.  At the 6 hour mark we autolysed the bread flour with the liquids and the spices.  We held out the Greek yogurt, fresh herbs, green onion, baking soda and salt.

 The YW levain and the autolysed flours were mixed with the salt and Greek yogurt for 4 minutes on KA 2 and then 4 minutes on KA 3.  The baking soda was then added and mixed in for 1 minute on KA 3.

 The dough was then rested for 20 minutes.  Then it was turned out on a lightly floured surface and hand kneaded for 5 minutes and allowed to rest covered for 10 minutes.  The fresh herbs and green onions were then worked into the dough using S & F’s.

 The dough was allowed to develop and ferment for 1 hour.  (2)150 gpieces were separated out for the Naan and shaped into a ball and allowed to rest for 10 minutes.  The remainder of the dough was shaped into a loaf and placed into an oil sprayed Pyrex loaf pan and allowed to double over 4 hours.


Kabobs and..............................................................................Naan with Mexican Chipotle Pink Sauce

 The Naan balls were rolled and pressed out to 12”circles and covered with plastic for 30 minutes.  Then they were transferred to a floured peel like a pizza for chucking into the skillet on the grill – closing the lid. The gauge read 450 F.   After cooking for about 2-3 minutes the Naan was flipped and the cooked side, now facing up was brushed with Mojo de Ajo.  After another couple of minutes the bread was flipped again onto the Mojo de Ajo side allowed to fry for about a minute.  The bread was then folded to fit into a tortilla warmer while the 2nd Naan was fried. 

 The un-slashed loaf of bread, using the same dough, was baked in the mini oven at450 Fafter preheating with 'Sylvia’s Steam' at 500 F.  It was steamed for 12 minutes then the steam was removed, the loaf rotated 180 degrees and the mini oven was turned down to 425 F convection this time.  The loaf was rotated every 5 minutes until it was done and205 Fon the inside – about another 20 minutes – 32 minutes baking time total.  It was left in the oven with the door ajar and heat off for 10 minutes to further crisp the skin.

 The loaf and the Naan were both terrific.  The loaf was nicely browned, blistered and crunchy when it came out of the oven but it softened as it cooled.  The crumb was open, soft and moist.  It tasted like Japanese white bread met Indian curry.  When toasted with butter and corn jam it was just great.

Peach and mango Crisp for desert

 The Naan ended up with some soft and crunchy parts that made it unique.  It went well with the kabobs and tasted like a plate of Indian veggies and spices.  Yummy. 

Toasted with butter and carrot jam - delish!!

The formula follows;

Yeast Water Naan with Paneer, Garam Masala, Onion Garlic, Cumin and Cilantro     
StarterBuild 1Build 2Total% 
Durum Atta7007015.56% 
YW 70,Water 70707014031.11% 
Total Starter14014028062.22% 
Levain % of Total28.00%    
Dough Flour %   
Durum Atta22550.00%   
Dough Flour450100.00%   
Dough Hydration57.78%    
Total Flour590    
Total Liquid400    
T. Dough Hydration67.80%    
Whole Grain %50.00%    
Hydration w/ Adds67.80%    
Total Weight1,000    
Add - Ins     
1/4 tsp each ground coriandr and cumin    
1 T sugar     
1 tsp each garlic, onion and garam masala powders  
1 T fresh garlic chives     
2 T fresh cilantro     
1 minced green onion     
2 T Greek yogurt     
1/8 tsp baking soda.     
Mojo de Ajo for brushing on one side of the Naan   
1/2 C Shredded Paneer     
alina's picture

Anybody make roti canai?

June 27, 2009 - 5:04am -- alina

Has anyone here had success making roti canai?  It is the Malaysian version of Indian parathas, that I ate when I was in Malaysia earlier this year.  Flaky, crisp on the outside, layers of soft chew on the inside, sometimes filled with egg, meat, or banana.

The shaping of the dough was interesting, too.  It was flung around in a circular motion and slapped onto the counter until it was paper thin and nearly see-through, then folded into an envelope and thrown on the griddle.

gothicgirl's picture

For the most part, I have had a lot of luck with bread recipes.  If it does not work out the way I want on the first try I begin the tweaking process.  It is not always fast but I get there in the end.  I say for the most part because I have had one bread nemesis.  One bread that, no matter how I tried, would never work out the way I wanted.  

That bread was the delicious Indian flat bread called naan.

Naan Fixins

Naan is my nemesis no longer.  Now I have a recipe for naan that is tender, chewy, crispy, and soft all at once, and is terrific stuffed with curry.  The recipe is adapted from one found here.  

Along with a good recipe I have a good cooking method.  Naan is made, traditionally, in a tandoor oven which produces an insane amount of heat.  If you want naan that has the right texture, the soft inside with the chewy exterior, you have to find a way to replicate a tandoor at home.  I tried the grill with average results.  I tried the stove, in a similar way that I cooked my tortillas, but it was not hot enough.  

I make pizza at home from time to time and have two very well seasoned pizza stones.  On the internet I had read that some bakers use their pizza stones, in a smoking hot oven, to achieve a tender interior with a crisp exterior.   It sounded promising, so I tried it.  I heated the oven to 500 F with my pizza stone on the lowest rack of the oven.  I let it heat for thirty minutes and then added one rolled out piece of naan.  It was as close as I will ever get to perfect, and it is pretty darn close!

Naan Dough Divided

Another thing I discovered is that you need to have patience.  Don't rush the naan.  Give the dough a two hour ferment, then after they dough is divided give it the full half hour proof on the bench before rolling.  Letting the dough develop will give you the taste and texture you want.


Naan   Yield 12 naan

3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp dry active yeast
1 1/2 cup milk, heated to 110F
1 tsp sugar
ghee to taste

Activate the yeast in the warm milk with the sugar added.

Combine the flour and salt.  Once the yeast is active, combine the yeast mixture with the flour mixture.  Mix in a stand mixer on medium speed for 5 minutes, or knead by hand until the dough is smooth and elastic.

Allow to rest for two hours, covered with a towel or plastic.

Naan DoughNaan Dough Divided

After the dough has rested turn it out onto a floured surface and divide into 12 equal pieces and round them into balls.  Cover with a towel and allow to rest for 30 minutes.

While the dough rests heat your oven to 500 F and place a pizza stone, or cast iron skillet, on the bottom rack of the oven.

Naan Rolled Out

Once fully rested roll out the dough until it is about 6″ to 7″ wide.  It should be fairly thin.

Naan on the StoneNaan Baked

Moisten your hands with water, gently pass the dough between your hands to moisten gently, then lay on the hot pizza stone.  Close the oven and bake for 2 1/2 to 3 minutes, or until puffed and beginning to get brown spots.

Remove from the oven, brush lightly with ghee (or melted butter) and cover with a cloth.  You may need to press the naan to release the air inside.

Serve warm.

Posted at - 2/27/2009

gothicgirl's picture

When I was taking my Breads & Rolls class last year in culinary school we made an Indian bread called Aloo Paratha. It is a wheat bread dough that is filled with a curried potato mixture, rolled flat and cooked on a hot griddle. They were, in a word, delicious!


I have thought of them fondly, but had not gotten around to making them when the curry bug bit one afternoon. I had potatoes, I had Indian spices, and I had wheat flour. I would make parathas to go along with some Curry Crusted Chicken Thighs.

Aloo Paratha    Yield 8 parathas

For the dough -

2 1/4 whole wheat flour
1 cup warm water
1 teaspoon salt

For the filling -

1 lb. potatoes (about 2 large)
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon coriander
1/2 teaspoon nigella seeds
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped fine
salt and pepper
vegetable oil, or ghee, for brushing the parathas

Aloo Fixins 



In the bowl of a stand mixer mix the flour, salt and water with the dough hook for 5 minutes on medium speed.  The dough should be quite soft and a little sticky.

Aloo Dough

Cover the bowl with plastic and allow to rest for 30 minutes. 


Aloo Paratha Filling Fixins 


While that rests make your filling.


Boil the potatoes in their jackets, or microwave for 12 minutes, until soft.  Allow to cool slightly then carefully peel the potatoes and put them in a bowl.  Add the spices, cilantro, oil, mustard, and season with salt and pepper.  Mix well and form the mixture into 8 equal sized balls.  (I used a disher for this to make sure the balls were all the same size)


Aloo Paratha Filling 


After the dough is rested turn it out on a floured surface and divide it into eight equal pieces.  Flatten with your fingers and place a ball of filling in the center.  Wrap the filling with the dough, making sure the dough is completely sealed.  Repeat with the remaining pieces of dough and filling.

Aloo Paratha, Wrapped in Dough 


Gently pat out the parathas into fat disks, then carefully roll them out until they are between 6″ and 7″. 


Aloo Paratha - Rolled out 


Cook the parathas on a smooth griddle over medium heat for two minutes.  Flip the parathas, which should be lightly browned and spotty, and brush the cooked side with vegetable oil or ghee.  After two minutes flip again and brush the second side with oil or ghee.  Cook for 30 seconds per side then transfer to a plate and cover with a towel. 


Aloo Paratha  

Repeat until all the parathas are cooked.

Published on - 3/13/2009

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