The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Naan

gothicgirl's picture
gothicgirl

Naan

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 

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 www.evilshenanigans.com - 2/27/2009

Comments

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

Thank you gothicgirl, beautifully done!

Sylvia

gothicgirl's picture
gothicgirl

Thank you!

ejm's picture
ejm

Beautiful looking naan, GG. And aren't they delicious? 

-Elizabeth

P.S. We make our naan with plain yoghurt rather than milk and bake them in the barbecue whenever possible:

Bake naan in the barbecue: Preheat the barbecue to high. Place each shaped naan directly on the grill. Close the lid of the barbecue. Cook for about 2 minutes or so on one side. Using tongs, turn over when they have puffed. Continue to cook on the other side til they seem done. (complete baking takes about 5 minutes) Put the finished naan into a basket. Butter them while they're hot, if you want.

gothicgirl's picture
gothicgirl

Yogurt sounds like it would add a lot of flavor.  I will have to try that.  Thanks for the wonderful idea!!

I have grilled my naan before and it was very nice.  I also used grilled naan as the base for a very tasty, and quickly eaten, pizza.  

 

ejm's picture
ejm

We stretch our naan dough rather than rolling it. We like that some of the naan is thin and some is thicker - soft bread vs. crispy.

And while I haven't seen it actually cooking in a tandoor, I suspect that it does puff there too. It's just that by the time it reaches the table, the air pocket has diminished.

-Elizabeth

avaserfi's picture
avaserfi

I have been making this bread weekly since discovering the recipe. This week it will be used for lunch wraps with tuna salad. Last week it was falafel with homemade tahini. Delicious!


 

xaipete's picture
xaipete

Yum, Avaserif (I don't know what you name is). Those look delicious and I adore falafel.

--Pamela

loydb's picture
loydb

... to go with tandoori chicken & mushroom curry. They rock, thanks so much!

I made ghee with a dozen cloves of garlic simmering with the butter for about an hour (skimming solids), and added a tablespoon of the ghee and a few tablespoons of the garlic cloves (mashed up) to the dough. I cooked them on a 500-degree bread stone, they puffed up beautifully. I did about a minute on each side, and just flipped them with tongs.

Half the dough is in the fridge in a baggie for tonight!

 

 

loydb's picture
loydb

I've used skim, 1% and 2% with success. Thanks for reminding me about this recipe, it's time to make it again :)

 

 

zoso's picture
zoso

This is a good recipe for a quick naan bread


450g Self Raising flour
1/2tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
2tbsp veg oil
4 tbsp plain yoghurt (beaten)
2 eggs (beaten)
150ml water approx

(can add garlic, herbs, spices to flavour)

Sift flour, salt, baking powder into bowl and add oil, yoghurt and eggs (plus any herbs/spices you want to add) and mix. Add water slowly, using hands to bring together until you have a soft dough. Knead with wet hands for a couple mins then leave to rest for 15 mins.

Pre-heat oven to highest temp and place baking tray in to heat up.

Divide dough into 6 equal portions, and with floured hands roll each piece into a ball in palms of hand. Pull each ball out into a tear shape and place 2 at a time onto hot baking baking tray and return to oven immediately for about 3-4 minutes. Remove tray from oven and place under hot grill for about 30 seconds to brown and crisp top lightly. Brush with melted butter/Gee. Keep warm in clean tea-towel.

LT72884's picture
LT72884

I have a special pizza stone for my wood fired grill at home. i can hit temps of 700 or so. i think im gonna try it out. Im looking for a recipe that will work as a flatbread, pizza crust and as rolls.

 

i like to put greek salad on my flat bread and then fold it up and eat it.

sonia101's picture
sonia101

Fantastic recipe, thanks so much for sharing! I made them the other night with Indian butter chicken, the whole family loved them.

sunnspot9's picture
sunnspot9

For someone a bit industrious, Alton Brown shows how to create your own makeshift tandoor oven in this video at mark 10:30, curious how it might turn out, I love naan, but I am not this constructive, even though it looks fairly simple.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aMBMoTag-Mk

He doesn't use it to make naan, he uses it to cook chicken, but he shows naan being made in a restaurant on an industrial tandoor, so it seems like it could be done.

TaiMai13's picture
TaiMai13

I just posted about it today. Our stories are quite similar but recipes are quite different. Your result looks great. I'll study this recipe a bit more and see what I can learn. Isn't it so great to finally allow something wonderful to happen?!!

Here's to naan!