03 Sep, 2009
Easy recipe for naan bread
Posted by andrea tomkins in: - iKnead
Let’s be crystal clear about one thing. I don’t have a tandoor or clay oven. Tandoors are Indian in origin, and naan bread - a delicous chewy flatbread which is served hot - is traditionally baked on the walls of the oven while meat cooks over a charcoal or wood fire inside. But I discovered you can make a decent naan bread without one.
Naan bread is traditionally spread with ghee (which is clarified butter) or regular butter and is often used for scooping up saucy Indian fare. (Like butter chicken. I could eat butter chicken for breakfast I JUST LOVE IT SO MUCH.)
I found a great little recipe for naan bread in my Joy of Cooking. It’s not exactly authentic - no ghee here! - but I’ve made this recipe a couple times now and I think you have to try it too. If you like fresh hot bread you will probably love it as much as I do. (Regardless of whether you’re eating it with Indian food!) This recipe makes a lovely flatbread that you can eat as is or add your own toppings. (I wonder if it would make a good pizza or base for bruschetta?)
You will need:
- 2 cups bread flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 2 tablespoons unsalted melted butter (my preference) or vegetable oil
- 3/4 cup plain yogurt (my preference) or buttermilk, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon water as needed
Combine flour, salt, and yeast in a large bowl. Add melted butter, yogurt, and one teaspoon of the water (you may need more but don’t overdo it) and mix until a soft ball of dough is formed. Knead for 10 minutes. You should end up with a ball of dough that is slightly tacky, but not sticky (that means it’s too wet). Transfer to a clean bowl which has been greased with olive oil. Turn ball of dough to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and leave in your oven with the light on for 90 minutes while you go do something else.
Punch the dough down and divide into four equal pieces - use a knife, don’t tear! Roll each piece into a ball, cover and let rest for 10 minutes. Using a rolling pin, smoosh each ball into an oval, about 1/4″ thick and about 8″ long.
Bake on a baking stone in a 475° oven for 6 or 7 minutes OR brush each one with oil (on both sides) and grill on a hot BBQ. I’ve made them both ways and they’re best on the BBQ. Try brushing lightly with oil, sprinkle with salt, freshly ground pepper and some oregano. Sorta like this:
They’ll poof up a little during baking. Serve them hot off the grill.
(I don’t have any “after” photos. They were eaten before I had a chance to get the camera.)
I am sorry to say that this recipe only makes four naan. They’re AMAZING with tzatziki. (Recipe to follow!)
Let me know if you try it out!
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