Naan is a leavened oven-baked flat bread which has its origin in Asia. It is common in Indian cuisine. There are many variations of this bread, all with their unique twists and tastes. This is a basic naan recipe which can be modified by adding herbs, garlic and other spices. It is easy to make as most of the time spent is spent waiting for the dough to rise. This is a recipe by Manjula, an Indian cook.
For 6 Naans:
(1) 260 Grams All Purpose Flour (2 Cups) (More for rolling and shaping)
(2) 1 Teaspoon Salt
(3) 1 Teaspoon Sugar
(4) 1 Teaspoon Active Dry Yeast
(5) 1/8 Teaspoon Baking Soda (A Pinch)
(6) 2 Tablespoons Oil (Like Canola, Corn, Sunflower)
(7) 2-1/2 Tablespoons Yogurt
(8) 3/4 Cup Lukewarm Water
(9) Ghee for Brushing Naan. Recipe for Ghee can be found here.
(1) Mix the water and yeast together. Let stand for a couple of minutes to dissolve yeast.
(2) Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl. Add yeast mixture and mix until a dough forms. Knead for about 5 more minutes to make dough smooth. The dough will be sticky. You can wet your hands a bit to help with the kneading process. The final dough will be soft but not very smooth. That’s fine.
(3) Cover dough and allow to rise for 3 hours or until it doubles in volume. Keep in a warm place.
(4) About 30 minutes to the end of the rising period, preheat oven to 500 degrees. If you have a pizza stone, place it in the oven. Alternatively, invert a baking tray and place in the oven to heat up.
(5) While waiting for the dough to rise, you can make your ghee which will be used to brush the breads when they come out of the oven. Recipe for ghee can be found here.
(6) After 3 hours, deflate dough and divide into 6 equal parts. You might want to use an electric scale for accuracy. This however is not absolutely necessary.
(7) Dip each portion of dough into some flour and roll out into rectangles or elongated shapes.
Note: If you do not deep dough in flour, it will be too sticky to work with. Believe me, I tried.
(8) Transfer rolled out naans to your hot pizza stone or inverted baking tray and allow to bake for 3 minutes. This can be done in batches. After 3 minutes, you will notice some dark spots on the naans. If you are lucky, your naans will puff up into balloons when they are ready. They will however deflate when taken out of the oven.
(9) As soon as the naans are out of the oven, brush them with some ghee. They can be served, hot, warm or at room temperature.
TIP: To make garlic and/or herb naan, grate some garlic and mince some herbs finely. Sprinkle these on the naan dough half way through rolling so the rolling pin presses them into the dough. Bake as you would with regular naan.
For some extra indulgence, serve naan with some ghee as a dipping condiment. The marriage is phenomenal.