Naan by Meera Sodha

from book “Made in India: Recipes from an Indian Family Kitchen”

NOTE: The Guardian’s naan recipe is WAAY better (it is lighter and flakier). This recipe is good, but it is very heavy and very dense.

YIELD: 8 small naan

RISE: 60-90 minutes, then roll out and cook

INGREDIENTS:

4 cups (or 500 grams) chapati flour OR bread flour OR all purpose flour
2 tablespoons neutral oil, like canola, plus a teaspoon more
4 tablespoons whole-milk yogurt
1 packet of active dried yeast, or 7 grams
2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 level teaspoon baking powder
1 cup whole milk, warmed

DIRECTIONS:

1. Put the flour into a large mixing bowl. Make a well in the middle, and add two tablespoons of the oil to it, along with the yogurt, yeast, sugar, salt and baking powder. Use your fingers to combine the ingredients until they resemble crumbs, and then add the warm milk in splashes, mixing until it comes together into a dough.

2. Put the dough on a clean, well-floured cutting board. It will be very sticky. Flour your hands, and knead the dough for five minutes or so, then scrape off your hands and knead it again, making it into a round ball. Rub a teaspoon of oil over the exterior of the dough, and place it in a clean mixing bowl. Cover with a dish towel, and place in a warm spot to rise for 60 to 90 minutes, or until it has doubled in size.

3. Using a knife, divide the dough into 8 pieces. Take each piece, roll it into a ball and flatten it between your palms. Dust the dough with flour, and roll each piece out into an oval of about 5 by 8 inches.

4. Place a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, and allow it to get hot. When it is, cook one naan in it for 30 to 40 seconds on one side, or until it begins to bubble, then use a spatula to flip it over to cook the other side for about the same amount of time, checking regularly to make sure that it does not burn. Flip the naan one more time, and press on it lightly with your spatula for 10 to 15 seconds, then remove to a warm platter. Repeat with the rest of the dough. (Keep the finished naan in a low oven, or wrap in foil until ready to serve.)

NOTE1: Made this Nov 24 2015. Delicious! I baked it in a 500 F oven on a pizza stone, and flipped the naan once it started bubbling. I topped it with a garlic butter sauce. Yum! I made four naan from half the dough, and rolled out and froze the other four between sheets of parchment paper.

NOTE2: TO FREEZE THE NAAN: Take leftover dough and roll out as directed above. Plaze in a gallon sized freezer ziplock bag, wth a piece of parchment paper separating each naan. Let freeze solid. To make: preheat the oven, take the naan out of the freezer. DO NOT DEFROST. Just wet the frozen naan and place in oven on pizza stone for a few minutes on each side. Cooks well, just takes a minute or so more than the nonfrozen naan. Once it’s made, you’ll never tell the difference.

SIDE NOTE: Interesting article about searching for the perfect naan recipe: http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/wordofmouth/2014/oct/02/how-to-make-perfect-naan-bread-recipe

 

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