As I mentioned in this week’s Meatless Monday post, I made a batch of naan bread to go along with the chana masala. It was surprisingly easy to make, which is probably due largely to the fact that the bread only takes 5-6 minutes to bake in the oven. The recipe for the dough is similar to most yeast breads, but it’s wetter with the addition of yogurt and milk.
Naan is best served fresh, when the bread is still warm and puffed up. It’s similar to pita bread but the naan is lighter and has a softer texture. It’s a great with Indian dishes or served with yogurts and chutneys.
Naan From How to Cook Everything
Makes about 12 naan
2 tspn instant yeast 2 TBSP milk 2 TBSP yogurt 1 TBSP sugar 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 1/2 cup whole wheat flour (or just use a full 4 cups all-purpose flour) 1 egg 2 tspn salt Neutral oil Melted butter for serving
Stir together the yeast, milk, yogurt and sugar in a bowl and reserve. Combine the flour, egg and salt in a mixer (or a food processor). Turn the machine onto a low-to-medium setting and pour in the yeast mixture. With the machine running, slowly add 1 1/2 cups water until the mixture forms a ball that is slightly sticky to the touch. If the ball is dry, add a little more water. If too wet, add more flour a tablespoon at a time.
Roll the dough onto a floured surface and knead by hand for a little bit to form a smooth ball. Put the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rise until the dough doubles in size, about 1-2 hours.
Put a baking stone (or a baking sheet) on the lowest rack in the oven and heat to 500 degrees.
Punch the dough down. Using enough flour to keep from sticking, roll the dough into a long snake and cut into 12 equal balls. Cover and let rest for 15 minutes. Using a lightly floured pin, roll the balls into an oval shape, about 6-8 inches long and 3-4 inches wide.
Open the oven and toss the naan onto the cooking stone, working in batches and baking as many as will fit on the stone at one time. Close the oven door and bake for 3 minutes. Flip the naan and bake for another 2-3 minutes. The naan is ready when it’s puffed up and browned around the edges.
Store the naan on a tray and wrapped in a kitchen towel to keep warm. Serve as soon as possible, with one side brushed with melted butter.
Another option for finishing the baked naan is to heat the bread over an open flame until lightly blackened. You can do this on a grill or just over a stove top burner, using tongs to hold the naan. It will end up looking like this: