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Naan

Fri, Feb 27, 2009

Baking, Featured Articles, Indian, Recipes

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.

Naan 

Serve warm.

© 2009, Evil Shenanigans – Baking & Cooking Blog. All rights reserved.

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11 Responses to “Naan”

  1. Hairball says:

    Why would you go through the monkey business of making your own dough when there’s whack-a-dough in the refrigeration section of your regular groshury store?

    Just kidding!
    I love all forms of bread and this looks really yummy. :)

  2. Kelly says:

    I know right? I could have made naan that looked like it was baked from scratch with some whack-a-dough from my regular groshury store! Whoot!

    I also love bread … carbs in general. Thanks! :)

  3. gaga says:

    Yum, I love naan too and yours looks wonderful. I’m glad you finally found success with it!

    The method I found that most closely mimicks a tandoori oven is similar to yours. I heat the pizza stone at 500 on the 2nd to highest rack (I found the highest rack caused my naan to catch on fire when it puffed up). After the stone is hot, I use the broiler and toss my naan in for just about a minute per side. I may try your way next time though, it seems a lot less dangerous than mine :)

  4. Kelly says:

    I hope it works as well for you as it did for me! Honestly, the pizza stone is a baker’s best buddy! :)

  5. Memoria says:

    Your naan looks amazing. I must try your recipe; it looks a lot better than the one I usually use.

  6. Tia says:

    I just tried this recipe and the breads turned out to be… so yummmmy!

    Thank you for sharing! (:

  7. Awesome, that’s precisely what I was hunting for! You just spared me alot of digging around

  8. Melanie says:

    I have been searching…and searching…and searching for the naan recipe that will make me very happy. I have made three recipes lately that have disappointed. I have a feeling this might be the one…will be making very soon!

  9. Eva says:

    I made your recipe last night and it was lovely! I baked it on an inverted cast iron pan in the BBQ, trying to replicate a tandoor oven! By far the best naan recipe yet. I’ll be blogging about it in the coming weeks. I’ll be sure to link back, thanks.

  10. carly says:

    These are the best, I have spent weeks hunting for the perfect wrap for gyros, there are kots of good recipes but none were what I was lookng for….the search is over! Me and my family LOVED these! X

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Indian Dinner Party: Naan « Kitcheninspirations - December 13, 2012

    [...] looking for. I thought I had found them on occasion, but not quite. That is, until now. I found the Evil Shananigans and it seems that the author Kelly was in the same spot I had been in for so many years. Thank [...]

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