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INDIAN NAAN BREAD

Introduction & method

Many people consider making naan (and any other type of bread) a bit of a challenge. It doesn't need to be, but the problem with naan is it's supposed to be cooked in a very hot clay oven (a tandoor), and not many people have one of those. But this recipe is as close as you can get to the authentic taste and texture.

Indian Naan Bread Recipe

Make the naan dough


Add the yoghurt to the yeast mixture and stir until smooth. Mix the flour and salt together in a large bowl and add the starter and half of the melted butter or ghee. Mix well, then gradually add water until it comes together in a ball of sticky-ish dough. Tip out onto a floured suface, and knead for about 5-10 minutes. The kneading is important to develop the gluten, which is what gives the bread its chewy texture. Form into a ball, coat with a little vegetable oil, place in a clean bowl and leave, covered, until doubled in size - 1-2 hours.

Form the naan


Tip the dough out onto the worktop and punch the air out of it. Divide it into 3-4 equal portions and roll them into balls. Flatten each ball into a disc, and if you wish, stretch one end away from you to create a teardrop shape (this is the classic shape that naan acquires when it is suspended in a tandoor). Cover the naan with a clean tea-towel and let them prove again for about half an hour. Press seeds into one side of the dough, turn it over and sprinkle this side with water.

Cook the naan


This is where it gets tricky. I would love to say 'do this, do that, all will be fine'. But no, if you don't have a tandoor, you'll need to experiment to figure out what works for you. Basically your options are to cook on the stovetop or in the oven.

Stovetop method


Heat a large frying pan or skillet, without oil, until it smokes. Place naan in it, wet side down, and cook for 2 minutes. With a bit of luck, you'll get a few bubbles forming in the dough. Pick the naan up with tongs and turn it over to cook for another couple of minutes. If you are feeling brave, you might try getting a char by holding the naan (using tongs!) over the gas flame or direct over an electric hob.

Oven method


Preheat your oven as hot as it will go. If you have a pizza stone, preheat that in there too. Failing that, use a pizza tray. When it's all as hot as it can be, place the naan dough on the stone or tray, wet side down, and cook for 2 minutes. Now turn it over and cook for a further 2 minutes. Remove the naan from the oven. If you haven't got any charring going on, you could zap it with a blowtorch.

Finish


Paint the naan with melted butter. Eat with gusto.
 



The video above is from the Keef Cooks YouTube channel. Click here to see the video recipe of Indian Naan Bread on YouTube.

 
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Ingredients & Info


BATTER
•  250 grams plain white (all-purpose) flour
•  120 ml warm water
•  1 sachet active dried yeast
•  half a tsp salt
•  half a tsp sugar
•  125 gs plain yogurt
•  2 tbsp unsalted butter or ghee

PLUS
Nigella, poppy or sesame seeds to garnish (optional)

UNITS:
Metric
Imperial
US (cups, sticks, etc)

Makes 3 -4 naan
Prep time: 15 minutes. proving time: 2 hours.
Cooking time: 5 minutes.
Total time: 2 hours 20 minutes.

Watch the video on YouTube