Naan-athon

That’s a stack of 23 naan that I made on Saturday for a curry night at some mate’s of Shaz.  Making them all wasn’t hard, just slow in the cooking thanks to me using only one heavy-bottomed pan and therefore cooking them one after another.
Here, then, is the recipe and technique for making naan bread at home.

Ingredients (makes 4-6 naan):
230g strong white flour
230g plain white flour
115ml water, room temp
120g yoghurt
1 1/2 tsp Active Dried Yeast
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp finely ground salt
40ml veg oil

Technique:
Take half of the water, heat it to lukewarm temp and add the yeast so that it rehydrates, leaving it for 10 mins.
Separately, sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a large mixing bowl.
After 10 mins, stir the yeasty water well and add it the remaining water and yoghurt in a smaller mixing bowl.
Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour the wet into it.  Use your hand to combine the ingredients to the point they are almost combined, then add the veg oil and mix further by hand to combine the oil, stopping as soon as it is more or less mixed in.
Cover the bowl and let stand for 10 mins.  Spread a little oil on your work-surface and dump the dough onto it, performing a short knead before returning to the bowl and recovering.
Repeat this process after a further 15 mins, then again after 30 mins, then leave for up to 2 hours at room temp.
Now the dough is ready for shaping and cooking.
Grab a heavy-bottomed frying pan, place it on the hob at medium high heat to warm up.  Switch on your grill to give it chance to reach max heat.
Flour the work surface lightly, take a piece of the dough about tennis ball size, or slightly smaller, and work it using your hands on the surface, gradually spreading it into a naan-shaped piece, about 2-3 mm in thickness.
When your pan is feeling really hot, place the naan directly into it, no oil.  Within under a minute, it should display bubbles appearing on the top surface, now remove the pan from the heat and place under your hot grill for between 45 and 90 seconds.
This should be long enough for some decent blistering of the dough to take place, and the underside should be cooked from the direct heat of the pan.  Replace the pan on your hob to get it back up to temperature before repeating with the next naan bread.
By adjusting the heat of the pan and grill, in conjunction with the thickness of the naan, you will learn how to create deliciously fluffy naans with authentic blistering and texture.
Finish the naan by spreading some melted butter across the top surface.  Serve immediately for best results, although naan can be reheated at later stage in a hot oven, if not needed immediately.

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