Friday, February 15, 2013

Traditional Naan Bread

We've been eating Indian Food for the past few days and I thought it was about time for me to make some Naan to go with it.  Naan is delicious and easy to make, in your home oven and if you're lucky enough to have a wood fired oven… well even better!


Naans are traditionally cooked in a Tandoor or earthen oven but can also be made in your oven at home. Serve this delicious bread hot, with Indian food, Tandoori Chicken or kebabs of different kinds. The dough for Naans needs to be made a few hours in advance.
Prep Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours

1 1/2 tsp. dry yeast
1 cup warm water (110f about like bath water)
1 1/2 tsp. sugar
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. salt (or to taste)
6 Tbl. ghee (clarified butter)
3 Tbl. yogurt
3 tsp. onion seeds

Add the dry yeast, sugar and warm water together and stir till the yeast is dissolved. Cover and set aside for 10 minutes or until the mixture begins to form bubbles. This indicates the yeast is active. Set aside.
Mix the flour and salt to taste and sift into a large mixing bowl then add the yeast mixture, 3 Tbl. of ghee and the yogurt.
Use your fingertips to mix into a soft, dough. Once mixed, flour a clean, flat work surface and knead the dough till it is smooth and elastic.
Grease a large bowl with a few drops of cooking oil and place the dough in it. Cover and allow to rest for about 90 minutes or until the dough doubles in volume.
Punch the dough down and knead again for 10 minutes.
Equally divide the dough into pieces and roll between your palms to form round balls.
Lightly flour, (if using a wood fired oven, use rice flour to allow the Naan to slide off the peel)  the work surface and roll out each ball until you have a circle, 7-8 inches in diameter and about1/2" thick. You can also pat it into a the circles with your hands.
Gently pull on one edge of the circle to form the Naan into a teardrop shape. Do not pull too hard or you may tear the dough.

Traditional oven;
Preheat your oven 200 C/ 400 F.
Cover a baking sheet with a piece of aluminum foil and grease lightly with a few drops of cooking oil.
Place as many Naans as will fit without touching each other, on the baking sheet.
Brush each Naan well with some ghee and sprinkle with a pinch of onion seeds.
Put the baking sheet into the oven and cook till the Naan begins to puff out and get lightly brown. Flip the Naan and repeat.
Remove from oven and serve hot in a towel-covered bread-basket.
Wood Fired oven;
Push hot coal back away from desired cooking area.  Brush and clean well.  Slide the Naan into the hot oven and stay put, watching the Naan bread.  As it puffs up you may want to rotate the Naan if the side closest to the fire is rising faster.  As soon as it puffs up flip and brown the other side.
Remove from oven and serve hot in a towel-covered bread-basket.

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