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    Naan

    This recipe for Indian Naan flatbreadis from Madhur Jaffrey’s book “Invitation to Indian Cooking.” I’ve used this book for many years and can honestly say that it is an excellent cook book. All the recipes are well presented and they all work just about as written. I’d warn you, however, that she calls for a lot of ingredients that most western cooks probably don’t have just sitting on their shelves. Fortunately, there are many reliable sources for Indian ingredients on the internet.

    Naan Bread is frequently baked in a Tandoor, an Indian oven that is built with the opening at the top. The interior is made of ceramic tiles. The baker/cook takes a piece of dough and slaps it on the side of the tandoor and puts the lid on the oven. Because the oven is very hot and the piece of dough is thin, the naan bakes very quickly. I don’t have a tandoor so I’ve approximated a tandoor with my oven. I put tiles on the oven rack and turned the temperature to the highest setting. This seems to work pretty well. I also tried using the broiler after I had heated the oven as high as it would go, but that didn’t work very well.

    Ingred Ounces Grams
    Bread Flour 14 400
    Warm milk 5 1/2 155
    Dry Yeast 1 1/4 tsp 6 ml
    Egg 1
    Salt 3/4 tsp 4 ml
    Sugar 2 tsp 10 ml
    Veg oil 2 Tblsp 30 ml
    Baking powder 1 tsp 5 ml
    Plain yogurt 4 Tblsp 60 ml
    Seeds 1/4 cup 60 ml

    For seeds, you may use black onion seeds or poppy seeds. 

    Method 

    1. Combine all the ingredients in a mixer and knead for 6 minutes. The dough will be smooth and just slightly tacky.
    2. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover and let ferment for 1 1/2 hours.
    3. Remove the dough from the bowl and fold it.
    4. Return the dough to the bowl and let it ferment for 30 minutes.
    5. Place tiles or a baking stone in the oven. Heat the oven to 550F / 290C or higher.
    6. Divide the dough into 6 portions and let the dough rest for 10 minutes.
    7. Shape each dough into 4″ x 11″ / 10cm x 27cm teardrops. Let the doughs rest 15-20 minutes.
    8. Slap the doughs on the stone or tiles and bake for 2 1/2 to 3 minutes.
    9. Remove from the oven and use as soon as possible. You may keep them warm in a covered basket. They freeze pretty well if you keep them in an airtight bag and allow them to come to room temperature before heating them up.

    Here we go:

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    Ingredients for the Naan. Adding the salt to the flour. Addintg the yogurt to the flour. Ready for mixing.
    Naan after two minutes of mixing. Naan after a bit more mixing. Naan after a bit more mixing. Naan dough coming together nicely.
    Naan dough on the counter, ready to ferment. Naan after first fermentation. Naan dough rolled out a bit, ready to fold. Naan dough halfway folded.
    Naan after folding. Naan back in bowl for second fermentation. Naan after second fermentation. Naan dough divided.
    The six naans partly shaped. Naans all shaped. Naan baked. Interior of naan.
    A naan on the baking tiles. The Family of Naan.




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