Home Made Naan

Home Made Naan

 

Every time  we  are in  a  North Indian  restaurant  the  must order item from the menu is Naan.  Soft  and  puffy  this flat bread is the  perfect  way  to scoop up the spicy curries  or  to wrap that  hot  juicy kabob .  Making  these  the   traditional  way is  an  art.   The  bakers hand stretch the  dough  and  paste it  on the  wall of  the hot  tandoor.  Sixty seconds  later in goes  the iron  poker   to   bring the  piping hot naan  out.  Hot an  puffy and  brushed  with  generous  amount  of  ghee  (or  not !) these  are indeed  a  treat.

Tandoors   have  been  in use   for  centuries  and  even  millennia.   These   were  not  the  run of  the  mill wooden  stoves  in  the  village  homes,  most  were  owned  and  operated by the  village  food  vendors  or  part of the communal  kitchens.  Temperatures  inside the  tandoor  reach very high ,  as  high as  800 to 900 degree F.  Cooking   at  these  temperatures   gives  the  bread  its  puffy texture  and  the characteristic  light smokey flavor.   One  can  get a  very close  approximation   at  home , but if  you have a  a  tandoor  or  a pizza  oven I urge  you  to use  it.

Home made Naan
Plain Naan Just Out Of The Oven

Unlike  the  other popular  flat breads  of   the region Naan  is  a  leavened  bread.  Traditionally these  were  leavened  by  the ambient  wild yeast  or  using   a  piece  of  the  old  dough.  Wild  yeast  brings out  complex  flavors, but  increases the leavening  time.  To get  a  taste of  the  depth of  flavors  the  the wild yeast brings  try  my Sourdough Naan  recipe.  Modern  recipes  use the  packaged  active  dry yeast  thus  drastically shortening  the  leavening  period.  The  recipe  today takes  about  2  hours  from start to finish.

Naan

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours

Naan

Ingredients

Unbleached All Purpose Flour or Maida - 400gm (3 1/3 C)
Sugar - 3 gm (1/2 Tsp )
Active Dry Yeast - 5 gm (2 Tsp)
Salt - 6gm (1 Tsp)
Yogurt - 60 gm (4 Tbsp)
Water - 200 gms (3/4 C + 2 Tbsp)
Clarified Butter or oil - 1 Tbsp (optional)
Optional Toppings
Minced Garlic
Cilantro

Instructions

Warm 60 gms of water (1/4 C ) and dissolve the sugar in it. The mix shuld be just warm to touch (100˚–110˚F).Sprinkle the yeast on top and set aside for 5 minutes . The yeast should froth up. If not discard and try with another batch of yeast.

Take the flour and salt in large mixing bowl. Add yogurt and the yeast water and mix. Slowly add the remaining water and knead. The dough will start out sticky , but as you knead the flour absorbs the moisture. If the dough feels too wet and sticky after a few minutes of kneading add a couple more tablespoons of flour. Knead for 10 minutes to get a a very soft and pliable dough. If using the stand mixer , use the dough hook on low setting. Form into a ball.

Pour a little oil into a bowl and place the dough in it. Turn to coat all sides of the dough with oil. Cover and set aside on a warm place to rise till doubled - about 1 hr.

Punch down the dough and divide into 6 pieces . Roll each piece into a ball and let rest for 10 minutes.

Lightly oil a rolling surface. Take one dough ball and place it on the rolling surface . Use the heel of the palms to press the dough and stretch it out into a teardrop shape. If using toppings spread it on top of the Naan and gently press in place. Follow any of the following methods to cook the Naan

Oven with Pizza Stone

If you have a pizza stone in the oven , pre heat the oven to the highest setting. Keep heating once it has reached the desired temperature for at least 20 minutes for the stone to get heated as well .Use a pizza peel or a cookie sheet to slide the shaped naan to the hot stone . Bake for a couple minutes , until it blisters and begins to brown. Remove from the oven and brush with ghee.

Stove top and Broiler

Heat a thick bottomed tawa, or cast iron pan on high heat. Turn on the broiler. Place a cookie sheet on a rack about 4 inches away from the broiler. Test the pan by sprinkling a couple drops of water on the pan. If the water sizzles and jumps out the pan is hot enough. Place the naan on the hot pan and cook for 30 seconds until bubbles appear on top . Transfer to the cookie sheet under the broiler and cook for 1 to 2 minutes until the bubbles develop fully and the top begins to brown.

Oven without broiler and pizza stone

Preheat the oven to the highest setting . Place the cookie sheet in the oven. Once the oven is hot enough , place the naan on the cookie sheet . Cook on one side for 1 to 2 minutes until it begins to puff up , flip and cook the other side.

Grill

Follow the directions for the oven.

Brush the naan with oil or clarified butter and keep covered using aluminum foil or wax paper till ready to serve . Serve warm.

Notes

The volume measurements are approximate .

https://oventales.com/home-made-naan/

The  recipe  with  step by step instructions:

Warm 1/4 C  water  to just  warm to  touch (100˚–110˚F). Dissolve  1/2 tsp  sugar in it and  sprinkle  the  yeast on top. Set a side  for  5 minutes  an.  It  should  froth up m if  the  yeast  is   alive and  kicking.  Take  the  flour and  salt in a  large  mixing  bowl. Stir  well.  Add  the  yogurt  and  and  activated  yeast mix  to it.  Slowly pour   the  water   and  knead  well . The  dough  should  be a  little  sticky.  As you knead  the  dough becomes  less  sticky  and  softer. If  after a  few  minutes of  kneading  the  dough is  still very tacky  add a  few  tablespoons  of  flour.  Knead  for  10  minutes  for a very smooth   and  pliable  dough . Form into a ball .  Transfer to an  oiled  bowl, turn  the  dough ball to  coat  all  sides  with   oil . Cover  and  let  rise   till doubled –  about 1  hr.

Punch  down the  dough. Divide   it  into  6  pieces  and   form into  balls   about the  size  of  a  large  lemon.  Set  aside  covered   for 10 minutes.

Lightly oil  the  work surface . Place  one  dough ball on it  and  using  the  heel of  your palm  stretch the  dough out  to an oval / teardrop  shape .  The   dough  should   not  be  sticky at  this  point , spread  a  little  bit  of  oil  in the  palms to  prevent  sticking.

My favorite  way to cook this  is  a  combination of  stove top  and  broiler.  This  is  the  quickest  and  most  energy efficient  way to  do it  at  home .   Heat a  thick  bottomed  pan – like a  cast  iron griddle  till it is  smoking  hot .  Turn the  broiler on  and  place a  cookie  sheet  about  4 inches  away from it .  Place  the shaped naan on the  hot  griddle  and  cook  for 30 seconds.    By this  time  bubbles  start  forming  on top . Use a  wide  turner  or a  pizza peel to transfer   the naan to the  cookie  sheet ,  without  flipping .  Let it  cook  for  a  minute or   till  the  bubbles are  fully formed  and  the  tops  begin to brown .  Remove  from the  oven and  brush  with oil (optional) ,  and  keep  covered .

If  you have a  pizza  stone, set  the pizza  stone in the  lowest   rack of the  oven .  Heat  the  oven  set to the  highest   setting .  Once  the oven is  preheated ,  keep it  on  for  20 minutes  or  so  for  the   stone  to  absorb  as  much heat as  possible. Place  the shaped naan  directly on top of the  stone  and   cook  for  2  to  three  minutes  until  it  has  puffed  up  and  light  brown spots  appear  on top .

These can  be  made  the  same  way in  the  grill.

Plain Naan
Naan

Naan is  best  served  warm.   The  dough on the other hand   stores  well in the  fridge  or  freezer.   To make  naan  for  dinner , the  dough can be  prepared in the morning  and   allowed  to rise  in the  fridge. The  excess  dough  can be  frozen in an airtight  freezer bag.  When  using  frozen  dough ,  allow it  thaw in the  fridge  before  shaping  the naans.

Garlic Naan
Naan With Garlic And Cilantro

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Homemade Naan

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