November 17, 2009

Naan Bread

My hubby and I have been on and Indian food kick as of late. Every chance we get, we sneak off to our favorite place, Shalimar Fine Indian Cuisine. My mouth is watering just thinking about it.

While I never tire of Chicken Tikka Masala, Vegetable Biryani and S
amosas, I can't get enough Naan. I love the stuff.

My obsession with the bread necessitated that I find a recipe to make at home. As luck would have it, I struck gold with my first attempt.

The Naan recipe that I used came from Manjula's Kitchen : Indian Vegetarian Recipes. I am looking forward to trying many of the other recipes on the website.

Naan Bread

4 c. flour
2 tsp. yeast
2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. sugar
2 pinches of baking soda
4 Tbs. oil
5 Tbs. plain yogurt

1 1/2 c. warm water

This recipe makes 12 Naan.

Dissolve the yeast in the water and let it stand for 10 minutes.

In the bowl of your mixer, combine the flour, sugar, salt and baking soda.

Combine the oil and yogurt in a separate dish.

Add the yogurt mixture to the flour and blend at medium speed until it resembles coarse crumbs.

With the mixer still running, add the water/yeast mixture. The dough will become quite sticky.

Switch to the dough hook and knead the dough, adding a little additional flour if needed, until the dough becomes soft and smooth.

Place 1 Tbs. of oil in a large bowl. Roll the dough in the oil to coat, cover and let raise in a warm place for 2-3 hours. The dough should be nearly doubled in size.

Preheat your oven to 500 degrees F. and place a baking or pizza stone inside
. Allow it to heat up for at least thirty minutes. Manjula advises that the heated stone will come close to replicating the temperature of a clay tandoor.

After thirty minutes have passed, turn on the broiler.

Once the dough is risen, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 2-3 minutes. The dough should be soft and smooth.

Divide the dough into 12 equal parts.

Dust your work surface lightly with flour. Roll each piece of dough into an 8-inch oval shape.

Before putting the Naan into the oven, pat both sides of the rolled dough with lightly wet hands. Place two Naan on the baking stone in the oven.

Allow the Naan to bake for approximately 2 minutes, depending on your oven. The Naan should be golden brown on top.

I opted to flip my Naan and allow the bottom to brown for a little less than a minute.

Place the cooked Naan on a baking rack to cool. You can brush them with a little clarified butter or ghee if desired.

Follow the same process for baking the remaining Naan. It is a good idea to allow the oven to reheat for a minute or two between batches.

The process was much easier than I anticipated and the Naan turned out perfectly despite my lack of a tandoor for baking. I hope that you will give this recipe a try. You won't be disappointed.

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