Dave's Naan Bread
This is my favourite naan recipe. I reckon I've finally cracked it to my satisfaction. I am looking for a particular combination of buttery, garlicky fragrance and slight chewiness.
Naan can be eggless or not, and made with either yeast or baking powder, and then you can either bake it in an oven or cook it in the blacktop, the barbecue, or a heavy based frying pan
This dough can be made ahead of time, risen and punched down a couple of times, and then stored in the refrigerator in 80g balls, individually clingfilm-wrapped. Use within a day or two..
|2-3 rounded teaspoons
||Active Dried Yeast granules, (depending on how big a hurry you're in.)
||Plain, Unsweetened Yoghurt
|2 generous teaspoons
||Hi-Grade Flour, plus extra for kneading dough with
- In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Leave until frothy.
- Stir in sugar, yoghurt, egg, salt, 2 teaspoons of garlic and enough flour to make a soft dough.
- Knead for 6 to 8 minutes on a lightly floured surface, or until smooth, adding more flour to the kneading surface if dough becomes sticky as you knead. Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with a damp cloth, and set aside to rise. Let it rise until the dough has doubled in volume. (I use a ceramic bowl to rise the bread in, and I find, in cooler weather, it helps to give the bowl a minute in the microwave beforehand so that the dough goes into a warm - not hot - bowl to begin rising.)
- Punch down dough, knead a little, and leave to rise again.
- Punch down dough. Divide into 12 pieces (or 8 if using an oven to bake them in). Roll into balls, and set aside on a warmed plate until they begin to rise again.
Method 1, in a frypan or on a blacktop.
I came to this method later, but now much prefer it. This is the closest I get to my favourite restaurant naan.
- Preheat a cast-iron frypan to a little under half maximum heat - 5.5 on a 12 point setting, Oil a paper towel lightly and wipe the pan with it.
- Melt about 50g of butter in the microwave.
- Dust the benchtop with flour, and roll out a piece of dough as flat as it will go - about the width of the pan.
- Use a pastry brush to coat one side of the dough with melted butter and place butter side down in the pan once the pan begins to smoke lightly.
- The naan will begin to bubble. Coat the upper side with butter and when the underside is golden brown but not crisp, turn it over and cook for a minute on the other side until that too is golden brown where it touches the pan.
- Serve immediately.
Method 2. In the Oven
- Preheat the oven to 220C. Place two trays in the oven while it heats.
- Roll out the balls of dough into flatbread about 5mm thick, and place on a plate. Place a bowl of olive oil and garlic paste (or melted ghee and garlic paste, if you prefer) in the microwave for about 30 seconds.
- When the oven is hot, remove the bottom tray. Wipe it with cooking oil, and lay out the first four naan. Brush the tops liberally with the garlic and oil/butter mix, sprinkle with a little rock salt if you wish, or a little sesame seed, and place tray in the oven about 15cm above bottom element. Repeat with the top tray, placing it about 15cm below the top element. Change the trays around when the naan on top begin to brown and puff up slightly.
- Important Note. On one occasion when I cooked this at a friend's place, I was in a hurry and forgot to prepare the oil/ghee and garlic mix to brush the loaves with before baking. I just dusted the baking sheet with flour and popped them in the oven. BAAAAAAD MISTAKE. The bread emerged tasting like floury blotting paper. Might have got away with it in the case of a really wet curry, but this one was on the dry side.
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