Thursday, December 26, 2013

East-Indian Naan Bread

This flat bread is fun to make and goes great with any East-Indian dish!  I used to make a whole stack of it before we invited out friends over for dinner.

2 Cups All Purpose Flour
¾ cup lukewarm water
1 teaspoon dry yeast
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
½ tsp baking powder
2 tablespoon oil
2.5 tablespoons yogurt

In a mixing bowl, dissolve the yeast in the lukewarm water by stirring slowly with a whisk.  

In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, salt, sugar and baking powder.  Add the oil, and blend by hand until well distributed.  Add the yogurt, and blend evenly.  

Stir the water/yeast mixture a second time, and then add to flour mixture.  Hand mix and kneed until a soft dough forms.  Coat your hands lightly in oil to prevent sticking, and knead for about 10 seconds.  

Leave dough in the bowl.  Cover with a dry kitchen cloth and leave in a warm, dry place to rise for 3 to 4 hours, or until double in volume. 

 Punch dough down and kneed a couple of times.  Dough may be slightly sticky.  

Heat oven to 500 degrees on broiler.  For best results, use a pizza stone, or baking stone for making Naan, but baking sheets can also be used.   The stone should be inside the oven while it is heating.
After coating hands lightly with oil again, divide the dough into 6 equal portions.  Coat each portion lightly in flour and form into a ball.  

On a lightly floured surface, roll each ball flat to about ¼ inch.  Make them perfectly round, or a more traditional oblong shape.   Be careful not to let the dough get too thin.

Open the oven.  With an oven mitt, slide the rack with the baking stone out.  You may wet your hands lightly with water if flattened dough feels to sticky.  Carefully peel dough up from rolling surface, tossing back and fourth between your palms to keep it in shape, and place on the baking stone.  Place as many Naans on the stone as will fit comfortably.  Leave at least 2 inches on each side of the naans to allow room for expanding during baking.  Only roll out as many Naan as you can fit on the baking stone at a time.  The others should wait for the next baking cycle. 

Bake for about 3 minutes, or until the dough puffs up and/or scattered dark brown spots form.  

Remove from baking stone carefully with a spatula and place on a plate to cool.  Keep oven closed as you work between baking cycles.   Brush the tops of naan with butter or ghee while still hot.  Bread will likely deflate as it settles.

 Continue until all Naan is finished.   Serve warm with your favorite Indian dish, or by itself. 

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