May 24, 2011

Homemade Naan

          Naan is a delicious, puffy, oval shaped bread often served with Indian dishes. I look forward to ordering naan every time I eat at an Indian restaurant. I love how the bread puffs up and bubbles at certain spots. It looks thin and dry, but manages to be soft and chewy and fluffy all at the same time. Soft, chewy nann is the perfect accompaniment to any curry. 
         I recently saw a few recipes for homemade naan and I wanted to try them out. This recipe was good and simple to prepare. It paired nicely with homemade butter chicken (recipe to come). The end result was tasty, though not as soft as the naan I  often eat in restaurants. It is a good recipe, but it doesn't compare to the flaky, buttery, slightly charred naan you get at a restaurant with a tandoori oven. Sadly, most of us do not have a tandoori oven in our home.  
            I also felt like it ended up being a lot of work. But, if you don't have Indian restaurants close or you feel like making your own naan, you may want to try this recipe. I'll keep you updated on my naan journey as I try a few more recipes in my never ending quest for THE BEST recipe.

Homemade Naan
adapted from Evil Shenanigans and Mel's Kitchen
makes 12 pieces

3 1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon instant yeast
1 1/2 cups milk, heated until warm, do not simmer
1 teaspoon sugar

Heat milk until warm to the touch, either on the stove or in the microwave. If using active dry yeast, mix the sugar and yeast into the milk and let it sit for 4-5 minutes until the  yeast has activated then put into the bowl of a stand mixer and mix in the rest of ingredients. If using instant yeast, pour the warm milk into a large bowl or the bowl of an electric stand mixer. Add the sugar, instant yeast, salt and 2 1/2 cups of the flour. 
Mix well to combine. Continue adding flour gradually in small amounts, until a soft dough is formed. The dough should clean the sides of the bowl. Knead the dough by mixer or hand until it is smooth and elastic, about 3-5 minutes in the mixer or 10 minutes by hand.

Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl and let it rest at room temperature, covered lightly with greased plastic wrap, for about 2 hours.
After the dough has rested, turn it onto a lightly floured surface and divide the dough into 12 equal pieces, rounding each into a ball shape. Cover the pieces with a towel and let them rest for 30 minutes. While the dough rests, preheat your oven to 500º F and place a pizza stone or cast iron skillet on the bottom rack of the oven.
Once the dough has rested for 30 minutes, one by one, roll or pat and stretch each piece into a circle about 6-8inches wide, depending on how thin or thick you want your naan. Wet your hands with water and rub on both sides of the circle and place on the hot stone or skillet. Close the oven and bake the naan for 2-4 minutes, until it is lightly puffed (some pieces will puff more than others) and brown spots begin to appear on the top. Remove the naan from the baking stone and place on a cooling rack. Brush lightly with melted butter. Stack the hot naan on top of each other as it comes out of the oven. Serve warm or room temperature.


Erica said...

Trader Joe's naan is pretty good if you stick it in the oven and butter it. Not quite restaurant quality, but close.

North Meets South

Heather said...

Oh. I'll have to pick some up the next time I run by Trader Joes. Thanks for the tip and keep them coming:)