Foodiva's Kitchen: I Am Naan The Batter For It

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

I Am Naan The Batter For It

Hahaha... I couldn't resist, the pun was well-intended! Something to do with a type of leavened bread and the fact that I had nothing whatsoever to do with making it. Anyway, my haute kitchen was filled with earthy, bready, motherly smells last night. Only it wasn't my mother tinkering with a recipe in the kitchen. It was Diva D, who in some ways acts more like my mom than my real-life mother.

When I sauntered in, she was elbow deep in flour, kneading her way to some bread nirvana, as usual. Her well-thumbed, well-floured and much beloved "The World Encyclopedia of Bread and Bread Making" by Christine Ingram and Jennie Shapter was laid wide open in front of her. It was opened to page 240 - Naan. Ahhh... she was making naan, now that would be a first in our house! We don't have a hot, clay oven or tandoor in our home so I was interested to see how she would accomplish this feat. Turned out that a regular, electric oven and hot grill would do. Just turn up the heat real high, folks!

Page 240 - This is how naan is supposed to look like in the book.

Okay, not too bad a rendition.

Homemade Naan
Makes 3 naans
2 cups unbleached white bread flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
15g fresh yeast/ 1 packet dried yeast
4 tablespoons lukewarm milk
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 tablespoons plain yogurt or cream
1 egg
2-3 tablespoons melted ghee or butter, for brushing

1. Sift the flour and salt together into a large bowl. In a smaller bowl, stir in the yeast with the milk until it is dissolved. Set aside for 15 minutes.
2. Add the yeast mixture, oil, yogurt/cream and egg to the flour and mix to a soft dough. Turn the dough out to a lightly floured surface and knead for about 10 minutes until smooth and elastic. You can also use a stand mixer with the dough hook attached for this purpose. (I would, but Diva D prefers kneading with her hands!)
3. Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover bowl with a clean, dampened cloth and leave to rise in a warm place for 45 minutes, or until doubled in size.
4 Preheat the oven to its highest setting, at least 230C/450F. Place a heavy baking sheet in the oven to heat.
5. Turn the dough out on to a lightly floured surface and punch into the dough to knock it back. Divide into 3 equal pieces and shape into balls.
6. Cover two of the balls of dough with oiled cling film and roll the third into a teardrop shape about 25cm/10in long, 13cm/5in wide and a thickness of about 5-8mm/1/4-1/3 in.
7. Place the naan on the hot baking sheet and bake for 3-4 minutes or until puffed up.
8. Remove the naan from the oven and place under a hot grill for a few seconds until the top of the naan browns slightly. Wrap the cooked naan in a dish towl to keep it warm while rolling out and cooking the rest of the naan. Brush with melted ghee or butter and serve warm with meat or vegetable dishes, or with hummus as a dip.

Naan is a very versatile bread and great as a party dip as well. You can go crazy flavoring naan in different ways, here are some ideas:
Spicy naan: Add 1 tsp each of ground coriander and ground cumin to the flour. For extra fire, add 1 tsp chilli powder!
Poppy seed naan: Brush rolled out naan with a little ghee or butter and sprinkle poppy seeds, pressing them lightly to make sure they stick.
Peppered naan: As above, but just sprinkle top of naan with coarsely ground black pepper.
Herbed naan: Sprinkle rolled, buttered naan with dried or fresh rosemary or thyme.
Garlic naan: Sprinkle chopped garlic on top of rolled out, buttered naan before cooking.
Onion naan: Add 1/2 cup finely chopped or grated onion to the dough as you knead it the first time.
Wholemeal naan: Substitute wholemeal bread flour for some or all of the white flour.

There you go. Enjoy! 


Koci said...

This naan looks sooo yummy! I've only had storebought naan up to now, so I can't imagine how good homemade is!

Unknown said...

Koci, homemade is definitely better! You should try this recipe, maybe do a variation of it? I love the garlic naan best!

Victoria said...

I LOVE naan, this looks really good and easy enough to make! Thanks for sharing :)

Unknown said...

Hey Victoria, what I say is, if you can make pizza at home, then you sure can make naan! ;-)

Baking Barrister said...

Your Naan looks awesome! When I make Naan, I use my pizza stone to cook it--gets nice and crispy.

Unknown said...

Baking Barrister, that's a great idea to use a pizza stone to crisp the naan up! Hmmm.... Now where do I go to get me one of those?

Anonymous said...

Your Naan look perfect! Thank you so much for posting this recipe. It will be perfect for when I have visitors!

Unknown said...

Sweetums, thanks on behalf of my teenage daughter, because she was the one who made this. I'm sure your visitors will be thrilled to eat your homemade naan!

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