Thursday, April 19, 2012


When I've made Naan in the past I have tweaked this recipe from Allrecipes, and it was always yummy. Not exactly the same as going to my favorite Indian restaurant, Malhis, but close enough. Lately, Rachael Ray has been serving a lot of store bought Naan breads as an accompaniment to her dishes. I've never had the store-bought versions, so I'm not sure how they compare.  She says she really enjoys this type of bread because it is tangy from the yogurt in it. I've never used yogurt in my Naan bread, so I went in search of a more authentic recipe. I googled "authentic naan recipe" and this is the first recipe that popped up. It looked pretty much like the one I have been using, but it did not use egg, and it called for ghee (clarified butter), yogurt and an exotic onion seed. (It also had foreign measurements that this American gal didn't understand.) I kept looking and saw this recipe.  It's written by someone from Australia so, again, the measurements and directions are a little confusing but it was similar to the first recipe I found. Except this one used egg, and baking powder but no onion seeds. I think I will just go back to my tried and true recipe and just tweak it some more to include the yogurt.
 -The naan turned out well. The final product looked the same as my original recipe, and it didn't taste too much different. It had a slight tang, but if I didn't tell you it was there you probably wouldn't know. It was tasty. I served it with some Chicken Saag over rice (recipe to be posted soon).
This is what I did:

I warmed up 1 cup of filtered water in the microwave. - I always use filtered water when I use yeast, because Alton Brown says you should (it helps the yeast rise to it's full potential or something). I do what Alton says, and you should too.

Then I added 1/4 cup sugar

2 Tbsp of milk

and I stirred it.

I tested the liquid with my finger to make sure it was warm but not hot (ideally you want it between 105-110 degrees F), and then I added one .75 oz package of yeast (2 1/4 tsp).

I stirred it again, and then set it aside to get foamy.

Now I started on my dry ingredients. You'll need bread flour for this to get the delicious chewy texture, but if you had to - in a pinch - you could use all purpose. Just know that bread flour is best. And yes, this is a 25 lb bag. I bought it a couple months ago and it's nearly empty. I like bread of almost any kind.

Put 4 cups in a bowl, and reserve about 1/2 cup for later (if you need it). It was really dry today, so I didn't need to add any extra flour.

To the flour I added 2 tsp of salt

and 1/2 tsp of baking powder.

Then I whisked it all together - this is so I don't have to sift.

The yeast is now nice and foamy.

To the yeast mixture, I added 2 Tbsp of plain Greek yogurt . . .

and 1 egg.

Then I whisked to combine.

I poured the wet mixture into the dry. - I don't know why I did this. I find that bread dough of any kind seems to come together better when you have the wet ingredients in a large bowl and you gradually add the dry ingredients until you get the right consistency. Depending on the day, you don't always use the same amount of flour. Oh well. The dough came together eventually but it would have been better if I did things the other way around. Learn from my mistakes.

I mixed it around with a spoon to get it to come together, and I ended up get getting in with my hand instead.

I squeezed the dough . . . (Remember to take your rings off like I did. It makes a mess of your hands!)

and pressed the dough.

I folded it over on itself . . .

and pressed it down again.

I also made sure to rub the edges of my bowl to get all the dough off the sides.

I just kept folding and pressing, and it eventually started to come together. -This is where you would add the extra flour if you needed to. My dough was really dry, so I didn't need any extra flour.

This is where I had to stop, because my angels needed me. I just put a damp cloth over the top and set it on the counter until I could come back to it. No biggy.

If you have the uninterrupted time, you should keep kneading the dough until it looks more like this:

I finished kneading it when I was able to get back to it. The dough probably set on the counter for at least an hour and it was fine.
Now just put a damp cloth over the top of the bowl and let the dough rise until it has doubled in size. - This will depend on how warm your house is. My house is pretty cool, so I'm banking on at least a couple hours.

This was it after it doubled.

I punched it down.

And then put it on the counter, so I could press it flat.

Then I rolled it into a log.

About 1 foot long or so - probably a little bigger.

And I pinched off a piece.

I rolled it into a ball, and then started rolling it out.

The shape doesn't matter. You just want to get it as thin as you can.

Then I put it into a hot skillet (you can butter it or not, it's up to you). When it starts to bubble, and the first side is brown, then turn it over.

It will be brown and bubble filled. (If you like a lot of bubbles and you want more than what your naan is giving you, you can cook it with the lid on. Just be careful not to burn it.)

Instead of pinching off pieces for the rest of he dough, I just cut 1/2 inch rounds.

Now, it was time to take Princess to gymnastics, so I sprayed the inside of a zip top bag and put the pieces in. I put the bag in the fridge and did the rest when it was dinner time. (The one that I made I actually spread peanut butter on it, and ate it as a snack while I was trying to get the girls wrangled and in the car. Mmm Mmm Good.)

This is what they look like when they are done. Toasty but soft and chewy. I made small Naan - because my kids would just eat the Naan if I let them. So, we had 1/2 the batch left over. I'm just keeping it in the fridge - sealed in the sprayed zip top bag - so we can have later in the week. You can also seal it and freeze it for up to a month.

Here's the recipe:

Yogurt Naan

1 cup warm water
1 (.75 ounce) package active dry yeast (2 1/4 tsp)
1/4 cup sugar
2 Tbsp milk
1 egg
2 Tbsp plain yogurt (I use Greek but any is fine.)
2 teaspoons salt
4 cups bread flour, plus 1/2 cup more if needed
1/2 tsp baking powder

Combine the water, sugar, milk and yeast in a large bowl. Set aside until the yeast gets foamy. In a separate bowl, whisk or sift together 4 cups flour and the salt and baking powder. When the yeast is foamy,add the yogurt and the egg. Whisk to combine. Slowly add the flour mixture to the yeast mixture, stirring until the dough comes together. Knead the dough for 5 minutes (adding the extra flour if needed) for 5 minutes, until the dough is soft and elastic. Cover with a damp towel and put it in a warm place t rise. When it's doubled in size, turn it out onto a work surface and flatten it out. Roll into a log and then pinch or cut off pieces, however big you want them. With a rolling pin, roll the pieces of dough out as thin as you can get them. Cook one piece at a time in a skillet over medium heat (you can cook it in butter or not). When the top side bubbles and the bottom side is brown (1-2 minutes), flip the naan over and brown the other side. When done, put on a plate and cover with a dry towel, or wrap in tinfoil to keep warm while you finish the rest of the naan. Dough can be refrigerated for up to six days or frozen for 1 month.

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