Saturday, February 28, 2009

Naan bread

I have wanted to try making Naan for a while and felt today was the day. I attempted it a few weeks ago but as I used a recipe that obviously was not Indian because it did not work at all. I don't know why it didn't click to me when there was no yeast and no yogurt in the recipe, so I was a bit disappointed, even though it was my own fault.

Today however, I have researched a lot more, read many different recipes to try to find a common ground and gotten advice from my Threadist (an Indian technique of doing eyebrows). The two things I did not add last time were the two most important things.

I started early today, 7:30am, to allow my dough to rise for quite a long time. It had definitely more than doubled by the time I checked it at 3. Kneading it again, I found it was quite sticky so once I had separated the dough into balls I coated it lightly in flour to allow me to roll them out easily. Traditionally Naan is made in a teardrop shape do I rolled it out as best I can, but I think in terms of shaping......I'll leave that to the pros.

As I don't have a tandoora or a pizza stone, which is the proper way to cook Naan, I first put the dough in the fry pan (without any oil or butter) just to set it a bit before I put it under the griller.
It was amazing at how much the dough puffs up while under the griller. Once browned on one side I turned them over to brown on the other side.

I had to decide before cooking the breads what topping I wanted to put on them. A simple garlic sauce? Cheese?........or use some of the truffle salt I have sitting in my cupboard.......well knowing me I want to try a bit of everything, so that is exactly what I did. First the garlic, then the cheese and finally a truffle salt butter topping.

(N.B. I'm not obsessed with truffles and think they are the best thing in the world and go gaga over any recipe that has truffles in them BUT since I have the truffle salt I am just trying to find ways of using it, honest!)

Unfortunately I could not get the thumbs up from someone who is a connoisseur of Naan, but I know my Dad really likes it and so he was my taste tester. The piece he had was a bit thicker on the base so he told me to roll it out a bit thinner next time, which I agreed with after I tried his, but the one I had was perfect, thin, light and puffed up fantastically.

I suppose I will have to try again. When I do, apparently another delicacy is to slice potatoes and lay them on the inside of the Naan before they are cooked. This is a challenge I am willing to try soon.

Naan Bread

Preparation Time: 30 mins
Resting time: 4 hours (at least)
Cooking time: 5 minutes


1 tsp dried yeast
3/4 cup lukewarm water
2 1/4 cups Plain Flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
Pinch baking soda
2 tbsp vegetable or canola oil
2 1/2 tbsp natural yogurt

2 garlic cloves crushed
150g butter

150g butter
1 tsp truffle salt


1) Dissolve yeast in lukewarm water and let stand for around 10 minutes until it is it starts to froth up.
2) Sift the flour, salt, sugar and baking soda together. Add the oil and yogurt and mix into a crumbly dough.
3) Add the yeast to the dough and knead for 10 minutes until soft and springs back.
4) Leave the dough to rise for at lest 4 hours in a warm place.
5) Once risen, turn on your grill so it gets nice and hot.
6) Separate your mixture into quarters. Roll each quarter out with a rolling pin to form a tear drop shape.
7) Wipe a little flour over the rolled out dough so it is not sticky, then heat slightly in a fry pan (without any oil or butter) for 15 seconds on each side so the dough sets slightly
8) Transfer the dough to a baking tray lined with baking paper and put under the grill. It will start to puff up, but once it is browned nicely on one side flip.
9) Repeat with other dough.
10) Top with your choice of butter. (I have included the garlic butter and the truffle salt butter but you can also top with cheese)

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