Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Naan

I got this recipe from Aarti Sequaria and I figure it's probably pretty authentic. I did put a couple of my own touches to this, cause gee, I'm the cook?
  All I know is that they tasted so good.   And they went perfectly with the Palak Paneer I made for Tapas last week.  They were also a little fiddly to make.   I will make them again, but will tweak this a touch.
Naan

Ingredients

1 teaspoon active dry yeast
2 teaspoons sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling, 
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
3 tablespoons plain yogurt
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
 Melted butter for slathering on the finished naans
Coarse sea salt for sprinkling

Directions

In a large glass, dissolve the dry yeast and 1 teaspoon sugar with 3/4 cup warm water, let sit until frothy, or the yeast has dissolved.

Meanwhile, sift the flour, salt, remaining 1 teaspoon of sugar and baking powder into a large, deep bowl.

Once the yeast has dissolved and is frothy, add the yogurt and the olive oil into the glass, and stir it to combine. Pour the yogurt mixture into the dry ingredients and gently mix the ingredients together with a Danish Dough Whisk.  This is a very sticky dough.  Mix together with your hands, and put into a greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap or a damp towel and let sit for a couple of hours.  I use my oven, as it's draft free.

When you're ready to roll, make sure you have two bowls on your counter: one with extra flour in it, and one with water. The dough will be extremely soft and sticky-this is good! Separate the dough into 6-12  equal portions and lightly roll each one in the bowl of extra flour to keep them from sticking to each other.

You need to shape the Naan.  Traditionally it's in a tear drop shape.  This is because they used to roll out the naan, and then kinda throw it at the Tandoori oven which cooked it. (Tandoori Ovens are very hot). And when you kinda throw a round shape at a curved hot oven, it can become a tear drop shape, or so I'm told. 
Shape the naan.  I formed mine into a rough teardrop shape using my fingers and then a rolling pin.
  I know they should be about 8-9 inches long and about 4 inches wide, but my pan wasn't big enough.  So I made them into very roughly shaped pieces of dough 4-5-inches long, 4-inches wide at its widest point and about 1/4-inch thick. Apparently once you've formed the general shape, you can also pick it up by one end and wiggle it a little  the dough's own weight will stretch it out a little. Didn't work for me though, at least not this time.  The dough was that soft. Next time I'll try it.  Repeat this method with the rest of the dough.
Warm a cast-iron skillet over high heat until it's nearly smoking, and if you do like me and oil the pan each time you use it, wipe out the excess oil.  It can make the smoke alarm go off when the oil gets too hot. 

Of course I don't know anything about that, personally.
Naan
  Just have a lid ready that is large enough to fit the skillet and have the butter ready and waiting.  Melted butter is good.
You can either dampen your hands in the bowl of water and pick up one of your naans, flip-flopping it from one hand to the other to lightly dampen it or pick up a naan, and brush it with a little water using a pastry brush. Which is what I did.
Naan
 And my 'teardrop' shapes, umm, well, let me just say this, they weren't, teardrop shapes that is.
sigh.


Gently lay it in the skillet and set your timer for 1 minute. The dough should start to bubble.

After about 1 minute, and I used a timer for the first few, you then flip the naan.  If it's a little blistered and blackened, that's a good thing.  You want that little bit of char, cause  that's typical of traditional naan. Cover the skillet with the lid and another 30 seconds or more.  This side will look more like a typical Naan. 
Naan

Remove the naan from the skillet, brush with a bit of butter and sprinkle with a little coarse sea salt.  Place the naan into a covered dish or wrap them in a clean tea towel, and continue until you've cooked all of them.
Naan
I used my tortilla warmer bowl, it's insulated, and has a tight fitting lid.   And it worked, perfectly. 
I did have a couple left from Tapas, and they along with some of the left over Palak Paneer are going to be my breakfast.    
I will make these again, I think they're a great quick bread to serve with a lot of different foods, but I think they do require me to make them a few times so I can get the technique down.  
That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it.   


Sid Munkholm
Sid Munkholm

Sid loves to cook, feed people and have fun in the kitchen. She shares her successes and the involuntary offerings she sometimes gives the kitchen goddess as well. And she's still looking for the mythical fairy to help her clean the kitchen after a marathon cooking session. Currently working on a cookbook showcasing the recipes from her Danish heritage.

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