naan recipe notes
- This is one of those recipes that does not actually require exactness in measuring. I am going to give you measurements to start, but once you have made this a few times, you can put down the measuring spoons and back away from the precision.
- I bet you can knead this by hand. I will do a lot of recipe tests for you but kneading a dough by hand when I have a stand mixer is not one of them.
- The naan can be cooked in a variety of ways. You can use a cast iron skillet or tortilla pan like me; a skillet or dutch oven; a pizza stone in your oven (500°) or on your Weber grill (as hot as you can get it); you could grill your naan , build your own tandoori oven or just buy a commercial one like Apna Bazaar's:
- This is a pretty flexible recipe as far as ingredients go too. I have made this recipe with bread flour, King Arthur's Sir Lancelot flour (more protein), whole wheat flour (sifted to remove the bran), all purpose flour and combinations of all of the above. My favorite is just plain old bread flour (I use King Arthur's). A quick rundown on some of the differences:
- All-purpose would be my flour of last resort - the naan is sweet like white bread, super soft and made one big puff of a bread instead of many little bubbles.
- Whole wheat flour - the naan is super dense and all things whole-wheaty. However, it was nice to mix 1/2 cup into any of the other flours.
- Sir Lancelot flour - a bit more toothsome than bread flour but you wouldn't know the difference if you weren't doing a side by side comparison.
- Bread flour - the right mix of soft and toothsome; sweet and sour; and it has many little air pockets of awesome.
With this much flexibilty in the measuring, the ingredients, mixing method and cooking method, are you wondering if this is even a recipe at all?
non-recipe for naan
1 lb flour
2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt (table)
1 cup warm water (the water should feel comfortably warm on your fingers and not hot)
2 1/2 tsp (1 pkg) yeast
1/4 cup yogurt (if you try this with creme fraiche before I do, please report back)
1 Tbsp olive oil (or ghee or melted butter)
1 cup flour, for flouring the counter and rolling your naan
Butter, ghee, oil or that buttery glaze left in the pan after glazing carrots - anything you can dream of spreading on your cooked naan
Minced garlic, sesame seeds, caramelized onions, chives, shaved Himalayan Zen pink salt - also anything you can dream of spicing up your naan
- Mix the flour, sugar and salt in the bowl of your stand mixer (or whatever you knead-by-handers use). Mix the water, yeast, yogurt and olive oil in a measuring cup.
- While your stand mixer is running on low (with the dough hook attachment), pour in your water/yogurt/yeast/olive oil.
- When your dough is starting to come together, turn the speed up to medium-high. This dough takes a few minutes to come together so do not start fretting or adding extra liquid.
- When your dough is smooth and shiny (5-8 minutes), move it into a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with plastic and put in a warm place until the dough doubles in size (about an hour).
- Punch your dough down, put on floured counter and cut into 8 pieces. Liberally dust your dough with flour as you are working with it so that it doesn't stick to your hands, rolling pin or counter.
- Roll each piece into a ball; then with a rolling pin into a 6" circle. If your dough keeps shrinking in size, let it rest for 5 minutes and try rolling it again.
- Crack open a window - there is a 50% chance that your kitchen will get a little smoky until you find the right temperature/timing whil cooking these naan.
- Warm your cast iron skillet on medium high heat. If you are making these for a dinner party, heat more than one pan so that you can cook multiple naan at a time.
- Place one dough circle into your hot, dry pan. After 30 seconds, you will start to see little bubbles. If you want a very flat bread, flip as soon as you see bubbles. If you like browned spots like I browned spots, let your dough cook for another minute before flipping.
This dough will hold in the fridge after step 4 for several days. When you are ready to eat, pull a dough ball out of the refrigerator and start rolling and cooking at step 6.