Freshly baked naan is the perfect accompaniment to Indian dishes. Over the last few months I’ve been trying out new Indian recipes and this naan from Joy of Cooking has been a staple side item. It has a great texture, crispy and chewy at the same time (I almost liken it to a good pizza dough) and it’s very simple to make – you just have to build in the rising time. If you’ve never experienced freshly baked flatbread you’re missing out! You won’t go back to store bought!
(Recipe source Joy of Cooking)
2 c bread flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/8 tsp active dry yeast or rapid rise yeast
3/4 c plain yogurt or buttermilk, at room temperature (I always use yogurt)
2 tbsp butter, melted or vegetable oil, plus 2 tbsp extra melted butter
1 tsp to 1 tbsp water, as needed
2 tbsp sesame or poppy seeds, optional
Combine flour, salt and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer. Add in the yogurt, butter and water as needed. Mix on low speed until a soft ball of dough is formed. Knead for about 10 minutes with the dough hook on low to medium speed, until the dough is smooth and elastic.
Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl and turn it once to coat with oil. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature for about 1 1/2 hours.
Arrange a rack in the lowest level of the oven and place a pizza or baking stone on the rack. Preheat the oven to 475 degrees for 45 minutes. (If you do not have a pizza or baking stone, preheat the oven, place an inverted baking sheet, preferably heavy-gauge, on the rack, and heat the baking sheet for 5 minutes.)
Meanwhile, punch down the dough and divide equally into 4 pieces. Roll into balls, cover, and let rest for 10 minutes. Roll out each ball of dough on a floured surface to an oval about 8 to 10 inches long and 1/4 inch thick.
Brush the tops with melted butter and sprinkle with sesame or poppy seeds if desired. Place as many dough ovals as will fit without touching each other directly on the baking stone or sheet and bake until each oval is puffy and just beginning to turn golden, 6 to 7 minutes. Remove from the oven. Bake the remaning dough, if necessary. Serve warm.
Yield: 4 ovals
Looking for a way to use your naan? Try these Indian Spiced Chicken Burgers.