I love it when I think a food item is going to be a pain to make, but then it ends up being super easy.
I was betting myself that naan was going to be one of those complicated, multi-step foods to cook…but I was wrong. So wrong.
This recipe (not sure how traditional it is) was utterly simple and straight-forward.
And it saved my dinner the other night.
Naan, adapted from allrecipes.com
1 package active dry yeast
1 c warm water
1/4 c white sugar
3 T milk
1 egg, beaten
2 t salt
4 c bread flour
1/4 c butter, melted
In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water and sugar. Let stand about 10 minutes, until bubbly. Stir in milk, egg, salt, and enough flour to make a soft dough. Knead for 6 to 8 minutes on a lightly floured surface, or until smooth. Place dough in a well oiled bowl, cover with a damp cloth, and set aside to rise in warm place. Let it rise 1 – 1 1/2 hours, until the dough has doubled in volume.
Punch down dough. Pinch off small handfuls of dough about the size of a golf ball. Roll into balls, and place on a greased tray or cookie sheet. Cover with a towel, and allow to rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 30 minutes.
Preheat griddle to high heat. Roll one ball of dough out into a thin circle. Lightly oil griddle. Place dough on griddle, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until puffy and lightly browned. Brush uncooked side with butter, and turn over. Brush cooked side with butter, and cook until browned, another 2 to 4 minutes. Remove from griddle, and continue the process until all the naan has been prepared.
I’m pretty sure I mixed up my cuisine types with this meal… my curry was a Thai curry, but the naan I made was Indian. But all’s fair in love and cooking, right? I’m really, really glad I did, though.
I changed the beginning of the recipe, as it had you just mix the yeast and water – which I originally did – and yielded little to no bubbles. (And no, I had not killed my yeast again.) I dumped it out, and did what I normally do when making bread: added the yeast to the sugar-water. That worked out much better.
The rest of the recipe pretty much went just like any other bread baking. My other big change was to have the dough rise in a warm place. The dough just wasn’t growing hardly at all on my counter, but when I placed it on the slightly warmed oven, it got very happy.
When it came to cooking the naan on the griddle, I ended up using a large frying pan – mostly because our griddle is packed away with our other camping gear. I also learned that our stove top gets very hot – so the high heat suggested provided this little result:
The taste of these was what impressed me the most, though. They had a perfect fluffy, chewy texture – and a slightly sweet flavor. To be honest, they actually kind of reminded me of crumpets. The naan certainly helped tame down the spice of my curry, and every single member of my family loved them. We even pulled out the strawberry freezer jam and had some for dessert!
I had been planning on taking a more artful picture in the morning when I had some natural light, but between dinner, dessert, and breakfast, they were gone. So here’s my best picture, taken while cooking.