The Hungry Chef – Naan bread
Naan is a wonderful Indian flat bread, and I have learnt to love them, even when we have to make them in December for 270 people – that is this recipe multiplied by 25. Although this bread is traditionally baked in a tandoor, I have learnt the ways of getting it right in a domestic oven as well.
The key is to have a nice pizza stone or a slate tile that retain their heat when you open the oven door to put the naan breads in. The second crusial element is to have your oven as hot as what it can go! Seriously jokes aside if your oven can get to 280˚C that’s perfect, if it can only get to 220˚C which I think most ovens get too, you will see how much longer you may need to leave your bread in the oven for.
Difficulty: Medium to Hard
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 4-6 minutes (oven dependent)
- 500g cake flour
- 25g Fresh yeast or 1 pkt active yeast (but rather get some fresh yeast, way way better)
- 2 tsp Salt
- 2 tsp white sugar
- ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 3 TBSP oil
- ¼ cup of plain yoghurt
- 1¼ cup lukewarm water
- Some chopped coriander and garlic (optional)
- Melted Butter for basting after baking
Cream together half the sugar and yeast, then add in the water and a tablespoon of flour. Mix all together and leave to double in size before using.
Add other half of sugar, salt, chopped coriander and crushed garlic (if using) and baking soda to the flour and mix well.
Add the oil to the yogurt and mix, then rub this into the flour mixture, it will become a crumbly dough.
Add the water/yeast mixture and make into soft dough.
Knead until the dough is smooth. Cover the dough and keep in a warm place for 3-4 hours. The dough should almost be double in size.
Heat the oven to 280˚C with pizza stone or slate tile for at least thirty minutes so stone is hot.
Next turn the oven to the grill function.
Knead the dough for about two to three minutes and divide the dough into six equal parts.
Take each piece of dough, one at a time, and roll into 8-inch oval shape. Dust lightly with dry flour to help with the rolling.
Before putting the Naan in the oven, lightly wet your hands and take the rolled Naan, flip them between your palms and place onto your baking/pizza stone into the oven.
You can place about 2 Naan on the baking/pizza stone at a time. The Naan will take about 3-6 minutes to cook, depending upon your oven. The Naan is baked when it is a golden brown color on top.
Take Naan out of the oven and brush lightly with clear butter or ghee.
Wait 2 to 3 minutes before baking the next batch of Naan – it gives the oven the chance to get heated to maximum again.
Bon Appetite – come visit me at the St Francis Links kitchen!