Sunday, January 31, 2010

Naan Bread

I first had Naan while living in London at a wonderful little Indian restaurant that happened to be across the street from my flat. I find that it has many wonderful applications other than served with Curries. It is great for Fish Tacos, and Blackened Chicken Sandwiches.Indian Naan

Naan Bread
1lb white flour
1oz dried yeast
1 tsp nigella seed (also known in Indian stores as charnushka or kanolfi seed)
6 tbsp plain yogurt
2 tbsp ghee or melted butter
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
3/4 cup warm water
oil or ghee to coat

1. Dissolve sugar in warm water.
2. Add yeast. Yeast should froth, if it doesn't, start over with fresh yeast.
3. In a separate bowl, sift salt with flour and add nigella seeds.
4. Make a well in the centre and add yoghurt, ghee and yeast mixture.
5. Knead well until it forms a dough. Shape into a ball. If dough is sticky, add more flour until elastic.
6. Coat a separate bowl with oil or ghee and roll dough into it until fully coated.
7. Shake off excess oil and cover with damp tea-towel or cloth.
8. After 2 or 3 hours, dough should have doubled in size. Unless that is you happen to have a proof setting on your oven.
9. Knead the dough and divide into around 6 equal portions. Flatten and mould into typical 'pear' shape naan.
10. Preheat oven to 450F/230C and bake for 10 mins. Brush with ghee or butter and serve.

Naan is traditionally baked in a stone oven where it is slapped onto the sides to cook. Obviously, traditional kitchens don't have these, so don’t be afraid to crank up your oven to 400° Degrees , and use your pizza stone.

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