Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Naan - Delicious Indian Bread

It wasn't until I met my husband that I was introduced to Indian Cuisine.  Back then we didn't have kids and going to an Indian restaurant was doable.  Taking the kids for Indian these days is slightly stressful, not to mention costly so it's not something we do very often.  That doesn't mean we don't occasionally have cravings so I've resolved to making some of our own dishes at home.

An Indian dish is not complete without some naan, a traditional Indian bread.  Naan is available at most grocery stores for $3 bucks for two large pieces but it costs only cents to make your own. I find this recipe here to be a pretty good one though I do make a few modifications.

I grew up making mostly quick breads.  Yeast breads have always scared me because it was never something my mother made.  In teaching myself how to bake yeast breads I have learned that most yeast bread recipes require you to add a tablespoon or so of sugar to your starter (i.e. yeast allowed to sit until foamy in VERY WARM water).  This recipe did not call for sugar in the starter but I ignored this and added sugar to the starter knowing it would allow the yeast to foam up faster.  I also used fast acting yeast knowing it would work just fine for this sort of recipe.

I also find that as the weather gets cooler that my dough will rise better if I flash heat the oven and put the dough in the closed oven to rise.  That is to say, I turn on the oven allowing it to preheat for like 10-20 seconds and turn it off.  Doing so creates a nice warm environment for the bread to rise in without cooking it.

I then prepared the dough as instructed with my mixer (it has a dough blade attachment) then threw it in an oiled bowl.  (For the newbies, never allow a yeast dough to rise in a metal container).  I then allowed it to rise until doubled in the oven.

Doubled over dough ready to get punched (above).

After punching, I assembled the dough into balls (above) and allowed them to double again for 30 minutes covered in the oven (results below).


Once the dough had risen twice, I rolled the dough balls out when I realized I forgot to incorporate the garlic in the previous step!  We LOVE garlic naan.  So, I just sprinkled the minced garlic over top and rolled it into the dough as I rolled it out.  It worked into the dough just fine.


 Rolling the dough 

After that, I threw the dough on the grill with the grill on low as instructed per the recipe and brushed with melted butter.

 Grilling the Bread and looking bubbly.
The end result!  Yummy, cheap and easy eats!

Like most yeast recipes, this one takes some time but it's easy to prepare and doesn't require much preparation.  To save on time you can freeze your left over dough balls and make them on an as-needed basis for a future meal.  I freeze dough all the time and thaw it out a day prior to using.  It makes bread making easy even on busy weekdays.

1 comment:

Sara L said...

Wow - I may try this. I've made naan before, but only in the oven. Turned out more like a naan cracker instead of soft. I once asked at an Indian grocery store how to make naan and the women replied that it was too hard, they didn't even make their own naan.