Wednesday, 21 May 2008

Authentic Indian Naan

This Naan bread is as close as I've seen to restaurant quality. It's certainly a far cry better then the pre-packaged stuff you buy at the store (if you can even find it!) I adapted this recipe from one of Emeril's over at Food Network, changing the method of preparation. I tried it in the oven (his method), and that's where it failed - the skillet version makes a soft, light bread - perfect for eating with curry

Authentic Indian Naan Bread

2 t. yeast
1 t. sugar
1 C. warm water, 120 degrees
2 C. flour, more for kneading
1 t. salt
1 stick (1/2 C) butter + olive oil

  1. Mix yeast and sugar into water, and rest for about 5 min or until foamy.
  2. Meanwhile, clarify butter. Melt butter in a small saucepan. Allow to boil briefly, then remove from heat. After butter has cooled slightly, the foam will be solid enough to remove with a spoon. Butter should be clear, not cloudy. Measure again, and add olive oil to get 1/2 C.
  3. Stir flour and salt together in a medium bowl. Make a well in the middle and add yeast mixture and butter. Mix together with one hand - it will be soupy. Add enough flour to make a very soft dough, then knead for 3 min. It can be a little sticky. Place in a bowl greased with oil or butter and rise until doubled in a warm place, about 45 min.
  4. Gently deflate dough and turn out onto lightly floured surface. Divide dough into 12 equal pieces. Roll dough into thin rounds, about 6-8" each.
  5. Heat a large, heavy (cast iron preferably) skillet over med-high heat. Add a TINY amount of butter - we're talking almost none. You should have to scrape the bottom of the skillet with a spatula to spread it around. The butter will be dark and smoking by now. Place the rolled out dough onto the butter, flip after 30 seconds. Flatten the bubbles with your spatula to help the other side brown evenly.
  6. Serve with any indian dish, roll around sandwich meats and cheese, stuff with taco mix or hummus!

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