Saturday, April 9, 2011

Naan Bread

Naan is a thick flat bread that goes with so many dishes.  You can eat it with soup, sop up gravies, place your favorite fixins in it, use it to make pizza, and much much more.  It is soft and chewy, you will love it! It is super easy to make and very inexpensive, and who doesn't like good cheap food!

2 teaspoon dry active yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 cup warm milk
2 1/2 - 3 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup canola oil
1/2 cup yogurt
1 egg
1-2 teaspoons of your favorite spices
(I used garlic and cummin to go with my Chicken Tikka Masala.)

1. In a small bowl, combine the yeast, sugar and milk. Stir to dissolve then let sit for a few minutes or until it is frothy on top. At that point, stir in the oil, yogurt and egg until evenly combined.

2. In a medium sized bowl, combine 1 cup of the flour with the salt and your choice of spices. Next, add the bowl of wet ingredients to the flour mixture and stir until well combined. Continue adding flour a half cup at a time until you can no longer stir it with a spoon (about 1 to 1.5 cups later).

3. At that point, turn the ball of dough out onto a well floured counter top. Knead the ball of dough for about 3 minutes, adding flour as necessary to keep the dough from sticking. I ended up using about 3 cups of flour total. The dough should be smooth and very soft but not sticky.

4. Loosely cover the dough and let it rise until double in size (about 45 minutes). After it rises, gently flatten the dough and cut it into 8 equal pieces. Shape each piece into a small ball by stretching the dough back under itself until the top is smooth and round.

5. Heat a large, heavy bottomed skillet (I use cast iron) over medium heat and spray lightly with non-stick spray. Working with one ball at a time, roll it out until it is about 1/4 inch thick or approximately 6 inches in diameter. Place the rolled out dough onto the hot skillet and cook until the under side is golden brown and large bubbles have formed on the surface. Flip the dough and cook the other side until golden brown as well. Serve plain or brushed with melted butter and sprinkled with herbs and enjoy!

For the most bubbles, don't roll out the ball of dough until just before it is ready to be placed in the skillet. I experimented with different skillet temperatures and found that a medium heat produces the most bubbles in the dough and does not burn the surface.

Photo and recipe adapted from Budget Bytes.

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