Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Homemade Naan

Indian food is the best food on the planet. I've tried my hand at several different Indian dishes over the years (some of my favorites are Aloo Gobi, Baingan Bharta, and for special occasions, Rogan Josh). But I've never tried to make the naan before. I've always been content to serve the dishes with basmati rice. But you only live once, right? Go big or go home.

There are several naan recipes out there. I wanted to start simple, so I ignored the ones that called for yeast. This recipe seemed a good base. I diverted from it a bit, so I'll spell out my own work below.


1.5 cups flour (plus more flour for dusting)
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp sugar
1/2 cup soymilk (this is just an accommodation to my wife's lactose intolerance--cow's milk is what's typically called for)
2 tbs vegetable oil
olive oil (or butter for those who can handle lactose)


Combine dry ingredients in a bowl or food processor. Mix in wet ingredients. Dump dough onto floured surface and knead (with floured hands) until dough is smooth, about 8-10 minutes.

Dump dough into a greased bowl and turn the ball so that the whole ball is coated with oil. Cover with a towel and put in a warm spot for an hour.

(I'm not sure why you have to let the dough sit for an hour, since there's no yeast involved, but I decided not to skip this step. Since we keep the heat on low in my house, there aren't many warm spots. I turned the oven on low for a couple minutes, turned it off, and stuck in the bowl.)

Divide dough into quarters. On a floured surface, roll out each ball into a very flat tear-shaped loaf with a floured rolling pin. In the meantime, position your cooking surface (a baking stone, upside-down cast iron skillet, upside-down baking sheet) a few inches away from your oven's broiler and turn the oven on to the broil setting.

Pop the loaves onto the hot cooking surface. They will cook very quickly. Turn the loaves over when the top side has browned and blistered. When the other side is finished, pull them out and brush them with oil or butter.

I honestly didn't think these would turn out very well, but I was pleasantly surprised. We quickly devoured the four loaves, so I'm tripling the recipe next time. Wish me luck.

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