Naan Bread

9 December, 2007

I’ve attempted a few times to cook a convincing naan bread now. What I really wanted to achieve was a slightly crisp, authentic bread like you find in a good curry house.

Viewers of Heston Blumenthal’s Perfection series might have seen his recipe for naan bread. Surprisingly, he doesn’t use any yeast, which I found quite bizarre. Instead he uses baking powder to create the bubbles that form in the cooked bread. I think he concentrated a little too much with what the bread looked like once cooked though, and as the bread didn’t really taste that bready, more just floury, if you get what I mean.

As such, I have formed a recipe that is a compromise between Heston’s recipe, and another I found on the BBC Food website.

Naan Bread

Makes 4

Ingredients

  • 1 tsp dried active yeast
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 3 tbsp milk
  • 200g self raising flour
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 2 tbsp natural yoghurt

Method

Warm the milk to hand hot, then whisk in the sugar and the yeast. Set aside for a few minutes until the mixture begins to froth.

Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl, then add the yeast mixture and the yoghurt. Knead until the dough is smooth. It may start off quite sticky, try and resist adding more flour. Now set aside the mixture in a greased bowl with cling film over the top until doubled in size, usually this takes around an hour.

Once risen, punch down the dough and separate in to 4 balls. Dust with flour and then roll each ball into a very thin oval – around 0.5cm thick.

It is important to cook the naans as fast as possible, in a very very hot oven. I use a large cast iron griddle, placed upside down (so the surface is flat rather than ridged) inside the oven. As it is too wide to fit I lean it diagonally against the side. Leave the oven on full for a good half hour before hand, then place one naan at a time on the iron griddle to cook, being careful not to burn yourself.

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