Friday, August 26, 2016

Naan bread

We've been experimenting with naan bread.

It's an Indian/Paki leavened flat bread.

Here is a pretty good recipe:

Naan: Indian oven-baked flat bread

We substitute honey for sugar; in this recipe we use three tablespoons of honey.

We use Greek Gods honey yogurt, or honey-vanilla yogurt. While low-fat yogurt works, do not use no-fat yogurt.

The dough will be very sticky. I pour a couple of teaspoons of olive oil into my hands and rub it around like a lotion. This helps keep the dough from becoming unmanageable while kneading and other handling.

After I'm done kneading the dough, I pick it all up out of the bowl while Leece scrapes the bowl clean. She then wipes the bowl with olive oil, and I put the dough back in.

We let the dough rise for about 90 minutes, then punch it down and let it rise for another hour. This punch down is not necessary, but we found that several punchdowns and rises over the space of several hours really improves the flavor of our focaccias and ciabattas. We tried it with the naan and found it works there, too.

When rolling out, I don't use a pin. I just work it flat with the heel of my hand.

We tried baking it in a cast iron skillet on a gas ring. We found that we couldn't get the flame low enough to keep from overheating the pan. As it turns out, the 3.5 to 4 setting on one of the electric range's large burners heats the pan very nicely. Make sure the pan is up to temp before the first naan goes in. We wipe the pan with a paper napkin soaked in olive oil. When the oil begins to smoke slightly, that's your cue.

Use a cast iron skillet or even a cast iron Dutch oven if at all possible.

This is some good stuff. A double recipe will not see us through the week.