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Naan - a leavened flat bread

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Rod Franklin View Drop Down
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    Posted: 24 January 2013 at 14:03
Many have heard of Naan. That wonderful flat bread encountered in India and in Indian restaurants. This bread is leavened and has other additions, so takes Roti to another level. Great with any soup or stew and of course most Indian meals or just by itself with a little more Ghee. This is normally made in a tandoor. A big conical wood fired clay oven that reaches well over 800F. I don't have one of those. So, the following includes adjustments for the American home kitchen and cook. I think you'll find the results quite satisfactory. I did.

I've made this several times too.

2 Cups all purpose flour
1 tsp active dry yeast
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
A good 3 finger pinch of baking soda
2 Tbsp Ghee
2 1/2 Tbsp plain yogurt
3/4 Cup lukewarm water

Dissolve the yeast in the water and allow to set for 10 minutes.
In a bowl mix the flour, salt, baking soda and sugar.
Add the ghee and yogurt and mix to make a crumbly dough.
Add the water/yeast mixture and mix and knead till dough is smooth and soft.
Cover and keep in a warm place till it doubles in volume. Maybe 3 or 4 hours.
Place oven rack on one step higher than the middle.
Heat oven to 500F with a pizza stone or all your cast iron pans inside for 30 minutes past reaching temperature.
Switch from oven temp to broiler heat.
Knead the raised dough for 3 minutes and divide into 6 equal pieces.
Dust a counter top with flour and roll the dough out into 8" or so oval shapes.
Open the oven door and wet your hands and flip flop a Naan between the palms of your hands a few times then onto the stone or into a pan. Close the door.
Continue wetting hands, flopping Naans and putting in oven till space in the oven is filled, close the door and wait just 2 or 3 minutes.
The Naan should be brown on top and it's done. It cooks quickly so keep an eye on them.
Remove from oven and immediately brush lightly with ghee and place Naans where they will stay warm while you wait a few minutes for the oven to get hot again so you can cook the rest on your breads.

This stuff will puff up considerable in the oven, but not like Roti.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 July 2015 at 15:10

Another recipe for naan, from Time/Life’s Foods of the World - The Cooking of India (1969):


Naan

Leaf-Shaped Bread


To make 6:


4 cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon sugar

1 tablespoon double-acting baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 eggs

1 cup milk

4 to 6 teaspoons ghee


In a deep bowl, combine the 4 cups of flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt, and stir with a large spoon or your fingers until well mixed. Make a shallow well in the center, drop in the eggs, and stir them into the flour mixture. Stirring constantly, pour in the milk in a slow, thin stream and continue to stir until all the ingredients are well combined.


Gather the dough into a ball and place it on a smooth, slick surface such as a large baking sheet or jelly-roll pan, or a marble slab if you have one. Knead the dough by pressing it down and pushing it forward several times with the heel of your hand, then folding it back on itself end to end. Repeat for about 10 minutes, or until the dough is smooth and can be gathered into a soft, somewhat sticky ball. Sprinkle a little flour over and under it from time to time as you knead to keep it from sticking to your hands.


Moisten your hands with a teaspoon of ghee, gather the dough into a ball, and place it in a bowl. Drape a kitchen towel over the bowl and let the dough rest in a warm, draft-free place for about 3 hours.


Slide two large ungreased baking sheets into the oven and preheat the oven and pans to 450°F. Divide the dough into 6 equal portions. Moistening your hands with ghee occasionally, flatten and form each portion into a teardrop-shaped leaf, wide at the base and tapered at the top. Each leaf should be about 6 inches long and 3.5 inches across at its widest point, and about 3/8-inch thick. Arrange the bread leaves side by side on the preheated baking sheets and bake them in the middle of the oven for 6 minutes, or until they are firm to the touch. Slide the leaves under the broiler for a minute or so to brown the tops lightly. Serve the naan hot or at room temperature.
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HistoricFoodie View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HistoricFoodie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 July 2015 at 08:19
Here’s a rather different version, from “Flatbreads & Flavors. It’s Afgani, rather than Indian. It’s a bit more complex than other naan recipes, but the results are worth the effort.

2 tsp dry yeast
½ cup warm water
1 cup well chilled whole milk yogurt
1 cup boiling water
Approx 5 ½ cups hard whole wheat flour
2 tbls safflower or corn oil
2 tsp salt
6 tbls sesame seeds

Sprinkle the yeast over the warm water in a large bowl. Stir to dissolve.

Place the yogurt in a medium bowl and gradually stir in the boiling water. Let cool to tepid (105-115F).

Stir the yogurt mixture into the yeast mixture. Stir in 3 cups flour, ½ cup at a time. Then stir 2 minutes in the same direction. You now have a sponge. Cover with plastic wrap and let stand for 30 minutes.

Sprinkle the oil and salt onto the sponge. Mix in enough of the remaining flour, ½ cup at a time, to form a dough. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, adding more flour if the dough is sticky, about ten minutes.

Wash out and lightly oil the large bowl. Add the dough, turning to coat the entire surface. Cover with a damp kitchen towel or plastic wrap and let rise until doubled in bulk, about an hour.

Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and arrange quarry tiles on a rack, leaving a one-inch space between the tiles and the oven walls. Or place a 10 x 14 inch or larger baking sheet in the oven to preheat. Preheat the oven to 450F.

Punch the dough down. Divide into six pieces. Using lightly floured hands, flatten each piece on a lightly floured work surface into a 4-5 inch round. Cover the rounds with a kitchen towel or plastic wrap and let rest ten minutes.

Lightly flour a bakers peel or the back side of a large baking sheet. Working with one round at a time, roll out on a lightly floured surface until the dough begins to stretch (keeping the other rounds covered). Brush the flour from the work surface and sprinkle one tablespoon of the sesame seeds onto the work surface. Lay the dough on the seeds and roll out to a 6 x 10 inch rectangle. Turn the dough over. Using a razor blade or tip of a sharp knife, cut five one-inch slits evenly spaced around the dough, radiating out from the center like sun rays of flower petals. Slide the dough onto the baker’s peel or prepared baking sheet. Then slide the dough onto the quarry stones or prepared sheet. Bake until the top begins to brown, about five minutes. Transfer the bread to a rack, and repeat with remaining dough rounds and sesame seeds.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drinks Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 July 2015 at 15:40
Humm, sure sounds a lot like bolillo.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HistoricFoodie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 July 2015 at 05:15
While there might be a similarity in ingredients, Drinks, the forms of the bread are totally different.

Bolillo is sort of a miniature baguette, or maybe a hoagie roll. Naan is a classic flatbread. Think in terms of a non-ballooned pita.

Classic naan, in fact, is so thin that when the dough is slapped on the sides of the tandoor it only takes a few seconds to cook in that high heat.
But we hae meat and we can eat
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HistoricFoodie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 July 2015 at 05:27
For a classic bolillo recipe, check this out: http://mexicanfood.about.com/od/savorysides/r/torta.htm

All breads are similar in that they have the same four building blocks: flour, water, salt, and leavening. Enriched breads vary by the ingredients added and their amounts.

What we find with bolillo, however, is almost a pure bread, with only a tiny amount of sugar added. This is a far cry from the enriched doughs used for naan.

And, as noted, the shapes are very different as well.

But we hae meat and we can eat
And sae the Lord be thanket
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