I’m on a bit of a bread kick this week. Oregano flatbread was a success and the crowd at french lunch gobbled it up. It’s always nice to see one of your creations enjoyed. For the next step in my bread progression, I decided to add an ingredient and its a big one in the bread world.
It was a pretty rainy here the other day and there is nothing better than warm soup on a cold, rainy night. To go with it, I made some naan. I love naan. To be honest I love all carbs, but warm bread, the kind that is both soft and slightly crispy, really gets to me.
Naan is quick. No overnight rising steps to worry about. And the ingredient list is simple. All stuff that you have in the pantry. More importantly, it pairs perfectly with stew or soup.
To start, mix yeast, sugar, and warm water in a small bowl. Hot water from the tap should be just fine, no need to heat some up. Mix the ingredients well and let sit at room temp until a layer of foaminess forms on top. In a separate bowl, combine flour and salt. Dig a little well in the middle and add the clarified butter and yeast/sugar/water. Stir together until dough forms.
Lightly grease or oil another bowl. Transfer dough to greased bowl and turn to coat lightly. Greasing the bowl and the dough will allow it to rise more evenly and completely. Let the dough sit at room temp until it doubles in size (~1hour). It’s the perfect amount of time to prep the rest of dinner, clean up the kitchen, or walk the dog (my multitasking activity of choice).
Divide the dough into 6 equal balls. Now the next step is up to you. I tried two different methods of flattening the dough, by hand and rolling, and got very different results. Both were great, but they are different (see pics above and below).
I hand pulled/flattened half of the dough and got a thicker, softer naan that still had a slight crunch to it because of the butter. I rolled out the other half of the dough paper thin and got a lighter, airier, papery naan. I liked both and had no trouble eating them. It just comes down to personal preference.
1 tsp yeast
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 cup warm water
1 cup flour, plus extra for rolling out
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup butter, clarified
Mix yeast and sugar. Add warm water and mix well. Let stand at room temp for 5-10 minutes (a little foam should form on the surface). In a large bowl, combine flour and salt. Create a well in the middle of the mixture and add butter and yeast/sugar/water mixture. Mix together all ingredients until consistent and smooth dough forms. Dough will be very sticky, but continue mix/knead for an additional 3-5 minutes. Lightly oil another bowl and add dough. Turn dough slowly to coat with oil. Let dough sit at room temperature until it doubles in size (about 1 hour). Preheat oven to 400°F. Divide dough into 6 equal balls. Roll out until very then. Bake on a lightly greased cookie sheet for 6-8 minutes or until golden brown.