Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Na Na Na Naan

You can't catch me, I'm the melting gingerbread person.

Sorry, I couldn't resist. This is not a recipe to try when it is in the sticky upper-80s and humid outside and you are enjoying the wonderful coolness of being indoors. But I'd never really been affected before.


The first time mom flipped through her 30-Minute Indian book that she picked up at a Borders Outlet, I was sitting next to her and noticed the recipe for Naan. I was surprised (30 minutes?), but I soon noticed after flipping through the book that while the recipes take 30 minutes, they have other parts that make them take longer. I also don't prep nearly as fast as any magazine, cookbook, or television show thinks I can.
But today I finally got around to making the bread. But I don't trust the recipe in the book, and while the only other time I've made anything with yeast, it was not a total success, I still trusted my intuitions while making this recipe and strayed a bit (there was not nearly enough liquid in it.)

While I am not sure what I made is naan in the traditional sense (I don't think it usually involves a broiler, olive oil, or rolling pin, but I know very little about Indian cuisine), whatever it was that I made was tasty, especially fresh out of the oven.

Our broiler gets hot and cold (maybe because I open and close the door a lot so it tries to adjust, I don't know), so I had to keep a close watch on the bread to keep from burning. It would go from dough to almost burnt in seconds sometimes and minutes other times.

Despite the careful eye, this is far easier to make than scones and involves ingredients that are, when we've remembered to go grocery shopping, on hand. And the warmth and cuddliness of fresh naan certainly beats that of the store-bought kind, which seems overpriced.

Naan
makes 8 4-inch oval loaves

220 g all-purpose flour (around 1 cup)
5 g/1 teaspoon baking powder
5 g fast-action yeast
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1 teaspoon toasted cumin seeds
2 Tablespoons yogurt
1 Tablespoon olive oil, plus more for brushing
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup warm water

Turn oven on to 200F unless you have a warm place in your house.

In a warm bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, yeast, salt, cumin seeds, yogurt, and 1 Tablespoon olive oil. Knead in the milk and water and shape into a large ball. Cover with a greased sheet of plastic wrap and let sit in oven (turned off and with door cracked) or in other warm place for 25 minutes.

Prepare broiler.

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for a few minutes or until smooth. Divide dough into 8 portions and roll into balls. With a rolling pin, flatten each ball of dough into about a 4 or 5 inch by 3 or 4 inch ovals. Brush with oil.

Working one or two at a time, place dough a few inches under broiler on rack using tongs and/or a metal spatula. Broil each side for 2 or 3 minutes or until browned.

1 comment:

Shawnda said...

I've never had Naan before - but your loaves looks great and I have just about all the ingreds on hand - maybe another project for the weekend!