I’ve been givin’ my oven some lovin’ lately and experimenting with breadmaking. I’ve made a few loaves of sourdough, sourdough pizza crust, and pita bread. They’ve been moderate successes, but I haven’t been able to master any of them just yet. The problem lies with my ancient oven, which never gets very hot. I’m not ready to give up breadmaking until we move into another apartment just yet, though. I remembered that I saved a recipe for pan-fried naan a couple weeks ago and I thought I might have more success with that. I was so right. The fact that naan is so ridiculously easy to make is not a good thing. Now I don’t want to eat anything else ever again.
In case you’re unfamiliar, naan (which means “bread” in many languages, by the way) is a teardrop shaped leavened flatbread that is typically cooked in a clay oven called a tandoor. It is a stape food in Central and South Asia. Of course, I don’t have a tandoor but pan frying naan is the next best thing. And so ridiculously easy. If you can make pancakes, you can make naan. Try to eat just one, I dare you.
(adapted from The Little Red House)
1/2 cup warm water
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour, plus extra for dusting and rolling
1/4 cup olive oil (the recipe called for canola oil, but we usually only ever buy olive, peanut, and coconut oil)
1/3 cup plain yogurt
1 egg, beaten
oil or ghee, for frying
In a large bowl, mix together water, yeast, and sugar. Let stand for 5 minutes, or until foamy.
Add flour, salt, oil, yogurt, and beaten egg. Stir until you have a dough that’s easy to work with, add more flour if needed. Knead the dough until smooth and elastic. Transfer the dough to a large greased bowl and cover with a towel. Let the dough rise until it has double in sized, or about an hour.
On a floured surface divide the dough into 6-8 pieces. Roll out each piece very thinly and set aside.
Heat oil or ghee (not too much! Just a little for each piece) in a large skillet. when hot, add the naan and cook until blistered and golden brown. Flip and cook until golden on the other side. Repeat with remaining naan. Serve with your favorite curry.
Makes about 8 naan.
Originally posted in May 2010