Friday, 28 March 2008

Naan Bread - from scratch!!

I am not a baker. I've tried, but it really just doesn't come naturally to me. My first ever home-made bread tasted of beer. My bread machine bread could probably be used as a weapon to kill small animals. Flat breads seemed to be just about acceptable - but I wasn't sure if that was due to the lack of yeast, or because I was being supervised by a chef!

Yet, last week, when I was preparing my dough for the berber pizza, something felt a bit different. It started to make a bit more sense. So last night, I put my neck out and decided to make some naan bread... and it worked! It just worked!! No beer smell. It rose as I wanted it to. I burnt a couple... but that's because I got distracted...

I don't know if it is using active dried yeast instead of the sachets. When I see the yeast foaming at least I know something will happen! Or maybe I'm just getting more used to cooking in general...

And so, the intrepid baker presents you with...

Naan Bread

  • 1 1/2 tsp active dried yeast
  • 1 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 3 cups white bread flour
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 3 tbsps ghee - room temperature, so liquid form!
  • 3 tbsps natural yoghurt
  • 3 tbsps melted ghee for brushing
  • garlic salt (optional)
Mix the sugar and yeast with the hot water until dissolved, then leave to stand for 10 minutes until foamy. (Woo hoo - I now know that the hot water wakes the yeast up - and that the sugar is its breakfast!)

Meanwhile, sieve the flour and salt together, add the ghee and yogurt and the activated yeast mix. Mix with a spoon, then by hand until it forms a soft dough, then turn out and knead for 10 minutes. (I even like kneading! It's great seeing the ingredients form a dough... that you just know will work!)

Place dough in an oiled bowl, cover with film and place in a warm place for an hour or so until doubled in size.

Remove from bowl, divide into eight pieces and flatten each one into a round circle - I just used the palm of my hand to do this - you want an uneven surface!

Now, I worked this out as I went through the eight pieces, but I think the best thing to do here, is to make the circles, then cover with a damp cloth for 15 minutes. Oil a baking tray, then take a circle and gently tug it downwards - ideally you want a teardrop pattern. Place this on the tray (you might be able to fit a couple on!). Brush with ghee and sprinkle on a little garlic salt if you like. (Or you could mix a bit of crushed garlic into the melted ghee!) Put it under a medium/hot grill for 2 minutes until puffy and browned. Bring it out, turn, brush with ghee and grill for another 2 minutes on the other side.

Serve immediately!

Anyway, I think I'm getting a bit over-excited with all this baking stuff - stand by for my next baking post... if it stinks of beer, or weighs more than I do, then it could well be the end of the intrepid baker!

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Peter M said...

Ahhh, this is waht you were referring to w/ regards to your has to be better than store bought, and it's motivating me to make my own pita bread.

ley said...

:GASP: You made your own naan??? Oh, you're my hero! I've been wanting to make my own forever, but am too scared I'll muck it up. Thank you- I have an easy, tried-and-true recipe now! Yay!!