Thursday, October 1, 2009

Naan - Indian Flat Bread

There's no better way to mop up those last bites of a yummy curry dish than by breaking off a fresh, warm piece of garlic naan. It's not bad on it's own either, as we found out today. What an easy recipe! Make it for your friends and family on a breezy autumn day. Everyone will be pleased with a hot, buttery, salty garlic bread to nibble on.
Remember we talked about the various toppings you can use, including poppy seeds, sesame seeds, garlic, cheese, or even honey. There are so many different recipes and variations for making naan. I encourage you to try some different ways. Some sources say to use yogurt(plain) and/or milk, and others include egg. Some use only flour, water, yeast and oil. I think the milk we used gave a richness to the dough, but I will experiment with yogurt and see how that turns out. Here is a link to some fun videos of Indian chefs making naan:
And try the Curry Corner Restaurant in Lacey for some authentic dishes and groceries.

The recipe we did in class:

3 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 pkg yeast
1 Tb sugar
1/2 cup warm water (not HOT)
1 cup milk
2 Tb canola (or other vegetable) oil
sesame seeds
3 cloves garlic, chopped small
melted butter

Combine yeast, sugar and warm water in a small bowl. In another bowl, combine milk and oil. Place flour and salt in a large bowl, and hollow out a space in the center. Pour the yeast mixture in, and then the milk mixture. With your hands, begin combining ingredients. It will be sticky at first. Have extra flour nearby to add more as needed. Knead the dough until it forms a ball and becomes less sticky.
Coat the bowl and dough with oil, cover with a wet dishtowel, and place in warm place for an hour to rise.
Heat oven to its highest temperature and grease some baking sheets.
Divide dough into four pieces. Do not knead it more at this point or it will become tough and unworkable. On a floured work-surface and with floured hands begin poking the dough with all your fingers to spread it out into an oval shape of even thickness.
Sprinkle with seeds and garlic, and press them in with flat hand.
Cook until puffed and brown, about 5-7 minutes. Keep an eye on it so it doesn't overcook.
As soon as it is out of the oven, brush butter on and sprinkle it with salt.
Best eaten the same day it is baked.

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