The Crooked Ladle
Homemade Naan Bread - Indian Flatbread
Indian Naan Bread / Flatbread - Better than a Restaurant's
Naan Indian Flatbread
I don't know why I feel so empowered when I make this bread. Maybe because I get an immediate result after each bread is skillet cooked which is very satisfying. And that's another thing; there's no baking in the oven for this type of bread. It only takes a few minutes or so to cook off each bread. Then there's the softness of it and satisfying subtle flavor which is so satiating. I can't decide if I eat Indian food just so I can have the accompanying naan. It's akin to going to a movie theatre, just so you can indulge in the popcorn; that is the main event isn't it. The stovetop skillet version of naan comes pretty close to the traditional Indian method of using a very hot tandoor clay oven. You still get that quintessential characteristic of billowy softness and charred bubbles. So, I encourage readers to try this recipe and dip or scoop your bread into a wonderful saucy entrée such as curry or stews (it doesn’t have to be an Indian entrée) …just lovely.
Prep Time: 40 Minutes
Cooking Time: 15 Minutes
· Utility chopping board
· Electric mixing bowl or large bowl
· Medium microwave safe bowl
· Minimum 12” cast iron pan or another skillet type,
including an electric skillet
· Stir spoon
· Rolling pin
· Measuring cups
. Measuring spoons
· Pastry brush
· 2 to 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour plus extra for dusting
Note: I used just 2 cups of flour and am showing the option up to 2 ½ cups since measuring cups and flours can vary. Therefore, I recommend starting with 2 cups and if you find your dough consistency is highly sticky, add a bit more - a little at a time.
· 1/3 cup whole milk
· 1/3 cup sour cream or Greek plain yogurt or regular plain yogurt
[If using yogurt, ensure you do not use non-fat type]
· 1 tablespoon white granulated sugar
· 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
· 4 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
· 1 teaspoon salt
· ½ teaspoon baking powder
Optional Topping Flavoring:
· ¼ cup salted butter, melted
· 1 large fresh garlic, pressed with garlic press
Combine the melted butter and garlic and mix. Use the melted butter to either pour over your naan or to dip your naan into.
Optional: 1 tablespoon cilantro or parsley chopped finely for garnish
1. Combine the milk and sour cream in a medium bowl. Place in microwave for 20 seconds on high. Stir and heat in the microwave again for another 20 seconds. Stir to combine well. The milk mixture should be warm to the touch but not hot. If necessary, repeat another 20 second heating interval as microwave temperatures vary.
2. Now to proof the yeast, add the sugar and yeast to the warmed milk mixture that you heated and stir well gently to combine all. Allow the combination to rest for 5 to 8 minutes or until you observe small bubbles on the surface as shown in the far right image below.
3. Add the oil to the milk/yeast mixture.
Note: For this next step you can choose to either use a manual method or electric mixer method using a dough hook attachment. In this case, I started with the mixer to get the dough to the crumbly stage and then I brought the dough into a ball by hand as described in step 4 below.
4. In a large bowl or electric mixer bowl, add the flour, salt and baking powder. Then add the milk/yeast mixture to the flour and mix to combine to a crumble. At the crumble stage, with your hands,bring the dough together to form a roundball. Knead for about eight minutes by hand (five minutes if using an electric mixer) until the dough is somewhat smooth in texture. Form all of the dough into one ball.
5. Either oil or butter the bottom and sides of a large bowl or spray the bowl with non-stick spray. Place the dough ball in the bowl and then turn the ball so the bottom is now on the top. Cover lightly with plastic wrap or a clean tea towel. Allow to rest for at least one hour or until the dough ball doubles in size. Be sure to keep the dough away from any drafts during this time.
6. Once the dough has risen, punch the dough once in the center. Then create six balls in somewhat equal sizes to about 8 by 5 inches. Roll out each ball into ovals to no more than 1/8 inch thick or so. Allow the ovals to rest for 3-5 minutes before the next step.
7. Heat the skillet on medium-low heat then add one teaspoon oil and spread the oil around with a pastry brush and bring oil up to heat. Lay one bread flat on the hot oil and cook for about two minutes. Flip and cook for another one minute or until cooked through and displays charred patches. Watch for any potential burning as this can happen quickly. You may see bubbles (air pockets) in your cooking naan and this is a good thing. It is okay to press these down to ensure the naan gets cooked through. Set the cooked naan aside on a plate or a tea towel and cover if serving immediately. Personally, I prefer to make these the day before serving so I have time to work on my main event. Meanwhile, while I keep these in a plastic bag and I prefer to freeze them until the day I need them. After they thaw and are ready to serve, I reheat the naan in the microwave for about 10 seconds individually or 20 seconds for a group of six or so.
If you plan to serve these billowy breads within 30 minutes or so, you can keep them warm in the oven covered with aluminum foil until ready to serve.
While naan makes a wonderful accompaniment to Indian entrees, they also work well for any other stew type meals with sauces or gravies. Naan also works well for lunch wraps. I hope you try this delightful worldly recipe!
The Crooked Ladle
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