Naan Bread

This weekend Soph cooked a lamb vindaloo, with a spicy dhal on the side, so I made naan bread to accompany it.

Doing naan at home without a tandoor oven is generally considered to give a very poor imitation of naan. However I’d found an America’s Test Kitchen recipe that claimed to do a reasonable job.

Unusually this bread is made in the food processor, and then fried. Normally flatbreads, like my pitas, are made in the mixer then baked.

Flour, sugar, spices (black mustard seeds, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, all crushed) and yeast are mixed together, then a mix of water, yogurt and oil poured in while the food processor is running.

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This then stands for 10 minutes to let the yeast get started before salt is added and it’s formed into a dough ball. Unfortunately I had a hiccup with the food processor and the dough managed to escape down the middle tube somehow…

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I didn’t realize this had happened and added flour to bring the dough together, when really all it needed was the blade moving at the proper speed and all the mix staying in the bowl…

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This dough then gets chilled. Ideally over night, but I only had a couple of hours available.

After chilling the dough is split into 4 pieces (or 3 if, like me, you lost a lot of mixture down the middle of the food processor…). This gets rolled out into naan bread shapes and then stabbed with a fork to avoid it bubbling up during cooking.

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I used out big heavy frying pan, and put it on medium and gave it lots of time to get properly heated up before cooking. Before cooking I sprayed both the pan and the bread with butter spray, then cooked on both sides until it was cooked through. This was pretty quick, maybe 5 minutes total, and it got a good brown colouring on the surface (maybe burnt in places, but that’s authentic!).

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Once cooked it was served with Soph’s excellent curry, and it was all delicious! OK most of that was Soph’s curry, but the naans done this way really did seem pretty authentic, certainly better than any other home naan recipe we’ve come across.

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  • 1/3 cup ice water
  • 1/3 cup plain whole-milk yogurt
  • 3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 2 cups (10 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp jeera (cumin) seeds
  • 1 tsp corriander seeds, crushed
  • 1/2 tsp black mustard seeds
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon instant or rapid-rise yeast
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • Butter spray

Crush all spices. Whisk water, yogurt, oil & yolk. Mix flour, yeast, spices & sugar in food processor. Add liquid to flour mix with food processor running, mix until flour is combined. Let stand for 10 minutes.

Add salt and process until a dough ball forms. Wrap in clingfilm and chill for at least an hour (overnight is better).

Heat heavy non-stick frying pan to medium. Split dough into 4 and roll out into naan shape. Stab naan repeatedly with a fork. Spray pan and bread with butter spray, and fry naan until cooked through, expecting some brown marks on the surface.

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