1/9/14

Naan - two recipes one with yogurt, one without



If I was to choose a favorite bread to have every day in some way, shape or form, it would probably be Naan.  Although I know flour can wreck havoc on a digestive system and cause bloating and pain... sometimes it's worth it because I really, really (really) love bread.  If I had the money I'd invest in authentic, non-GMO flour or purchase the wheat whole and grind it myself, but my 'grinder' is probably about 3 years off into the future yet and my budget only allows for me to purchase the flour readily available... which unfortunately is so genetically modified that our bodies hardly recognize it.  Ooops.  I'm getting off topic! 

Back on topic.  Naan.  That soft, chewy, delicious... omgoodness delicious Indian bread that can be ate as is, grilled crisp, made into gyro style wraps, pizza, garlic bread and more more more more more.  The thing is...  I don't make it often enough (that whole 'ouch' on the digestive track thing) to have a really great go-to recipe.  So here are two recipes in my files - the first one I made and it was fine but it wasn't 'it'.  I didn't know why at the time but I do now.

Naan made with yogurt has that 'something' that naan without yogurt doesn't.  So I'm putting both of these recipes together in one post so when I want to make naan again I have it at my fingertips;  but I have two versions.  The quick, easy one without a sponge or yogurt... and the one I will make if I'm not quite in such a rush and I have yogurt on hand.

 Quick and Easy Naan

1 package active dry yeast
1 c warm water
1/4 c white sugar
3 T milk
1 egg, beaten
2 t salt
4 1/2 c bread flour
2 ts minced garlic (optional)
1/4 c butter, melted


In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Let stand about 10 minutes, until frothy. Stir in sugar, milk, egg, salt, and enough flour to make a soft dough. Knead for 6 to 8 minutes on a lightly floured surface, or until smooth. Place dough in a well oiled bowl, cover with a damp cloth, and set aside to rise. Let it rise 1 hour, until the dough has doubled in volume.

Punch down dough, and knead in garlic. Pinch off small handfuls of dough about the size of a golf ball. Roll into balls, and place on a tray. Cover with a towel, and allow to rise until doubled in size, about 30 minutes.

During the second rising, preheat grill to high heat.

At grill side, roll one ball of dough out into a thin circle. Lightly oil grill. Place dough on grill, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until puffy and lightly browned. Brush uncooked side with butter, and turn over. Brush cooked side with butter, and cook until browned, another 2 to 4 minutes. Remove from grill, and continue the process until all the naan has been prepared.




If you have time to plan ahead....   This one!  From King Arthur Flour company

Naan


Sponge
1 1/2 cups (6 1/2 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1/2 cup (2 1/4 ounces) whole wheat, rye or pumpernickel flour
1/4 teaspoon instant yeast
3/4 cup (6 ounces) water

Dough
2 1/4 cups (9 1/2 ounces)King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
3/4 cup (6 ounces) plain yogurt 
salad oil or pan spray for grilling
melted butter (garlic and pepper optional), for serving

Sponge: Mix the sponge ingredients together in a bowl, and set it aside for 4 hours (or up to about 16 hours), until the mixture is bubbly and has a nice aroma.

Dough: Transfer the sponge to the bowl of a mixer or bucket of a bread machine Add the dough ingredients, and mix and knead the mixture till it becomes smooth; the dough will be soft, but not sticky. Adjust its consistency with additional flour or water, if necessary. If you’re using a bread machine, cancel it after the machine finishes kneading, before the dough rises.

Divide the dough into 8 balls, about 3 3/4 ounces each (about 2 1/4 inches, the size of a tennis ball). Let them rest, covered, for half an hour in the refrigerator while the grill is heating.

Baking: To bake, stretch each ball into an oval shape a scant 1/4-inch thick. Brush with oil or spray with pan spray, then lay the oiled side of the dough down on a clean, hot grill. After 1 minute, pick up the bread with a spatula, turn it 45 degrees, and put it back down to cook for another minute; it’ll start to puff up a bit. Oil the top side, then turn it over, cover the grill, and cook for 2 minutes to finish. Remove the naan from the grill.

If you don’t want to grill the naan, place it on a parchment-lined baking sheet (or directly on a baking stone), and bake it on the bottom rack of a preheated 450°F oven for 6 to 8 minutes, until it’s puffed and golden. To serve, brush the naan with melted butter, and season it with salt and pepper while it’s still hot. Stack the breads to keep them soft. Naan can be served in a basket on its own, or wrapped around grilled meats. Yield: 8 flatbreads, about 6 1/2 x 4 inches each.




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