Naan – East Indian Flat Bread

Naan is a must part of serving East Indian cuisine. It is simple to make and offers many opportunities for personal flair. I like to add fresh pressed garlic to the bread, but only a little bit so as not to overpower either the bread or the main cuisine.

Naan is usually served prior to the main course, but also as part of the main course. Since it is made in a large round, like a tortilla, you can slice it prior to serving in pie shapes like a sliced pizza or a quesadilla. If you really want to impress, try an East Indian dipping sauce to serve with your Naan.

Ingredients

  • 8 oz. warm water
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 oz. active dry yeast (7 grams)
  • 3 TBL milk
  • 1 egg – beaten
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 4 1/2 cups bread flour – can use all purpose but why
  • 2 cloves garlic – minced (optional)
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted

Process

  1. Mise en Place – Measure and prepare your ingredients prior to starting.
  2. In bowl or large glass cup, dissolve yeast in warm water and sprinkle with a pinch of sugar. Cover with a cloth and let the yeast pitch for about 10 minutes.
  3. Put sugar in large bowl and pour yeast over and stir.
  4. Add the milk, egg, salt, and enough flour to make a soft dough. Knead for ~ 7 minutes until smooth.
  5. Place dough in a well oiled bowl, cover with film, and proof 1 hour, until the dough has doubled in volume.
  6. Punch down dough, and knead in garlic.
  7. Pinch off small handfuls of dough about the size of a golf ball. Roll into balls, and place on a tray.
  8. Cover with film and allow to proof a second time 30 minutes, until doubled in size.
  9. During the second proof, preheat grill to high heat.
  10. Grill the Naan:
    1. Taking each ball in turn, roll out into a thin circle.
    2. Lightly oil grill (or pan) and place dough on grill. Cook 2 – 3 minutes until puffy and lightly browned. Butter the top side before flipping over.
    1. Brush the other side with butter, and cook until browned, another 2 – 4 minutes.
    2. Remove from grill, and continue the process until all the naan has been prepared.