Naan or Naan bread as it is fondly called(which will not be included in the bread category back home) is a well known oven and tandoor recipe. Without a doubt, if you raid a bachelor’s fridge, the stacks of frozen naans will grin back at you. Of course, it is an easier option to just warm them up in the oven/broiler and serve with any gravies for a quick dinner instead of cooking.
It is not necessary to entirely bake the naan, as naan can also be made on a stove top. The naan dough is almost the same as a pizza dough, and if you happen to have some left over naan dough in the fridge, you can convert it to a pizza or vice versa. Yup, that ready made, refrigerated pizza dough can be made in to a naan in a few minutes.
The Naan I made has layers, just for fun, instead of the usual plain naan as I had nothing else to do 😉
Ingredients (Makes 9 Naans)
All purpose flour, self rising- 2 cups for naan and 2 tbsp (for dusting)
Melted Butter- 2 tbsp for naan making and couple of more dabs for spreading on the cooked naan
Milk- 2 tbsp
Salt- 3/4 to 1 tsp
Yeast- 1 tsp
Warm water- for yeast- 1/4 cup
Plain water- for kneading
Dissolve the yeast in warm water, along with the salt and sugar. Whisk it well and add flour, milk and get a crumbly texture first, then add cold water and knead well without any lumps or sticky dough. Add butter and knead again, making sure that the butter coats the dough. Divide the dough into equal parts.
Cover this dough with a wet(not dripping wet) cloth and leave it aside for atleast 30 minutes to anywhere upto 4 hours at room temperature or up to 48 hours in a fridge.
What I did after about 30 minutes was to stretch each ball into a chapati shape dough, and then sliced them into long thin slices and kept the long wedges one on top of the other, brushing each layer with butter and rolled it up like a ball again. You can skip this if you want, it is not necessary to layer them.
When it is time to make the Naans, take one of the layered rolled up ball, dust it with some flour, and make them into naans of either square, round or triangle in shape, typically between a 6 -8″ diameter for a circle using a rolling pin to spread them.
Heat a flat frying pan/dosa pan and transfer the naan to the hot pan. Let it fluff up on one side, brush it with some butter, and turn it to the other side till reddish brown, even spots appear on both sides.
Alternatively, you can cook one side on the stove top, and then broil the other side for 1-2 minutes.
You can also sprinkle herbs, garlic, chopped nuts or onion seeds on top of the naan while it is cooking to make different types of Naan.
Serve the Naan with any gravy of your choice, we had it with Egg Sambal.