Naan

Within the first few months of this blog’s existence, I posted a recipe for chicken tikka masala.  It would be more than fair to say we had a few, very basic go-to dinner options back then and rarely strayed outside those lines so I can’t even begin to tell you how far out of our comfort zone that dish was.  Shane and I both enjoyed the meal (him more than me), but it wasn’t a big enough hit to make it into our dinner rotation.  Three years later, I’d like to think we’re a lot more adventurous in the foods we eat and the flavors we enjoy so I’m going to add chicken tikka masala to our menu next week.  I’m really looking forward to trying it again!   

Naan

One thing I won’t have to worry about when I make dinner that night?  The naan.  I bought the naan at the store last time we had chicken tikka masala and then mentioned in my blog post that I wanted to make it myself next time.  Well, finally, I got around to it :)  Last weekend Jessica posted step-by-step photos for a naan recipe and the results looked so good I didn’t even wait a week to get in my kitchen and try it.  Shane helped too – I rolled the dough and seasoned it and he was in charge of the cooking.  It was a really fun project, and we absolutely loved the naan.  Between the two of us we polished off the entire stack of naan in less than a day.  Two things – don’t be afraid to season generously – we held back on the first piece and it was on the bland side.  Also, my naan didn’t take on much color from baking in the cast iron skillet alone – the char is from cooking over the open flame on our gas stove.  That said, it still tasted great even when it was lighter in color, so you can definitely still make the recipe even if you don’t have a gas stove.  

Naan

Rather than step you through the process of making the naan, I’m just going to direct you to Jessica’s great post.  One quick note about the dough.  Once you pull all of the ingredients together, it’ll look something like this:

Naan Dough Before

The recipe instructs you to cover with a damp cloth and let rest for at least two hours before continuing…

Naan Dough

I’m honestly not sure what I expected to see when I removed the towel, but I was a bit concerned when the dough looked nearly the same as it had when I started.  I guess after making so much bread I’m used to seeing dough rise when I leave it covered for that long :) 

Naan Dough After

No need to worry – once you remove the dough and knead it for a few minutes it’ll be silky and smooth.     

Naan Dough

Homemade Naan
from Tasty Kitchen (via Prerna of Indian Simmer)

2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup warmed milk (about 100 F) (I used 1%)
1/2 cup yogurt (I used plain non-fat)
herbs/seasonings (to flavor the naan – use what you like)
melted butter (to brush the cooked naan)

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar and salt. Combine the milk and yogurt in a measuring cup. Pour over the dry ingredients and start to mix with a spoon, keeping in mind that you might not need all of the liquid to bring the dough together. I started with 3/4 of the liquid and kept adding until a soft dough came together (I did wind up needing all of the liquid but you may not if your kitchen is less dry than mine).

Cover the bowl with a damp towel and set it aside in a warm place for at least 2 hours.

Turn the dough onto a floured work surface and knead for 2-3 minutes. The dough will become silky and smooth. Divide the dough into 8 pieces. You can roll each piece into whatever shape you want, but it should be about 1/8 to 1/4-inch thick (you can add more flour if the dough is sticky).  Sprinkle one side of the bread with whatever seasonings or herbs you want, then flip it over and brush the other side with water.

Heat a cast iron skillet (or any heavy-bottomed skillet) over medium to medium-high heat. When it is hot, place the naan wet side down and cover with a lid. The bread will stick at first, don’t worry. Let it cook for about 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until you see the dough bubbling. Flip and cook the other side – if you have a gas stove, you can do this directly over the open flame of one of your burners. If not, just use your skillet – the result will still be good.

Brush with melted butter before serving – it’s definitely better that way!

Makes 8 pieces of naan