Monday, 23 November 2020

Naan (Indian Flat Breads)


Homemade naan (indian flatbreads). Cooked and photographed by Susan Walter.

Naan are something it is difficult to get in rural France. I'm told some supermarkets do sell them, but I've never found them. And anyway, homemade is so much nicer. They are light and cushiony, warm and absorbant.

 I use this very nice local stoneground flour.
Stoneground wheat flour. Indre, France. Photographed by Susan Walter. Tour the Loire Valley with a classic car and a private guide.

Ingredients
A sachet of dried yeast (8g)
1 tsp sugar
150 ml warm water (between 40C and 42C is ideal)
300 g bread flour, plus extra for dusting work surface
1 tsp salt
125 g pot of natural yoghurt
2 tbsp melted butter, plus extra to brush finished naan
A little canola oil to grease the bowl
Nigella (black onion), sesame or poppy seeds

Method
  1. Put the yeast, sugar and two tablespoons of warm water into a small bowl and stir well. Cover and leave in a warm place for 10 minutes (it should have started to froth).
  2. Put the flour and salt into a stand mixer bowl and whisk to combine.
  3. Stir the yoghurt into the yeast mixture, pour into the flour, add the butter. Using the cake mixing paddle on a slow speed on the stand mixer to combine, then slowly pour in water as you mix.
  4. Continue mixing on a slow speed for 10 minutes. This kneads the dough.
  5. Coat the top of the dough with a drizzle of oil, cover the bowl and set aside to prove for 2 hours (or overnight in the fridge).
  6. Scrape the dough out onto a generously floured work surface. Hand knead the dough, sprinkling with a bit of flour, until it is no longer sticky, but only just. It must be soft and silky.
  7. Divide the dough into 8 balls.
  8. Heat a large heavy frying pan (ideally cast iron, or a good non-stick) over the highest heat until really smoking.
  9. Flatten the balls with your hands and lift one end so they form the traditional teardrop shape.
  10. Put one in the frying pan.
  11. When you can see bubbles in the naan and a little bit of brown appearing at the edges, turn the naan over and cook for another 30 seconds or so. The cooked sides should have a few burnt black patches.
  12. Repeat 10-11 until all the dough is cooked. This will create a lot of smoke in the kitchen, so make sure you’ve got a window open or an exhaust fan going.
  13. The naan can be kept warm in the oven if you will be eating them immediately, or cooled, wrapped and frozen. Once thawed, 30 seconds in the microwave heats them up nicely.
  14. Brush the warm naan with melted butter and sprinkle with seeds.

    Serve with aloo gobi and other Indian style curries.

Yum

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6 comments:

Aussie in France said...

I've never made naan but this recipe makes me want to try. Do you use 80 or 110 flour? We have just sadly lost our bread flour and grain supplier down the road. He's had to retire due to a bad back and because of covid has not been able to sell his business.

bonnie poppe said...

Thank you! Will try this.
bonnie in provence

the fly in the web said...

I used to make them as you describe, but when they started to bubble I would turn the pan upside down over the gas flame to finish them.
Can't do it now, my wrists are too weak....

Susan said...

To be honest I usually use 65, stone ground from a good small miller in Berry -- Christophe Chaussé.

Susan said...

Great! Let me know how they go.

Susan said...

That does sound wrist breaking. I don't think I'll try it :-)

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