I went online to check out recipes for naan and they are all over the place in terms of ingredients, leavening and baking methods. Some call for milk, eggs, yogurt and/or butter, but some of the best naan I've had in restaurants seem to be just flour, water, leavening and salt, with a little butter brushed on at the end. Any tried and true recipes out there?
Also, I'm thinking the best way to simulate a clay oven with my gas oven (to get that semi-burnt surface) is to bring the oven temp up to 500 with a baking stone in the middle position, toss in the dough and then turn on the broiler. Anyone tried that?
I was desparate for some naan to have with my homemade curry so I tried using a box mix; to my surprise it came out surprisingly well. As a bonus feat I cooked it in my cast iron skillet on low heat, 5 minutes per side (oven isn't working reliably).
The texture wasn't much like good restaurant naan from a tandoor, but it was nice and chewy. Think flat Greek or Armenian leavened breads or perhaps Indian (roti? paratha?).
Anyway I was amazed at the simplicity of preparation.
The box included two Fleischmann's yeast packets and 12 oz. dry mix containing wheat flour, malted barley flour (!), nonfat yogurt (powder), salt, onion powder, sugar.
I'm definitely going to try this from scratch!
A couple of years ago, we started an annual South Asian potluck at work, and for the first one I made naan on the BBQ grill, using dough from a local tandoori restaurant. I didn't get much of a discout over the finished price of the naan, but the bread turned out great after I got the hang of it. So, see if you can score dough from your favorite restaurant. An added benefit is that your get to see and feel and taste the dough in its uncooked state, to compare with your scratch efforts.
I recently made this recipe: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Naan/Det... with FAB results. Really really good. But it requires a hot bbq grill and the naan itself is best DIRECTLY off the grill. In just the time it took to cook up the whole batch and then plate dinner, the naan had degraded from that marvelous crispy/chewy wonder that is naan to a delicious but nowhere near as perfect rendition. I toasted leftovers and got a bit of the crisp back the next day(s) but right off the grill was leaps and bounds better.
wow you are so brave making your own naan. i have to tell you in places where people eat naan as a regular carb with the meal, the naan comes from the neighborhood tandoori baker. no one actually makes naan at home. I guess cuz not many people actually have a tandoor. in the US, a lot of ppl who don't like the naan in the packets at the Asian grocer (it is rubbery) choose a restaurant that has a good authentic naan and buy and freeze to eat with dishes that MUST have naan instead of rice or another form of flat bread.
Also,some Indian restaurants in the US make an all white flour naan, but real naan has a mix of stone ground wheat flour (chakki aata) and white flour, the white flour is only added to make it stretchy and soft. When I select my restaurant to be the source of my naan, I only choose one that uses a mix of white and wheat flour.
If you paint it with milk or add butter/ghee and sesames it becomes "roghni naan"
anyway good luck with making your naan
Here is the recipe I use. I also have made a sandwich bun with the same recipe using
yogurt and letting the dough rise 45 minutes before baking. I like the buns better than
the Naan. One trick that works well is to do the Naan on 7 or 8 " sheets of aluminum foil
on the center rack of the oven. Turning maybe once. That way both sides get done
at the same time. More heat is directed to the bread without burning or wasting heat
on a cookie sheet. I looked all over the net before deciding on using this recipe.
1 c Flour
1 pk Yeast, dry
2 ts Salt
1 c Water, hot
1 c Buttermilk; or yogurt
1 Egg; (room temp)
2 tb Oil
1 tb Honey; or sugar
2 1/2 c Flour
Ghee; (clarified butter)
* If desired, you can use cornmeal or sesame or poppy seeds on the bread.
Combine 1 cup flour, yeast, and salt in a mixing bowl. Stir in water,
buttermilk, egg, oil and honey. Beat until smooth with an electric mixer.
Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft, sticky dough. Turn onto a
floured surface, continue to work in flour until dough is stiff enough to
knead. Knead until smooth and elastic, but still soft (3 to 5 minutes).
Place in an oiled bowl; turning once to coat top of dough. Cover; let rise
until double in bulk (about 45 minutes). Punch dough down. Shape into 16
equal balls. Let rest 5 minutes. Roll out each ball to a 1/4-inch thick round.
If desired, brush with melted butter and sprinkle with garnishes.
Set on baking sheets. Bake at 450 degrees F. for 5 to 8 minutes. NOTE:
There is no second rising in this recipe so that you get flat loaves.
I made some excellent flat bread on my grill. It tasted just like naan when I put butter on it. The recipe calls for olive oil and spice, which is yummy. But salted butter makes it taste like naan. See the 2007 April Bon Appetit or go to www.epicurious.com nd look for flatbread.
I've had tremendous success with this one that includes instant mashed potato flakes! (You will need to scroll down to get to the naan.)
I also get the best results with cooking naan on the grill. It gives me the sustained heat I need and also chars the outside a bit, which I like.
An alternative to the grill is to crank your oven with a pizza stone in there and gook them on the stone.
Most of the restaurant naan I've had was very white, almost pure white. I think that color would preclude the use of egg.
I'm also leaning toward a milk based dough rather than yogurt, as the acid in the yogurt might make an inhospitable environment for the yeast.
Restaurant naan tastes fairly lean to me, a little richer than fat free pizza dough, but not much. If you add melted butter to the dough, I'd keep it to a minimum.
Lastly, and most importantly, I'm pretty certain the walls of a pre-heated tandoori get hotter than 500 and have quite a bit more thermal mass than a baking stone. Without a sustained burst of intense heat, the bread won't have characteristic fluffiness of naan.
Ok, this thread is a year old but I'm still searching for my favorite naan recipe. Acids such as lemon juice or vinegar or ascorbic acid (vitamin C) are dough conditioners - try adding a small amount of white balsamic vinegar next time you're trying to turn out good baguettes. As another post mentions, a bit of acid from the yogurt shouldn't hurt the yeast - and if it has any similarities to these other acids, it should actually help with texture. That may be the same reason that some recipes for naan call for a bit of baking powder since it has a bit of acid in it. I have had some naan that was very golden and good and it's possible it had egg in it. My taste leans toward the whiter varieties so I suspect that no egg is more my flavor. I have very good luck with pizza dough, pita and naan on my pizza stone. I turn my oven up to 550F which is as hot as it gets, and let it preheat that stone first. It's not exactly the result of a tandoori but I gotta say it's as close as I can get when Indian restaurants are unavailable to me for hundreds of miles. I think the next recipe I try will be from Manjulas kitchen on YouTube since she also use a pinch of baking soda which "How it works is that the baking soda, for example, is combined with an acid like cream of tartar, buttermilk, yogurt or vinegar in the batter. Together they produce bubbles from the carbon dioxide gas that is produced, allowing the dough or batter to rise as it bakes. It reacts immediately when moistened so it is usually mixed first with dry ingredients and last with the liquid ingredients."
Yes, try the recipe from Manjula's Kitchen on YouTube. I wrote down the ingredients and directions and now have made naan three times with this recipe on my pizza stone. It's best when you use some milk instead of water PLUS the yogurt she calls for. OR One time I used the whey and liquids leftover after making my own paneer from raw milk. That made a slightly more sour naan since I used lemon juice to curdle the paneer but it was GOOD. It's a verrrry velvety dough after it rises and sweet and soft to work with. I used part whole wheat the last time I made it and it was still brilliant - about a quarter of the total flour. good eating!
Here's the one I've found successful:
1 pkg active dry yeast
4T white sugar
1c warm water
1 egg, beaten
3T milk (can probably substitute plain yogurt)
4.5c bread flour
1/4c ghee (or unsalted butter)
Dissolve yeast in water, proof until frothy; stir in sugar, milk, egg, salt and enough flour to make a soft dough; knead 6-8 minutes on floured surface; let rise until doubled; punch down, knead in any spices or fruits if you like that. pinch off small bits, roll into balls, allow to rise again; roll out into thin circles.
Preheat grill/cast iron pan on high. lighlty oil, cook until browned and puffy; brush uncooked side with ghee/butter and turn over, cook another 2-4 minutes.
Ghee is just a sort of clarified butter, you can get it at an international grocery store; it's more authentic than yellow butter.
Here's a video of how to cook naan on youtube.com by jemeela...it may be helpful to you, I don't know but she seems to know what she's doing--one detraction: she says "veddy hot oven" but does not say what temp that is, sorry!...I love naan but have not tried it at home...I am slowly including Indian cooking into my line-up at home with sons.