Naan (Indian Flat Bread) Recipe

With our Indian dinner the other night, I made naan to go with the chicken tandoori and the curried cauliflower. It’s my favorite part of dinners at Indian restaurants, and I didn’t know until I started making it and told a few friends that apparently, it’s difficult to find a good naan recipe. I took a little from here, a little from there to make it. I guess a combination of knowing my ingredients, remembering vividly what naan at the restaurant tastes like, and a good amount of luck was at play, because my naan was fantastic. And not so difficult!

2½ tablespoons instant yeast*
1 cup warm water
1/4 cup sugar
1/8 cup milk
1 egg, beaten
2 teaspoons salt
4½ cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup butter, melted

In your mixer’s bowl, mix everything but the butter and then knead with the dough hook for 5 minutes (or knead by hand for 8 minutes). Put the dough in an oiled bowl, cover with a towel, and set in a warm place to rise until doubled in volume (about 45 minutes to an hour).

Punch down the dough and form into golf-ball sized balls. Place on a cookie sheet and cover with a towel, and let rise until doubled (about half an hour).

Preheat a large skillet to medium heat. Lightly oil the skillet (I used nonstick spray).

Just before cooking each ball, flatten it out to a very thin disk. You can use a rolling pin or your hands, but the thinner it is, the bubblier it will be. Put the dough disks in the skillet (I could get three at a time). As the bottom browns (just 2 minutes or so), brush the tops with the melted butter. Turn and brown on the other side. You only want the raised parts brown – let the rest stay white.

Wrap the naan in aluminum foil to stay warm until dinner.

* If you are using active dry yeast or rapid rise yeast, mix the warm water, sugar and yeast together first and let it sit about 10 minutes, until it’s foamy and puffy. Also, that’s about a packet.

I would have loved to try this and the chicken on the grill – but I don’t have one! I hope to remedy that this summer.

For dessert, I heated up some butter in a frying pan, briefly warmed the naan in the butter, and sprinkled it with cinnamon sugar. YUM!