Friday, September 04, 2009

An Indian-Inspired Feast, Part 3: Naan-ish Bread

When we were designing the menu for our Indian-inspired feast, I knew that I wanted to make naan. The only problem was that naan takes quite a while, and we didn't have quite a while. So we googled and googled and finally found a recipe that worked within our relatively short time frame.

Naan-ish Bread
(Photo by Susan)

Well, as is bound to happen when you try to speed up things that are meant to be done slowly, it didn't exactly turn out like naan. It was more like a dense, bready roll in the vague shape of naan. It tasted just fine and served its purpose well, but next time I'll be sure to allot plenty of time to do the real thing. On the upside, this is an easy way to get bread on the table relatively quickly and without much effort (especially if you have a KitchenAid mixer... yay dough hook!).

Shortcut Naan
Adapted from Bad Human! Don't Take Chemicals from Strangers!
Printable Recipe

3 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup yogurt
1 egg
1/4 cup butter, melted
2 tsp. salt
3 tsp. sugar
3/4 cup water
1 2/3 tbsp yeast (dried)

1. Measure out the water. In a medium bowl, combine 5 tbsp water (take from the portion you just measured out), yeast and a teaspoon of sugar and stir well. Set aside for 10-12 minutes. (You will see bubbles on the surface of the mixture which suggests that the yeast is good). Now add in the remaining water, sugar, yogurt, egg, butter, and salt. Stir well.

2. Add the flour to this liquid and knead into a smooth, soft, and elastic dough. (It will take about 10-15 minutes by hand, or several minutes using a KitchenAid mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment).

3. Take a warm bowl, butter all the sides and the bottom of the bowl then place the dough in the bowl, cover with a cloth and keep in a warm place until the dough doubles in height (about 40 minutes). Push a finger into the dough. If the impression remains, then it is ready to be baked. Make the dough into 8 equal balls, flatten them into circles with your fingers such that the edges are thicker than the center. Pull one end of the circle so that the dough circle now looks like a tear drop or a balloon in two dimensions. The length is about a handspan and width about a palm.

4. Heat oven to 450F, and place the dough on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes or until golden brown.

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