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Naan [nahn]. An East Indian, white-flour flat bread that is lightly leavened by a natural YEAST STARTER developed from airborne yeasts. Naan is traditionally baked in a TANDOOR OVEN. A flattened round of dough is placed on a cloth puff that is used to slap the bread directly onto the side of the special high-heat oven. In less than 60 seconds, the bread puffs slightly, browns on the side touching the oven wall and takes on a light smoky flavor. The bread is speared with a skewer and removed from the oven wall to be served hot.
- 1 cup warm water
- 2 Tbsp honey
- 1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast (about 2 1/4 teaspoons)
- 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup plain yogurt (or substitute 1/4 cup milk with 1 tsp lemon juice)
- 2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup butter
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- chopped fresh cilantro for garnish
- In a small bowl, combine warm water and honey. Stir until honey has dissolved..
- Add the water mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer with the dough attachment, and sprinkle the yeast on top of the water. Lightly stir to incorporate yeast. Allow to sit for 5-10 minutes. Yeast should be foamy. If it isn’t foamy, then the yeast is not active and you should start over.
- On low speed, gradually add flour, yogurt, salt, baking powder, and egg to yeast mixture.
- Increase speed to medium and mix for another 2-3 minutes, or until the dough is smooth.
- Remove dough from the mixing bowl, and shape into a ball. Grease the mixing bowl you just removed dough from, and place the dough ball back in the bowl. Cover with a damp towel. Place in a warm location and let it rise for 1 hour until the dough has nearly doubled in size.
- When dough is just about ready, heat the butter in a small saute pan over medium heat, until melted. Add garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes until fragrant. Set aside.
- Transfer risen dough it to a floured work surface and cut into 8 equal pieces.
- Roll each piece of dough into a ball and roll out with a rolling pin, to a circle or oval shape. Dough should be no more than 1/4″ thick.
- Dip a pastry brush into garlic butter and spread on one side of each rolled out piece of naan. Place naan into a large cast-iron skillet or heavy saute pan over medium-high heat, butter side down.
- Quickly spread butter over naan side facing up. Cook for 1 minute, or until the dough begins to bubble and the bottom turns lightly golden. Flip the dough and cook on the second side for 30-60 seconds, or until the bottom is golden.
- Transfer the naan to a separate plate, and cover with a towel. Repeat with remaining dough until all of the naan pieces are cooked.
- Keep the naan covered with the towel until ready to serve. Serve warm and with fresh cilantro, if desired.