03 March, 2008


Here is a totally non-authentic recipe for naan. It may not be genuine, but it is incredibly delicious, and I cook them in a cast-iron frying pan rather than a tandoor.


1 packet of active dry yeast
1 cup warm water
1/4 cup sugar
3 tbsp milk
1 egg, beaten
2 tsp salt
4 1/2 cups flour (approximately)
1/4 cup butter, melted

Dissolve yeast and a teaspoon of the sugar in warm water in a bowl and allow to stand for 10 minutes until frothy. Stir in the remaining sugar, milk, egg, salt, and enough of the flour to make a soft dough (you might not use all 4 1/2 cups.) On a lightly floured surface, knead until smooth (5 or 6 minutes.)

Place dough in a well-oiled bowl and cover with a damp cloth. Allow to rise about an hour, or until doubled.

Punch dough down and pinch off small egg-sized chunks of dough (you'll turn out about sixteen pieces, give or take a few.) Roll each chunk into a ball and place on a tray. Again, cover the dough with a damp towel and allow to rise until doubled (about 30 minutes.)

Heat a heavy skillet or cast-iron pan over medium heat. Melt the butter and have it standing by.

On a lightly floured surface, roll each ball of dough out into a thin circle. Place the flat circle of dough into the dry pan and pan-bake it for 2 or three minutes. As the bubbles form in the dough, brush the uncooked surface lightly with butter and then turn to cook the other side. Brush the cooked side with a little bit of butter as the other side finishes baking (another two or three minutes.) Use each naan's cooking time to roll out and prepare the next one. Repeat this process until all the naan are cooked. You may have to wipe the pan out now and again with a kitchen towel or apaper towel to prevent burning and to remove burnt flour dust.

If you're making these to accompany a specific meal, remember that the whole process is going to take a little over two hours from start to service. To make it a little easier, I recommend kneading the dough with a dough hook in a heavy-duty stand mixer and melting the butter in the microwave.

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