Naan – Indian Bread

N for Naan

Naan is a leavened bread made with White flour and baked in the oven. It is the favorite of most people who visit Indian restaurants – including me, since this is not an easy bread to make at home. That is because most of us don’t have a tandoor – clay oven at home.

I often liken making naan at home like trying to make pizza at home. You enjoy the pizza because you made it yourself – but there is no comparison to the oven made in a 1100 degree wood burning oven.

I have also made the naan with my own dough and dough bought from a restaurant. The result seems to be the same. I am not entirely sure what it is. The naan comes out hard – maybe because it cooks too long in the oven and under 2 minutes in a tandoor. Whatever it is, I recommend that you enjoy naans in restaurants. If you want to try it at home, following is a recipe.

NAAN (makes 8)

INGREDIENTS:

4 cups White Flour (Maida)
1/2 tsp Baking powder
1 tsp Salt
1/2 cup Milk
1 tbsp Sugar
1 Egg
4 tbsp Oil
1 tsp Nigella seeds (Kalonji)

DIRECTIONS:

Mix the flour, salt and baking powder into a bowl and make a well in the middle.

Mix the sugar, milk, eggs, 2tbsp of oil in a bowl.
Pour this into the center of the flour and knead adding water if necessary to form soft dough.
Add the remaining oil, knead again, then cover with a damp cloth and allow the dough to stand for 15 minutes. Knead the dough again and cover and leave for 2-3 hours.

About half an before the naan are to be cooked, turn on the oven to maximum heat.

Divide the dough into 8 balls and allow to rest for 3-4 minutes.

Sprinkle a baking sheet with nigella seeds and put it in the oven to heat while the dough is resting.

Shape each ball of dough with the palms to make an oval shape.
Bake the naan until puffed up and golden brown (about 8 minutes).
Brush with butter as soon as it comes out of the oven

Serve hot.

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