I can’t pretend to be humble when it comes to my cooking, but these naan impressed me more than I usually impress myself! The dough is very pillowy soft and tender, they were so delicious I pulled six out of the oven and they were inhaled.
This is the kind of thing you do when you have a little time on your hands, not necessarily because they are so much work, but it is important to give the dough time to rise and develop that light texture you want in a naan.
- 1 tsp dry active yeast
- 2 tsp sugar (separated)
- 3/4 cup lukewarm water (around 100* )
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 tsp fine sea salt
- 1/8 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp dry herbs
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 3 tbsp plain yogurt
In a large glass, dissolve 1 tsp sugar in the warm water and sprinkle in the yeast. Let sit for 10 minutes until it is foamy.
In a large bowl stir together the flour, salt, remaining 1 tsp sugar, baking powder, garlic powder and herbs.
Once yeast is nice and foamy stir in the olive oil and yogurt. Mix well and then stir into flour mixture with a fork. Using your hand, mix and knead in the bowl just until everything is incorporated. As soon as it is together, soft, and slightly sticky, cover it all and let it rest until doubled in size. This could be anywhere from 2-4 hours depending on how warm your kitchen is.
- 1 cup cooked & chopped up potato (could be leftover mashed potatoes too!)
- Saute 1/2 -1 cup of minced onions in ghee, until nice and soft (amount of onion depends on your love of onions!)
- Remove from heat and stir in one crushed garlic clove and 1/2 tsp dried coriander.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Set aside until cooled down.
(Ghee is clarified butter and most grocery stores carry it now, but you could easily substitute olive oil or butter)
Once the dough has doubled, gently punch it down and divide into 6, rolling those into balls.
Flatten each ball with your hands until they are 6-7 inches across. Divide the potato stuffing amongst the flattened dough pieces, and then gather the outer edges like you are forming a little pocket or purse.. Once you have completely encased the potato mixture press down gently until flattened and once again about 6-7 inches across.
Brush the tops with beaten egg, sprinkle with a little salt & pepper, chili flakes and sesame seeds.
Bake at 400 until golden brown – about 20 minutes.
Remove from oven and rub with a little melted butter and sprinkle with minced cilantro.
This naan dough originally came from an Indian Cookbook I have – Aarti Sequeira “Aarti Paarti”. I’ve loved watching her on Food Network. She added fennel and nigella seeds, and didn’t stuff them. I had something different in mind so I used this dough, and then watched endless YouTube videos on stuffing naan to come up with my own version. Have fun, play around and let me know if you come up with any other stuffings.
In making naan, I often stand over my cast iron pan, frustrated by trying to get nice char marks and yet still allowing the bread dough to be fully cooked inside without burning the outside. This often leaves me less than satisfied! This totally hands off approach yielded the softest naan and the breads were fully cooked while still having wee bits of crunchy dough around the edges and on the tops of the ones that puffed up like a pita.