Naan Bread, Fresh From The Oven
When you next make curry, it's absolutely worth the extra effort to make your own naans. There is No Comparison with the horrible dried-out impersonation of a naan that supermarkets sell.
I love authentic curry-house naans, very much, and I'm here to tell you that you can make very convincingly naan-ish naans in your own oven with very little trouble.
300g/10 oz/2 cups strong white flour
1 tsp yeast
2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp olive oil
100g/3⅓ oz/½ cup plain yoghurt
75ml/2½fl oz/⅓cup milk
1. Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl and squish them together to make a rough dough.
2. Tip the dough onto a clean surface to knead it for about 10 minutes, or until it is smooth and elastic.
At this point, it depends how runny your yoghurt was and how big your tablespoon of oil was, as to whether the dough will be easy to handle. If it is too stiff to move (unlikely!) add a drop more milk. If it is too wet (as mine was today) add a couple of handfuls of flour to make it easier to work with. No point struggling with unmanageable dough. It should be clean and easy to knead.
3. Cover the dough with the upturned mixing bowl and leave it to rise for about 45 minutes, or until doubled in size.
4. Cut the dough into pieces, ready to shape into individual naans. I made 8 small naans, today, which were a good size to give to the children. If you want larger naans, that's up to you.
5. Preshape each piece of dough by kneading it into a bread-bun shape and leave it to rest for a few minutes.
6. Preheat the oven to 240oC/450F. Place your heaviest baking tray(s) in the oven to warm up too. It has to be said, however, that my baking trays aren't particularly heavy and worked just fine, so don't worry.
7. Roll the naans out to about half a centimetre in thickness.
If the dough is difficult to flatten, or springs back to a thicker size, let it rest for a few minutes before rolling it more. Resting the dough makes it more relaxed and easier to stretch.
8. Arrange the naans on the pre-heated baking tray(s) and bake at the high temperature for 3 minutes. The naans will puff up like pillows and begin to brown in patches.
Here are mine coming out of the oven:
9. As a final finishing touch, consider brushing the naans with melted butter to serve.
10. Eat warm. (But you didn't need me to tell you that, did you?!)
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