I love bread, but who doesn't?! I also love Indian food, though due to its spices and heat it's not everyone's favourite... What goes well with almost any Indian meal is bread, Naan bread in particular.
I admit, I used to buy it, do it the "easy way", but... it turned out that the "easy way" is to actually make it myself. It's easier, cheaper, healthier, more delicious, I can also flavour it if I chose to do so (think coriander, garlic, mixed seeds, onion, chives...) and on top of all that, there's no need for the plastic bag as a packaging! You can make double batch of the recipe and freeze your Naan (once it's completely cooled). I simply take it out of the freezer to thaw, then pop it into a toaster for a bit and it's as good as freshly made!
This recipe comes from a great Indian cookbook by Amandip Uppal "Indian made easy", if you enjoy Indian cuisine, this might be a cookbook for you (there are all kinds of recipes there, it's not exclusively vegan/plant based cookbook, but easily adaptable as such - think swapping paneer for tofu, chicken for TVP or seitan).
How to make it...
- 7 g dried yeast (that's usually 1 sachet)
- 1 teaspoon caster sugar (optional, but I highly recommend to use it)
- 200 ml lukewarm water
- 400 g strong bread flour
- 2 tablespoons veg oil
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- In a jug, mix together yeast, sugar and water, stir well and leave for few minutes.
- After about 5-10 minutes, add oil.
- Ina bowl put flour mixed with salt, pour your wet mix from a jug into it.
- Mix in the wet into dry with one of your hands.
- Flour your hands and begin to knead the dough to form a ball. Your dough should be soft, not sticky, keep kneading for about 5 minutes. The final consistency of the naan dough should not be very soft or hard, more like springy to the touch.
- Place the dough back into the bowl. Cover with cling film and rest for 25 minutes.
- Using slightly oiled hands divide the dough into about 8-10 equal size balls.
- Place on lightly oiled tray, cover and leave in a warm place for about 20 minutes, until double in size.
You can bake/cook your naan in two ways:
1. Preheat the grill to medium-high, with a heavy based baking tray placed on the top shelf. Roll our the dough balls thinly and evenly, to about 1 cm thick. One by one place the rolled out naan onto the baking tray, brush lightly with water and grill for about 1-2 minutes on each side, until lightly browned and puffed up.
2. Heat a large non-stick frying pan over a high heat. Take one of the balls of dough and roll it out to form a teardrop shape, about 1 cm thick. When the pan is very hot, carefully lay the naan bread into it. Let it dry fry and puff up for about 3 mins, then turn over and cook on the other side for another 3-4 mins or until cooked through and charred in places.
Serve hot. If you have any leftover naan you can eat it at a later time - I put mine in the toaster to reheat it.
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