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Traditional sponge starter method:

1/2 cup (65g) unbleached white flour
1/4 tsp (1 ml) salt
1 tsp (5 ml) sugar
1/2 cup (120 ml) water or potato water
3 cups (355 g) unbleached white flour
1 tsp (5 ml) baking powder
1/2 tsp (2 ml) salt
1 tsp (2 ml) sugar
2 TB (30 ml) melted ghee or veggie oil
1/2 cup (120 ml) plain yoghurt, or as needed
1/2 tsp (2 ml) kalonji or black poppy seeds

Combine 1/2 cup (65 g) flour, 1/4 tsp (1 ml) salt, and 1 tsp (5
ml) sugar in a crockery jar (do not use metal) and mix well. Add
1/2 cup (120 ml) water or potato water and mix well. Cover and
set aside FOR 1 1/2 - 2 DAYS at about 100F (38C). The mixture
should become light and expand in volume, with small cracks on the
surface. If it has blackened, it must be discarded and made again.
Mix the remaining flour, baking powder, salt and sugar in a large
mixing bowl. Combine the starter, melted ghee, 2-3 TB yoghurt,
and kalonji or black poppy seeds and mix. Add the liquid starter
to the flour all at once and work it well, using your hands.
Continue mixing, adding flour or water as necessary, until the
mixture leaves the sides of the bowl and becomes a nonsticky,
kneadable dough. Knead for 6-8 minutes or until smooth and elastic.
Set in a clean bowl, cover, and let stand in a warm place for 2

To shape and bake the breads:

Punch the dough down and knead briefly, adding a little flour if
it is too sticky to handle. Divide into 6 pieces, pinching the
bottom of each one to make a smooth round. Place them on an oiled
plate and cover with lightly oiled plastic wrap. Let the balls
rest for 10-15 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 550F (290C) or the highest setting and set a
rack in the lower third of the oven, removing the upper racks.
Place two large cast-iron griddles or steel pizza trays or a large
superstone brick on rack and preheat while shaping the naan.
Preheat the broiler.

Working with two balls at a time, roll and stretch each one into
a teardrop shape about 10 inches (25 cm) long and 5 inches (12.5
cm) at its widest. When the pans have heated for about 10 minutes,
remove them and brush them with oil. Slap the shaped naan on the
griddles or stone, and immediately return to the oven. Bake for
4-5 minutes or until they are puffed and have brown spots. Transfer
the breads to a wire rack and return the pans to the oven to reheat.
Now place the wire rack under the broiler, about 3 inches (7.5 cm)
from the heat, and toast slightly until charcoal flecks appear on
the surface. Slip the hot breads into a tea towel, cover and repeat
the procedure for the remaining breads. Serve the oversized breads
in a napkin-lined basket, allowing 1 per person, depending on the
menu. To reheat, allow the naan to cool, then wrap in paper-towel
lined tinfoil. Place in a preheated oven (350F/175C) for 15 minutes.

That's it. There are variations for sourdough starter and yeast
starter. Email if you'd rather have those.


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