Quick Naan – Dinner With Julie


I make naan a lot – chewy flatbread cooked in a hot cast iron skillet until it’s blistered and bulbous, served warm straight from the pan. Naan is perfect with anything saucy, or with dips and spreads or just pulled apart with your fingers and eaten for breakfast. It’s one of the easiest ways to make fresh bread for any meal, and you can have a lump of dough in the fridge and just pull off as many egg-sized pieces as you need when you need them. I adore it.

I’ve been making this recipe for years, which is completely wonderful but calls for yogurt and an egg… on occasions when I haven’t had one or the other I’ve streamlined things, and often use pizza dough that has had a lot of time on the counter (all day, or preferably 24 hours), but I’ve also started to use this simple baking powder leavened dough when I’m in a hurry, and if you knead it in order to develop the gluten, it’s fantastic too.



This is an unusually small naan! I don’t know why it’s so small, but the light works and you get the idea. Cast iron is perfect for cooking naan – you can get it screaming hot, and it conducts heat efficiently; you could cook your naan in a dry pan, but a drizzle of oil will also help conduct the heat, and make your naan nice and crisp on the outside. When I’m in a hurry I just use a drizzle of oil, but love using some oil and some butter, and my favourite way to cook naan is by adding a knob of ghee before each piece of dough goes in.

Yields4 Servings

1 cup all-purpose flour

¼ tsp baking powder

¼ tsp salt

1-2 tbsp butter or other fat, softened

1 Tbsp canola or other vegetable oil (plus extra for cooking)

1/3 cup water

butter or ghee, for cooking (optional)

1

In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder and salt. Add the butter and oil and blend. Add the water and stir until you have a soft dough.

2

Turn it out onto the countertop and knead it for a few minutes, or until it’s smooth. Cover with a tea towel and let rest for at least 20 minutes.

3

When you’re ready to cook the naan, divide the dough into four pieces and roll out, very thin, on an un-floured surface. (It will need to grip to the countertop in order to roll it very thin, but it won’t stick.)

4

Heat a heavy (cast iron is ideal) skillet over high heat with a drizzle of oil (and a piece of butter or ghee, if you like) and cook the naan until golden on the bottom (and hopefully generating some large bubbles on the top), then flip and cook for another minute, until golden on the other side.

5

Repeat with the remaining dough, adding more oil/butter/ghee to the pan as needed. Makes 4 naan.

Ingredients

 1 cup all-purpose flour

 ¼ tsp baking powder

 ¼ tsp salt

 1-2 tbsp butter or other fat, softened

 1 Tbsp canola or other vegetable oil (plus extra for cooking)

 1/3 cup water

 butter or ghee, for cooking (optional)

Directions

1

In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder and salt. Add the butter and oil and blend. Add the water and stir until you have a soft dough.

2

Turn it out onto the countertop and knead it for a few minutes, or until it’s smooth. Cover with a tea towel and let rest for at least 20 minutes.

3

When you’re ready to cook the naan, divide the dough into four pieces and roll out, very thin, on an un-floured surface. (It will need to grip to the countertop in order to roll it very thin, but it won’t stick.)

4

Heat a heavy (cast iron is ideal) skillet over high heat with a drizzle of oil (and a piece of butter or ghee, if you like) and cook the naan until golden on the bottom (and hopefully generating some large bubbles on the top), then flip and cook for another minute, until golden on the other side.

5

Repeat with the remaining dough, adding more oil/butter/ghee to the pan as needed. Makes 4 naan.



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