NAAN BREAD


Naan is an Indian flatbread made from yoghurt (or milk), flour and yeast. It is very quick to prepare and is traditionally baked on the sides of a tandoor oven (we use an oiled pan instead). This recipe is best eaten immediately but can be frozen if you wish to make a bigger batch. Serve hot naan bread as a side to your favourite curry, soup, rice or meat/vegetable dish, alongside your homemade chutney of course!.
  
Ingredients for  NAAN BREAD   (makes 8)
Warm Water
1/2 cup
Dry Yeast
2 1/4 teaspoons
Sugar, White
1 teaspoon
Yoghurt (Natural or Greek-Style)*
1/2 cup
Ghee, Liquid**
1 tablespoon (plus extra for cooking)
Plain Flour (All Purpose Flour)
2 1/4 cups (plus extra for kneading)
*sour cream or buttermilk can be used instead of yoghurt
**olive oil or melted butter can be used instead of ghee
Plus melted ghee (or butter) and fresh coriander (cilantro) leaves, to serve.
 
METHOD:
1.  Combine warm water, yeast and sugar in a large bowl. Set aside for 10 minutes to activate the yeast.
2.  Measure the yoghurt, melted ghee and plain flour into the yeast bowl. Mix until combined to form a dough.
3.  Knead dough for 5-10 minutes until the dough is smooth. Sprinkle extra flour onto the sticky dough as you knead. 
4.  Cover dough bowl and rest until it has doubled in size (around 1 hour).
5.  Turn dough out onto a clean, lightly floured bench and cut the dough into 8 portions.
6.  Roll out a portion of dough until it is around 1/8 inch (3mm) thick into a rectangular shape. The thinner the naan, the more air pockets that form during cooking.
7.  Cook naan one at a time in a hot oiled pan, flipping over once one side of the naan has formed bubbles (air pockets) and is golden on both sides.
8.  If serving immediately: brush cooked naan bread with melted ghee and sprinkle with fresh coriander leaves (skip this step if storing them for a few days).
9.  Wrap cooked naan bread in a clean tea towel and repeat with remaining portions of dough.
10.  Serve naan warm with your favourite curry (i.e. tikka masala or butter chicken) and chutney. Naan bread can also be used as wraps, in quesadillas or as a pizza base.
11.  Store non-oiled naan at room temperature (in an airtight container) for up to 2 days, in the refrigerator for up to 4 days, or in the freezer for 2-3 months. 
12.  Reheat naan in a frying pan over low-medium heat (or in the microwave for 10-15 seconds). Brush with melted ghee or garlic butter and serve.
   
FLAVOUR IDEAS:
o     Herb and garlic naan: brush naan with garlic butter and chopped fresh parsley after cooking;
o     Garlic naan: brush naan with garlic butter after cooking;
o     Sweet chilli naan: sprinkle with chilli flakes and dehydrated red capsicum flakes;
o     Sprinkle with cheese after cooking (or stuff with grated cheese before rolling out again and then cooking the naan);
o     Add a few sultanas to the dough before rolling out the naan bread;
o     Spinach and cheese naan: sauté diced onion, garlic and spinach together, once cooked squeeze to remove excess liquid. Add grated cheese and mix well. Add a tablespoon of this into the middle of each naan dough (after rolling out flat), fold in half and roll out to flatten again, sealing the cheese and spinach mixture inside;
o     Peshwari naan: usually served with mild, creamy sauces. This naan is stuffed with nuts, raisins and coconut;
o     Keema naan: usually served on its own as breakfast (or a snack), this naan is also good with dhal or vegetable dishes. It is stuffed with a spicy cooked lamb mince and is a great way to use up leftover meat. Sometimes grated cheese is added with the lamb.
 
Author: Megan Radaich          
Image credit: Megan Radaich          
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