Introduction: Naan Bread
Naan is by far my favorite kind of flatbread. It is so easy to make, the ingredients are always in my pantry, they are so adorable, but also these beauties are extremely delicious. This flatbread is so elastic, soft and airy, with a lovely buttery and toasted sesame seed flavor. It is such a rustic bread and yet so sophisticated.
Step 1: Prepare the Ingredients
- 300g all-purpose flour + 35g extra - for kneading (10.6 oz + 1.25 oz extra)
- 125ml lukewarm water – 36-40°C (½ cup)
- ½ package active dry yeast (4g)
- 25g granulated brown sugar (2 Tbsp)
- 15 ml milk (1 Tbsp)
- 4g sea salt (1 tsp)
- 1 small egg (35g)
- 30 butter (2 Tbsp)
- 9g black sesame seeds (1 Tbsp)
- a large bowl
- a small bowl
- a wooden spatula
- a small saucepan
- a brush
- a clean towel
- a knife
- a rolling pin
- a skillet
- tsp = teaspoon
- Tbsp = tablespoon
Step 2: Activate the Yeast
In a small bowl combine water, sugar and yeast and let aside for 15 minutes (to speed up the process, choose a warm place to leave the bowl - I usually place it on a chair in front of my hot oven ). After 15 minutes the mixture should be foamy.
Step 3: Prepare the Dough
In a large bowl combine white flour (preferably sifted) and salt and make a well in the center. Add the yeast mixture, the egg and milk and mix with a wooden spatula until you form a ball.
Bring the dough on a floured working surface and knead it for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, the dough should be smooth and elastic (picture).
Place dough in the large bowl, cover with a clean towel (you can also use cling film) and let it rise in a warm place for about 1 hour or until doubled in size (picture).
Step 4: Prepare the Dough Balls
After 1 hour place the dough back on the working surface and knead vigorously to knock out the air bubbles. Form a ball and cut it into 8 triangles (half the ball, half the halves and half the quarters) (picture). For this step use a sharp knife.
Take a triangle, connect two angles and form a small ball. Proceed the same with the remaining triangles (picture).
Place the small balls on a parchment paper-lined baking tray, cover with a clean towel and let them rise for another 30 minutes or until doubled in size.
Step 5: Roll the Flatbread
After 30 minutes place a ball of dough on a floured working surface and deflate it with a rolling pin (picture).
Sprinkle with sesame seeds (about 1/8 Tbsp) and continue rolling the dough until 0.5– 0.7cm (about 1/3 inch) thick - at this point the naan should have the same diameter as a CD (picture).
If you sprinkle the sesame seeds when the naan is already flatten, they would not stick to the dough and they would fall in the skillet.
Step 6: Cook the Flatbread
Heat a medium skillet on medium heat (I used an enameled cast iron skillet and I didn't add any grease in the pan). Place the naan seed side up. Cook for 2 minutes, or until light brown on the bottom. If the flatbread browns too quickly, lower the heat. Turn over and cook for another 2 minutes.
Step 7: Butter the Flatbread
Place the flatbreads on a plate, one on top of the other. Cover with a towel to keep warm.
Melt the butter in a small saucepan. Brush them on both sides with melted butter. Enjoy naan with stews or with different kind of spreads.