Thursday, May 11, 2006

Indian Flatbread (Naan)

This recipe creates a mild, slightly sweet, buttery, soft, and chewy flatbread, an ideal balance for the spiciness of the dish below. I used a cast iron pan to cook these, which worked perfectly. I haven't tried them in the oven or on the grill, but either could be used, as well.

2/3 cup warm milk
2 cups white flour
1 tsp. yeast
1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
4 tablespoons ghee (clarified butter; I just used regular, melted butter)
2 tablespoons yogurt
minced garlic, garlic powder, onion seeds or onion powder, if desired
(poppy seeds, raisins, etc., could also be sprinkled on the dough, depending on your tastes)

1. Mix warm milk with yeast and sugar until both are dissolved. Let proof for about ten minutes (until frothy).
2. Sift flour, salt, and spices, if desired, in a bowl, then add the yeast mixture, the yogurt, and half of the butter.
3. Mix into a soft dough and knead on a floured surface until smooth and elastic (you'll probably have to work more flour into the dough for easier handling)
4. Place dough in warm place until doubled.
5. Punch down and knead for five minutes. Divide into 6 pieces, and roll each piece into 8-inch round naans. Cook one at a time (about 30 seconds on each side) in a buttered, cast-iron pan until puffed and just browned OR cover an oven tray with foil, grease the foil, and cook naan on your oven's highest setting for about two minutes on each side until puffed and just browned OR cook on a lightly greased grill for 2-4 minutes on each side.

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