Naan Bread

Naan is a traditional Indian flat bread. This delicious bread is well worth the time and effort it takes to prepare.

Yield 8 large naan breads
Time 60 minutes
  • sifter
  • 2 large bowls
  • electric mixer
  • wooden spoon
  • 2 baking sheets
  • plastic wrap
  • large cast-iron frying pan (12-14 inches)
  • broiler tray
  • butter brush
  • heavy towel
  • 5+ c white flour
  • 1½ t baking powder
  • 1 t baking soda
  • ½ t salt
  • 1½ t sugar
  • 2 T plain yogurt
  • 1 c milk
  • 1 c water
  • 1 egg
  • 1 c plus 1 T melted butter
  • 2 T peanut or canola oil
  • ½ t nigella (kalonji)*
  • 2 t sesame seeds
Directions Sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.

another bowl, combine sugar and yogurt with electric mixer. Beat in milk and water, then gradually beat in 2 c of dry mixture. When thoroughly mixed in, the batter will look a bit pasty. Beat in egg and 1 T butter, then slowly add 2 more c flour. At this point the beater will be moving slowly and the batter will be very elastic.

Remove beater and use wooden spoon to mix in another c or so of flour, until dough is soft and sticky.

Sprinkle flour onto counter and baking sheet, transfer dough to counter, oil your hands, and knead briefly. The dough will be slightly sticky. Divide into 8 balls and space evenly on baking sheet. Oil your hands again and flatten each ball. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside for at least 30 minutes, or refrigerate for up to 48 hours before making the bread.

Place frying pan on stove over medium-high heat. Also light broiler and place broiler tray five inches from heat.

Line baking sheet with flour. Place one dough circle on flour, dip hands in melted butter, and press down on / push dough to make a large tear shape, about 5 inches at the narrow end and 9 at the wide end. Sprinkle with ⅛ of the seeds, butter fingers again, and stretch the naan to about 7 by 12 inches.

Place on hot frying pan, with the seeds on top. Cook for 30 seconds, move around a bit so it browns evenly, and cook another 45 seconds.

Brush with a little butter and place pan under broiler for one minute, until it gets some reddish spots.

Remove from broiler, brush with more butter, and serve or wrap in towel to keep warm. Repeat with remaining dough and serve or wrap in foil and refrigerate for later. To reheat, place foil-wrapped naan in 350 oven for 15 minutes.

Notes *You can find these pungent black seeds in an Indian grocer; otherwise, just leave them out or substitute another kind of seed.

Adapted from Madhur Jaffrey’s World Vegetarian.

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