Monday, March 23, 2009

Naan: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly!

After my Tandoori Chicken I was inspired to try to make my own Naan. Needless to say, I have a new appreciation for the prepackaged kind. I admit it - I have a yeast phobia! What truly constitutes "Warm Water" and why doesn't my bread ever rise like it should? With all of this against me - I trudged on and tried to make my own Naan.

I brought in reinforcements - my 9 year old to do the heavy manual labor part - kneading! She did a great job and I see a future for her in an upcoming "Survivor" episode. With skills like this she would never be kicked out of the tribe!

My first attempt would be this Garlic Naan:
1 (.25 ounce) package dry yeast
1 cup warm water
1/4 cup white sugar
3 Tablespoons milk
1 egg, beaten
2 teaspoon salt
4 1/2 cups bread flour
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1/4 cup butter

1. In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Let stand about 10 minutes, until frothy. Stir in sugar, milk, egg, salt, and enough flour to make a soft dough. Knead for 6 to 8 minutes on a lightly floured surface, or until smooth. Place dough in a well oiled bowl, cover with a damp cloth, and set aside to rise. Let it rise 1 hour, until the dough has doubled in volume.

2. Punch down dough, and knead in garlic. Pinch off small handfuls of dough about the size of a golf ball. Roll into balls and place on a tray. Cover with a towel, and allow to rise until doubled in size, about 30 minutes.

3. During second rising, preheat grill to high heat.

4. At grill side, roll one ball of dough into a thin circle. Lightly oil grill. Place dough on grill and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until puffy and lightly browned. Brush uncooked side with butter, and turn over.

5. Brush cooked side with butter, and cook until browned, another 2 to 4 minutes. Remove from grill, and continue the process until all the naan has been prepared.

As you can see from my top picture - mine turned out more like the shape of Ugly Dolls - but they really were delicious. Would I do it again? Probably not - but I sure loved spending time with one of my favorite "Kneaders"!


Robin Sue said...

Looks like fun to me! But yeah I like buying it better too. I bet the homemade version was delicious though.

noble pig said...

I'm sure homemade was great. Such a sweet picture of the litle one.

Controlling My Chaos said...

Yeast can be frustrating, I agree. I've found that if I just get my water warm from the tap, that is best. If I try to microwave it, it gets too hot and kills the yeast. Think warm, but maybe not as warm as you would like your bath to be.

Scate said...

The fun part of baking/cooking is in the creating of something. It looks like a great activity that had very important tasks for your assistant to complete. Sometimes, the effort is worth it for the experience not so much the end product it seems. thanks for sharing!

Sheila said...

I have always had trouble with yeast and for years never made bread successfully and almost gave it up completely. But I started using a thermometer to check the temp of my liquid and would only add yeast if the temp was between 100-110 F. This has worked well for me.

I love naan and think it would be worth a try to get a fresh baked piece.

Elyse said...

I think you're naan turned out beautifully! Naan is one of my favorite treats--especially when dipped in chicken tikka masala sauce. Mmm, mmm, mmm. I think I totally need to get in the kitchen and try this recipe. If you can conquer your yeast phobia, then so can I! Thanks for the inspiration!

Karen said...

I use hot tap water and have never had a problem with dough not rising. I think I started using yeast before I knew I was supposed to be afraid of it LOL