Thursday, October 16, 2008

World Bread Day - Naan

Sun 5 Oct 2008

For all the curry eating and bread making that goes on at Eating Leeds you would think we'd manage a better track record when it comes to breads from the Indian subcontinent.

The cold that seems to be afflicting the whole of Leeds has caught up with me (hmm, should have spent longer in France!) so Andy has had to do the bulk of weekend running around and I have been grumpy and tired.

Of course, when you do have a cold, one of the best things for it (besides the whiskey or cognac that everyone has been prescribing) is a big curry because all the garlic, chilli and ginger will sort you out. Andy put together a murgh makhani (butter chicken - with some extra spice) and suggested naan.

With limited patience to hand, the recipe had to be simple and immediate. Fortunately, lots of recipe books meant plenty of choice on this front and I settled on the recipe from the excellent Curry.

I chose this recipe for two reasons: no yeast and no yoghurt.

I made a half mix which produced 8 small naan: more than enough for two for supper with leftovers for lunch the next day.

As usual, everything went in the KitchenAid, and as this dough mixture is quite soft and wet, I was happy because it meant less bench wiping down!

In a jug, mix 200mL of milk (the recipe states full fat but I used semi-skinned) with 1 egg and approximately 1/2 ouce of caster sugar. Beat until the sugar has dissolved. I was a bit worried about what seemed like a lot of sugar, but the resulting read did not taste sweet.

Add the liquid to 375g of plain flour, 1 tsp of baking powder and a generous pinch of salt (almost a couple of teaspoons) and mix to a soft dough. The recipe says not to overknead, so I just let the KitchenAid work its magic until I had a soft ball.

Cover the bowl with a damp cloth and leave for 15 minutes.

Prepare your tandoor. Or, heat your oven to 220C (fan), with a couple of trays in the oven getting hot.

After letting the dough rest, mix in 2 scant tablespoons of vegetable oil and tip the dough onto the bench and knead lightly. Divide into 8 and roll out each piece til quite thin (if you've ever eaten naan before you'll know when you get there - as the dough is very wet you won't be able to roll it out very very thinly). Remove a hot tray from the oven, put your naan breads on it and bake for about 5 minutes.
They cook quickly - so when they start to turn gold, they're probably done.

When you take them out of the oven you could brush them with a little melted butter or ghee, or just leave them plain (which is what we did).

To me, they tasted a little like scones, and, because of this, I think I'd be tempted to have another bash at this recipe and substitute self raising flour for the plain and omit the baking powder. They also didn't keep particularly well: great with dinner, fresh from the oven and OK with lunch the next day - but that was the extent of their staying power.

I was pretty happy with this recipe but not overwhelmed, so I think I'll experiment with it and try out some of the (many) alternatives on offer. However, if I need to rustle up some naan with short notice and a bare cupboard (it happens - Andy often volunteers me to cook things at other people's houses!) this recipe will be more than adequate.

Today is World Bread Day, and this is my contribution to the World Bread Day blogging event - hence the delay in posting.

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Other bread on Eating Leeds: paratha, refrigerator bread, and a standard white.
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Blogger zorra said...

Hope you are better. For me your naan looks perfect. And who knows perhaps you will find your perfect naan recipe in the WBD'08 roundup.

Thx for your participation in WBD'08.

8:53 am  
Blogger Alex said...

All better now, thank you!

The naan was pretty good (and very easy) but there's nothing like a bit of experimenting!

1:48 pm  

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