NAAN Bread

Hola Fellow Foodies!

This week I was feeling nostalgic for my favorite Indian Restaurant, which I happened to discover, back in Japan. I have never been to India and I cannot say if this particular establishment was in the least bit authentic, but I can assure you that the food was amazing, and their NAAN bread was from Heaven itself.

After considerable begging and convincing of the Indian owner that I was not going to open a competing restaurant, he gave me his NAAN recipe.

I had to alter it a bit, as no one (myself included) in the USA happens to have a Tandoori oven handy. I do think , however, the final result is so close to the original tandoori NAAN, that you will be glad you gave this recipe a go!

Chef Julie's NAAN Bread
1/2 ounce (2 packages) active dry yeast
2 cups warm water
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup plain yogurt
6-7 cups bread flour
2 tsp. kosher salt

1/2 Lb. Clarified or melted warm butter

Combine the yeast and the water in a mixing bowl. Allow to sit for about 10 minutes, until the yeast is bubbly. Add everything else, EXCEPT THE MELTED BUTTER, to the party, and with your dough hook, mix on low speed for 5-7 minutes. You may need to adjust for moisture and flour depending on your ambient temperature and humidity. Once you have a shiny, tight ball of dough you are ready to proceed.

Oil the mixing bowl around the dough. Cover the dough in the bowl with a double layer of plastic wrap, an let rise for 60-75 minutes-until doubled. Transfer the dough to a clean lightly floured surface and knead for 3-5 minutes until smooth and elastic. Roll the dough into a long cylinder and cut into 12 equal parts. Roll each cut bit into a ball. Cover the balls with plastic wrap, and preheat your over to 500F.

Once your oven is up to temperature, place a cookie sheet upside-down on the lower third of the oven. Take three balls of dough and stretch then out with the palms of your hands to a 4x12 inch flat sheet of dough.
Toss the sheet onto the upside-down cookie sheet and cook 2-3 minutes per side.
Remove for the oven and liberally brush with: Clarified or melted butter.


Repeat the baking process until all of the bread dough is baked off. Serve immediately, or store in the freezer for up to 12 weeks.

VARIATIONS:
1) Use buttermilk instead of water for a tangier tasting bread
2) Add fresh minced herbs or garlic at the end of the first kneading cycle in your mixer
3) Brush a little egg wash onto your dough and sprinkle with minced fresh herbs or garlic
4) Sprinkle on a little Turmeric, or Paprika after brushing with butter to enhance the color and taste of the NAAN

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