Naan is a light, chewy, pillow of bready goodness. It is one of my favorite food items in the world. No indian meal in my opinion is complete without a piece of naan to scoop up some dahl, saag paneer, mango chutney, or raita. Tradition naan is cooked in a tandoor oven at temperatures hotter than a home oven can reach. I tried making naan in my oven, but found that cooking it on the shove top in a dry preheated cast iron pan works better.
2 3/4 cups of white bread flour
2 1/4 teaspoon of saf yeast*
1 tbsp of honey
1 cup of room temp water
1/4 cup of whole milk yogurt
1 tbsp olive or sunflower oil
pinch of salt
4 Tbsp of Ghee butter or unsalted butter
Making the dough:
Combine the flour, salt, and yeast in a food processor. add the yogurt, oil and honey. Add the water a little at a time, with the food processor running and process until the dough forms a ball. It will be stick, so you might need to add a little more flour. Knead the dough a little, then place in a bowl.
Rising the dough:
Add a little more oil to coat the dough, then cover with a piece of plastic and set out in a warm place to rise for 45-60 minutes.
After the dough has risen, punch down the dough and shape into eight equal size balls. Cover the balls with damp cloth and allow to rest for 10 minutes.
Shaping the dough:
Flatten out the dough in a rough round shape. Either stretch out the dough or use a rolling pin to form a thin roundish disk. I like a rustic naan, so I stretch it. I find that stretching creates an non-uniformed thickness, which resembles the ones in the indian restaurant.
Heat a cast iron pan on medium high for five minutes. When the pan is hot, place a shaped naan on the dry cast iron pan. Cook for about a minute, then flip.
Cook the flip side for a few more minutes, then flip again on the first side for about a minute.
Coat one side with ghee or butter.
Repeat until all eight pieces are cooked. Serve with your favorite Indian dish.
*SAF Yeast: I use this kind of yeast for all of my baking. It keeps for years in the frig and does not require a pre-soak. Just add it to a recipe.