Make your own naan

July 19, 2012 § 6 Comments

It took me years to discover naan.  Although I enjoy it in my favorite Indian restaurants, it never occurred to me to try making it at home.  Making my own naan didn’t seem practical; especially when I could buy delicious naan at my local bakery.

But then I learned two things:

  1. Homemade naan is so much better than anything you can buy in the grocery store or a bakery;
  2. And…naan can be a platform for all sorts of things, like pizza, grilled vegetables, garlic and olive oil, or cheese.

Today, I love naan in all of its iterations.  It’s easy to make it on the grill (or in the oven).  Serve it right away with whatever you’re eating, as it is terrific with grilled meats, savory sauces, and spicy vegetable and bean dishes.  Even Dave loves homemade naan (and you’ve heard how picky he is with his food).

Freeze leftover naan for use later as a base for pizza.  Naan makes a wonderful pizza crust.  Recently, I placed four pre-cooked naan breads on my pizza stone, and then covered them with various ingredients, and baked.  Predictably, the resulting naan pizzas were either emphatically loved or hated by Dave, who said that the pepperoni pizza was the best ever, and the chicken and barbecue sauce pizza was just so wrong.

Here’s the recipe for naan (we double it so we can have plenty to freeze for making pizza later).

Naan

1 teaspoon sugar

1 teaspoon yeast

2/3 cup warm water

2 cups white bread flour

1 tablespoon melted butter

1 teaspoon salt

½ cup olive oil

1 teaspoon poppy seeds

Stir together the sugar, yeast, and water in a small bowl.  Allow to sit for about 10 minutes, or until the mixture becomes foamy.

Meanwhile, in a separate bowl, stir the melted butter into the flour.  Add the salt.  Pour in the yeast mixture.  Use a spoon and then your hands to make a dough, adding additional water if necessary.  Turn out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead for 4-5 minutes, or until smooth.

Place the dough into a lightly greased bowl.  Cover with a towel, and leave to rise in a warm place for about 1 ½ hours, or until doubled in size.

Punch down the dough and knead lightly 3-4 times.  Divide the dough into 6 evenly sized pieces.  Roll each piece into an oval, about ½-inch thick.  Place the dough onto greased aluminum foil.

Place the aluminum foil with the naan onto a preheated barbecue grill (or a preheated, and cook for about 7-8 minutes, turning twice to brush with olive oil and to sprinkle with poppy seeds.

Makes 6 naan.  Eat immediately with a meal, or freeze the cooked naan to use for flatbread or pizzas later.

And, here’s how to make your own naan pizzas:

Pizzas, made with naan

4 pieces naan (or substitute flatbread or flour tortillas)

Olive oil

½ cup tomato sauce, or barbecue sauce

Italian seasoning (or basil)

3 cloves garlic, minced

Assorted toppings (ideas include sliced mushrooms, pepperoni, shredded chicken, sliced olives, sliced green peppers, sliced onions, etc…)

1 cup grated mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 400-degrees fahrenheit.  Place the naan on a pizza stone or a cookie sheet.  Rub each piece of naan lightly with olive oil.  Smear each piece of naan lightly with a tablespoon or two of tomato sauce or barbecue sauce.  Sprinkle the naan with Italian seasoning and minced garlic.

Cover with desired toppings, then a dusting of grated mozzarella cheese.

Bake for about 15 minutes, until bubbly.

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