Naan Bread (or How To Make Your Dog Hate You)

Let me begin this post with a disclaimer: I know nothing about real naan bread.  I’m pretty sure I’ve only had real Indian food once.  That was at a restaurant in London, with a friend standing next to me saying, “Try that, not that” as he steered me away from the really spicy foods (I couldn’t handle those at the time).  I really can’t recall if there was anything there that resembled a bread product.  So, why am I making naan?  My husband.  He bought some at Costco (La Brea Brand) and really loved them.  So, I thought, how hard could they be to make?

Well, they aren’t very difficult to make.  It’s really the cooking that is tricky.  I will explain that in a bit.  First, I tried two different recipes.

The first was this one: How to make the perfect naan bread. She basically took a few recipes apart and put a new one together, with hers calling for water as the liquid and yogurt. She said it’s the perfect one, right? Well, maybe it was the cooking method I used (which I read about on another web page) but I doubt it. I placed two rimmed baking sheets in the oven and turned on the broiler. Once the sheets were hot, I placed the naan on the baking sheets and watched them carefully as they cooked. These had a fantastic flavor but didn’t have … not sure how to describe it, but they weren’t as elastic as they should have been.

These were still warm.
These were still warm.

The second recipe I just finished is this one: How to Make Naan Bread {Step by Step Instructions and Pictures}. She used milk as the liquid with no yogurt. The texture was fantastic! They were elastic and the dough behaved wonderfully BUT there’s little flavor. So, this is where I thought I saw my dog pack a bag to leave me: I cooked these as described in the recipe. I placed those same rimmed baking sheets in the oven and set the temperature to 500 degrees F. Well, when I opened up the oven door, a lovely cloud of smoke engulfed me and spread like a lethal fog throughout the house. My dog, who hates being outside alone, actually went to the back door and would not leave it until I let him outside. Take a look at how these turned out compared to the first batch:

These were still warm also but look at the difference in texture/density.
These were still warm also but look at the difference in texture/density.

So, what is my conclusion? I think the next batch, I will just add 5 Tablespoons of plain yogurt (have a little bit left so I will be making some more) to the second recipe After really looking at both recipes, that won’t work.  So, after looking long and hard, this recipe has everything: milk, yogurt AND butter, so this is the recipe I’ll use: http://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/onion-naan AND possibly buy a couple of baking stones (or brand new baking sheets). I’m not sure my dog can handle another day like today. 🙂

I just did this recipe (February 27, 2015) and cooked the bread on the charcoal grill. FANTASTIC! The flavor was perfect and the texture was fantastic! We learned the hard way NOT to roll them too thin or immediately put them over the coals (we ended up with a giant burned cracker). Here’s a picture of how we cooked them, followed by the recipe.

CAM00056

http://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/onion-naan

Onion Naan

Ingredients

3/4 cup whole milk
1 1/4-ounce envelope active dry yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour plus more for surface and hands
1 teaspoon kosher salt plus more
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 cup whole-milk yogurt (not Greek)
2 tablespoons melted ghee (clarified butter) or vegetable oil plus more

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