Naan Bread



This is a delicious flatbread used often in South and Central Asia.  It is easy to make and great served with soups!


 For the poolish, combine water, flour, and yeast in the bowl of an electric mixer.  Cover and ferment 4 hours.  It should be very bubbly. Add the remaining ingredients to the poolish.  Using the dough hook, knead for 8 minutes. 
Remove the dough and spray the bowl with cooking spray.  Form the dough into a ball and place in the greased bowl.  Mist the top with cooking spray. 

Poolish
1 c (8 oz) cool water
1 c (5 oz) all-purpose flour
1/4 t instant yeast

Poolish is a pre-ferment.  It improves the taste and texture of this and many other breads.  If this step is skipped the bread won't be as bubbly and light.

Misting the top with cooking spray helps the dough expand.


Cover and rise 1 hour until double in size. Divide the dough into 10 equal pieces.  Form each into a ball in the following way.
Pick up one of the pieces and use both thumbs to push the dough through at the center. Bring the rest into the hole you have created and pinch the bottom. Continue to pinch the bottom to stretch the dough tightly into a ball.  Set aside and repeat with the remaining pieces. 

Final Dough
poolish (use all of it)
2 1/2 c (12.5 oz) all-purpose flour
1 1/2 t salt
3/4 t instant yeast
3 T (1.5 oz) olive oil
1/3 c (3 oz) plain yogurt
It may take longer than 1 hour for the dough to double in size depending on the initial temperature of the dough and the temperature of the kitchen.  To speed the rise, place a warming pad under the bowl.  To slow the rise, place it in the refrigerator up to 24 hours.  

Flatten each piece into a disc about 1 inch thick.  Cover and rise 30 minutes.  They can be refrigerated up to 24 hours at this point.  Remove them from the refrigerator 30 minutes prior to cooking.  Heat a skillet or medium pan to 375 degrees (medium/high heat).  Pick up one piece of dough and immediately stretch it as thin and evenly as you can. 

During the 30 minutes the dough has rested, the gluten has relaxed.  This is called an autolyse.  It can be stretched much further and more evenly after this period.  Don't ball up or deflate the dough.  Pick it up and immediately start stretching it.
 
Place on the hot skillet and cook until bubbly and brown on the first side.  Flip and cook until browned on the second side.  Place on a serving dish and cover to keep warm.  Repeat with remaining pieces.  Serve warm or at room temperature.        

Try with
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Tips and Tricks

Make Ahead

Poolish- the poolish can be made up to 2 days ahead of time and refrigerated until ready to use.  Remove from the refrigerator 60 minutes before using.

Final Dough- the dough can be kneaded and immediately refrigerated for a slow rise in the refrigerator up to 24 hours ahead of time.  Remove from the refrigerator and shape according to the instructions.

Final Shaped Dough- the dough can be kneaded, risen and shaped, then covered and refrigerated up to 24 hours ahead of time.  Remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes prior to cooking.

Shaping
Stretching the Dough- During the 30 minutes the dough has rested, the gluten has relaxed.  This is called an autolyse.  It can be stretched much further and more evenly after this period.  Don't ball up the dough when you pick it up.  Instead, immediately start stretching it.


Problems

poolish- if the poolish isn't used or doesn't have the full four hours to rise, the bread won't be as bubbly and light.

skillet heat- if the skillet is too cool, the bread won't bubble and brown properly.  If it is too hot the bubbles will burn instead of brown.


Naan Bread
makes 10 (6-8" each)

Poolish
1 c (8 oz) cool water
1 c (5 oz) all-purpose flour
1/4 t instant yeast

Final Dough
poolish (use all of it)
2 1/2 c (12.5 oz) all-purpose flour
1 1/2 t salt
3/4 t instant yeast
3 T (1.5 oz) olive oil
1/3 c (3 oz) plain yogurt

1.  For the (1)poolish, combine water, flour, and yeast in the bowl of an electric mixer.  Cover and ferment 4 hours.  It should be very bubbly.

2.  Add the remaining ingredients to the poolish.  Using the dough hook, knead for 8 minutes.  Remove the dough and spray the bowl with cooking spray.  Form the dough into a ball and place in the greased bowl.  Mist the (2)top with cooking spray.  Cover and rise 1 hour until (3)double in size.

3.  Divide the dough into 10 equal pieces.  Form each into a ball in the following way. Pick up one of the pieces and use both thumbs to push the dough through at the center. Bring the rest into the hole you have created and pinch the bottom. Continue to pinch the bottom to stretch the dough tightly into a ball.  Set aside and repeat with the remaining pieces.  Flatten each piece into a disc about 1 inch thick.  Cover and rise 30 minutes.  They can be refrigerated up to 24 hours at this point.  Remove them from the refrigerator 30 minutes prior to cooking.

4.  Heat a skillet or medium pan to 375 degrees (medium/high heat).  Pick up one piece of dough and (4)immediately stretch it as thin and evenly as you can.  Place on the hot skillet and cook until bubbly and brown on the first side.  Flip and cook until browned on the second side.  Place on a serving dish and cover to keep warm.  Repeat with remaining pieces.  Serve warm or at room temperature. 
Notes

1
.  Poolish is a pre-ferment.  It improves the taste and texture of this and many other breads.  If this step is skipped the bread won't be as bubbly and light.

2.  Misting the top with cooking spray helps the dough expand.

3.  It may take longer than 1 hour for the dough to double in size depending on the initial temperature of the dough and the temperature of the kitchen.  To speed the rise, place a warming pad under the bowl.  To slow the rise, place it in the refrigerator up to 24 hours.

4.  During the 30 minutes the dough has rested, the gluten has relaxed.  This is called an autolyse.  It can be stretched much further and more evenly after this period.  Don't ball up or deflate the dough.  Pick it up and immediately start stretching it.

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