Garlic Naan at Home

29 Nov

For an Indian-themed dinner party that included tandoori chicken cooked in the charcoal grill / smoker, I also wanted to make fresh naan. As usual, there’s a Serious Eats article about it. I made a few test batches the previous weekend with both white and whole wheat flour, cooked under either the broiler or in a cast iron skillet:

 

 

 

While I liked the taste of a 50% white-whole-wheat-flour naan and it cooked fairly well,  white bread flour combined with a preheated oven + pizza steel + broiler on during cooking led to a really fluffy, puffy naan, which I used for a larger dinner party. If I tried it again, I’d use whole wheat flour but add some vital wheat gluten powder as I’ve done with bagel-making.

The recipe I used most recently, for 24 “mini-naans” about 4 inches across (for 12 people):

Mix dry ingredients:

  • 14.7 oz bread flour (king arthur)
  • 0.16 oz yeast
  • 0.29 oz salt
  • 0.53 oz sugar

Then mix in the wet ingredients:

  • 4.7 oz greek yogurt
  • 4.7 oz milk

Knead for about 10 minutes. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled, about 1.5 to 2 hours.

Divide into 24 balls, flour lightly, cover loosely with a floured dish towel, rest until doubled, about another 2 hours.

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An hour before you’re ready to cook them, preheat the oven hot (500F), with a pizza steel (or stone) on the top rack near the broiler. You can also melt butter with lots of minced garlic in it.

Then, when you’re ready to cook, change the oven from bake to broil– now you’ll be rapidly cooking the naan from both sides.

Roll out each ball of dough, quite thin, toss it carefully on the hot pizza steel– the dough should start to develop bubbles, then puff up… and fully cook in about 2 minutes or even less (no need to flip them). It took some experimentation to pull them out early enough that they weren’t crunchy, they cook incredibly fast.

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As you take them out, brush liberally with garlic melted butter, and prepare to eat…

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