Naan Bread

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This is my go-to naan bread recipe that I use whenever I need a flatbread.  It doesn’t have to go with a curry and they’re quick enough to put together for any mid-week meal.  This recipe comes from The Big Book of Bread which I won a few years ago through the excellent Baking Mad website. This is an English site run by the Allinson flour people but it’s a great resource and worth checking out wherever you are.

Take 300g of strong white flour and add 1½ tsp of dried yeast and 1 tsp of salt. If making this by hand, make a well in the centre and add the wet ingredients. If you’re using a stand mixer, you can get away with just dumping everything in the bowl! Add 4 tbsp of natural yoghurt, 1 tbsp of neutral vegetable oil (the recipe specifies sunflower but we rarely have this at home so I often use peanut oil – you just don’t want anything with a strong flavour so leave your best extra virgin olive oil in the cupboard …). Mix this together and blend in 125mL of warm milk to make a soft dough.

I usually add a 1 tsp of nigella (kalonji) seeds to the mix too. Or you can sprinkle them over the naan before baking. Or you can add a clove of crushed garlic, a teaspoon of ground coriander … you get the idea.

When the dough has come together and been kneaded (by either you or the machine) leave the dough for an hour or so to rise.

Preheat your oven and your baking trays to HOT (I usually go for 220°C fan, the recipe specifies 230°C convection). Make sure you preheat the baking trays – it helps the naan cook more quickly and prevents them from sticking.

Punch down the risen dough, knead it and divide it in to four. Roll out and stretch each quarter into a tear drop shape. The recipe specifies leaving the naan, covered, for 15 minutes. I rarely do that because by the time I finish rolling them out and getting them on trays I figure that’s rest enough. If you’re organised enough, brush the naan with melted butter or ghee before baking.

Baking for 10 minutes – the naan will be puffed up and golden. Wrap them in a clean tea towel and serve.

The naan will keep til the next day but they are better eaten straight away. They are just such an improvement on the shop bought ones that you’ll never go back!

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