Monday, July 20, 2009

Making Naan Bread

I have never eaten Indian Food in my life. And now I am not sure why. I saw a package of Naan Bread at Harris Tetter the other day and it looked really good. I guess that stuck in my mind until sometime this weekend when I happened across a blog called "Gori Rajkumari " that is written by an American woman who is in love with an Indian man and they are planning their wedding. It is to be from what I can tell a traditional Indian Wedding and she is blogging about it. It is fascinating and her fiance's Indian family are not too pleased with the situation. They wanted him to marry to marry not for love but to be the groom in an arranged marriage.

Indian weddings are big huge affairs and can be incredibly expensive. A friend of mine's son married an Indian girl and I loved hearing about every tradition and custom they participated in from the stories she told when they came back from their 3 week trip to India. My entire knowledge of Indian culture is from her stories and watching movies like"Bend It Like Beckham" and "Monsoon Wedding". Both great movies. I couldn't watch "Slum Dog Millionaire". The poverty and brutality early in the movie were too much for me. No Thank You.

Anyway, back to the Naan..... I got the bug to make something new that I have never tried before and wanted to see if I could find a recipe for the Naan I had seen at the grocery store. I found this recipe submitted by Mic who posted it on This recipe has over 600 reviews and is rated just shy of 5 stars. The recipe was not too difficult and these turned out great and really delicious. I grilled them on the BBQ grill outside with no trouble. Be sure to spray the grate with Pam so they don't stick. The only changes I made to the recipe was that I added the sugar to the yeast as it was proofing, I only used 4 cups of flour, and I did not mix the raw garlic into the dough. I instead added the garlic to the melted butter that I brushed the flatbreads with as I grilled them. I might try adding some garlic powder to the dough next time for a bit more garlic flavor. They are good! My batch made 12 pieces of bread.

1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
1 cup warm water
1/4 cup white sugar
3 tablespoons milk
egg, beaten
2 teaspoons salt
4 1/2 cups bread flour
2 teaspoons minced garlic (optional)
1/4 cup butter, melted

In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Let stand about 10 minutes, until frothy. Stir in sugar, milk, egg, salt, and enough flour to make a soft dough. Knead for 6 to 8 minutes on a lightly floured surface, or until smooth. Place dough in a well oiled bowl, cover with a damp cloth, and set aside to rise. Let it rise 1 hour, until the dough has doubled in volume. Punch down dough, and knead in garlic. Pinch off small handfuls of dough about the size of a golf ball. Roll into balls, and place on a tray. Cover with a towel, and allow to rise until doubled in size, about 30 minutes.

During the second rising, preheat grill to high heat. At grill side, roll one ball of dough out into a thin circle. Lightly oil grill. Place dough on grill, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until puffy and lightly browned. Brush uncooked side with butter, and turn over. Brush cooked side with butter, and cook until browned, another 2 to 4 minutes. Remove from grill, and continue the process until all the Naan has been prepared.

These would be great served with shish kabobs or a greek salad which is what I will do until someone gives me a crash course in Indian cooking.

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