It’s officially April 1st, which means as you read this we are likely en route back to home-sweet-home, done our lovely 3 month sojourn at my parents’ home in Ontario and gearing up for a month of single parenting until Carl wraps up his semester at the end of the month. I honestly can’t believe how quickly the time went, and how easy it was to live with my parents again – if they weren’t flying back with me I might have just stayed another month :)
To welcome this month and to mark moving from a place where no one got the memo that spring means stop snowing already to a place of blooming flowers, we have another conquered kitchen challenge to talk about. This is one of the easiest, most delicious First on the First challenges yet. Many have been easy, and many have been delicious, but they aren’t always both. This naan bread falls into that category of things-that-must-be-made-at-home-after-doing-it-once-because-store-bought-will-never-cut-it-again, so it’s a good thing it’s easy.
If you love Indian food, you know a good naan is a necessary accompaniment to the saucy, spicy dishes, since you want to mop up every bit of flavour and also have a simple side dish to give your palate a break if you’ve gotten especially enthusiastic with the spices.
If you’ve never had naan, you’re missing out on a big, seasoned chunk of warm, pillowy, doughy goodness, and you need it in your life. These cook in a matter of a couple minutes in a skillet, and are perfect with this slow cooker butter chicken or as a quick pizza crust. The dough only rises for an hour, and with a combination of yeast, baking powder, and baking soda it is basically fool proof, whether yeast scares you or not.
They’re supposed to be nice ovals, but mine were definitely randomly rustic – I loved them all the more for it :) If you don’t have a cast-iron skillet, these are worth buying one for (and you obviously need to use it for skillet cookies too!) Now I just need to make homemade tortillas, since I know those will be a no-going-back thing too…
This is the second last installment of these fun First on the First challenges (recipe below) – check back next month as we go out with a bang with Mille Feuille!
These ladies also took on the naan challenge this month:
- Food Babbles whipped up Garlic Naan
- Carrie at poet in the pantry’s Homemade Naan worked out quite well
- Jenn of Go Running, Mama! created Stuffed Naan with Candied Red Onion
- 1 Tablespoon sugar
- ¼ cup hot water (just from the tap)
- ¾ teaspoon active dry yeast
- ¾ cup warm milk (microwave for 20-30 seconds or warm in saucepan)
- 1 cup Greek yogurt or sour cream
- 4 cups all purpose flour
- 1½ teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup melted butter, for brushing on naan
- Seasoning salt and/or your favourite herbs for topping
- In bowl of a mixer fitted with a dough hook, dissolve sugar in hot water, then stir in the yeast to dissolve. Let sit for 10 minutes, until it looks thick and creamy.
- Meanwhile, combine flour, baking soda and baking powder in a medium mixing bowl.
- When yeast is bubbled and creamy, add warm milk and yogurt and stir briefly to combine.
- Add flour mixture and mix until it starts to come together - 1-2 minutes on low, do not overmix. It should come easily into a ball and be slightly sticky and soft. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let sit in a warm, draft free place for 1 hour.
- When ready to cook, divide dough into 8 equal ball, and, on a lightly floured surface, roll each piece of dough into an oval shape (mine were pretty "rustic" - don't worry too much about perfect shapes!). They should be about 8" long and ¼" thick.
- Heat a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat so pan is hot before you start cooking. While it's heating, melt butter in the microwave. Brush both sides of each naan dough with melted butter and sprinkle with seasoning salt or any spices you like (cumin, garlic, dried herbs, etc).
- Place naan, one at a time, in hot skillet, cover with lid, and cook for 1 minute, until bubbles start to form like on a pancake. Flip with a spatula and cook for another 1-2 minutes until large toasted spots appear on the bottom. Brush with a bit more butter and sprinkle with some more herbs if desired, then place in a tea-towel lined dish and continue with remaining dough.
- These are best served warm and fresh, but you can also store them in an airtight container for 2-3 days and reheat when needed as follows: brush with a bit of freshly melted butter, place on a baking sheet and heat for 5 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit before serving.
Also, I have substituted the Greek yogurt with half sour cream/half buttermilk as well and there was no difference in texture, so use what you have on hand :)
Adapted from Half Baked Harvest, who also includes step-by-step photos if you’re unclear on something.