Better late than never, right? This recipe is barely squeaking into The Novice Gardener’s Fiesta Friday Challenge #1 — using yeast and herbs in a recipe.
I’m not quite sure why it took me the entire month to come up with something. I am usually a punctual person, and I’m certainly not hesitant to bake with yeast. In fact, I bake something with yeast at least once a week — so it wasn’t that. I’m guessing I just don’t like competition, but if I commit to something then I will follow through. So, yesterday the Mr. and I were tossing around ideas for what to make on the grill over the long weekend and we agreed that we would make some tandoori style chicken. A lightbulb went off — NAAN! I will make naan with some herbs. Perfect!
This recipe is pretty easy to make, but as with anything containing yeast, you need to allow yourself time. The dough was a beautiful golden, elastic consistency due to the addition of an egg. I made over half of my naan plain (the kiddos turn their noses up to the color green on their plates most of the time), but the rest had the addition of minced garlic, cilantro and flat leaf parsley.
I cooked my naan on the stove top, but these would be great on the grill too! I knew my grill was going to be nice and messy because of the tandoori marinade, so I figured I would keep them looking pretty and use a heavy bottomed saute pan.
What I ended up with was a chewy, buttery, delicious flat bread that complimented the flavors of Indian cuisine, but also tasted delicious all on its own.
Hopefully you can give it a try! I know that I will be making them again soon 🙂
What you need to make 10 pieces of naan (or more if you make them smaller):
1 Cup warm water
2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
1/4 Cup sugar
3 tsp salt
1 Tbs veg oil
3 1/4 – 4 Cups bread flour
3 Tbs whole milk
1 clove garlic, minced finely
1 Tbs cilantro, minced
1 Tbs parsley, minced
2-3 Tbs butter to put on warm bread
Let the yeast and warm water proof in your mixer bowl for about 10 minutes. Make sure your water isn’t hot, just warm. If it is too hot, your bread won’t rise because those little yeasty friends will be dead and gone.
Once your yeast has proofed, add your sugar, salt, oil, egg, milk and enough flour to make a dough ball that pulls away from the mixer bowl cleanly. You don’t want to add too much flour though, so start with 3 Cups and slowly add in flour 1/4 Cup at a time until you reach this perfect consistency.
Oil your dough, cover with plastic wrap and a tea towel, and let rise in a warm place for 1 hour. I like to preheat my oven at 200 degrees for just two minutes to create the best rising environment for my dough. No longer than 2 minutes though, or it will be too hot for anything to rise.
After your hour is up, cover a baking tray with parchment paper and divide your dough into small balls (about 1 1/2 inches in diameter). This is where you can knead in whatever flavorings and herbs you want in your bread.
For my herbed naan, I used a combination of cilantro, parsley and garlic and kneaded it in until the herbs and garlic were evenly incorporated.
Allow your balls of dough to rest, about 1 inch apart, on your baking tray with a tea towel on top for at least 30 minutes for their second rise.
When you are ready to bake your naan, roll them out to about 1/4 inch thickness on a cutting board lightly dusted with flour. Either grill your bread or heat up a large heavy bottomed saute pan over medium high heat and lightly brush the pan with vegetable oil. You don’t need much oil, just enough to encourage the bread not to stick.
Cook until large bubbles start to form on top (about 2 minutes) and flip to cook on the other side for another 2 minutes or so.
Brush with butter or just rub a stick of butter on top of each piece while it is still warm — stack up and wrap in foil until the rest of your meal is ready.
These freeze really well too — so if you want to make a double batch, you can layer them in a freezer bag. To reheat, just put them in a hot oven directly on the rack until warmed through and brush with butter again.
Yum! Stop on by The Novice Gardener to see all the other Fiesta Friday Challenge #1 contestants’ entries. I’m sure there is something there that will make you want to break out your baking gear!