Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Skillet Naan Bread

Naan is a leavened flatbread usually associated with Indian food.  We enjoyed the best of naan breads last year when we visited Kenya and spent some time at a resort on the Indian Ocean.  The bread was baked in a tandoor oven and served hot off the press.  I have tried several times since to make the flatbread at home...with varying degrees of success.  Here's a recipe and method that works well for me...baked in a cast iron pan on the stovetop. 

  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup olive oil (or vegetable oil)
  • 1/3 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 egg
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt

  1. In a small bowl, add sugar and dry yeast to lukewarm water. Stir to dissolve; then let sit for about ten minutes.
  2. Combine oil, yogurt and egg in mixing bowl.  Whisk together until smooth.
  3. Once the yeast is frothy and doubled in size, add to liquids and stir.
  4. Mix salt and one cup of flour.  Add to liquids and mix well.
  5. Continue to add flour, 1/2 cup at a time until the dough can no longer be stirred with a spoon.
  6. Turn onto a floured countertop and knead for several minutes, adding flour as necessary.
  7. The dough should be smooth and not sticky.
  8. Cover the dough and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk.
  9. Then gently flatten the ball of dough and cut into eight pieces.
  10. Form each piece into a ball.
  11. Spray a large, heavy cast iron skillet with cooking oil and place over medium heat until sizzling hot. 
  12. Roll out one ball of dough at a time to form a circle about 1/4" thick and 6" in diameter. 
  13. Place the circle of dough on the hot skillet and watch the bubbles form.
  14. Flip the dough over to cook the other side to a golden brown colour.
  15. Brush with olive oil or melted butter and sprinkle with sea salt (or herb of your choice).
  16. Continue until all 8 circles are cooked.
  17. Serve hot off the press...just as they are.  Or serve together with Tzatziki Dip.
Tip ~ Roll each piece of dough out just before placing in the pan to produce the lightest, bubbliest naan bread.