Those of you who have been on the Knottie cookbook may have seen this recipe before. I learned to make this when B and I first started dating. Our first date was cooking Indian food (his favorite, and something I’d never tried) and watching “The Red Balloon” movie. So any time I want to make a semi-healthy special treat for B, this is what I make. It is SO good fresh out of the oven. I can’t get good pita bread where we live, so I make this instead to go with hummus whenever I get a taste for it.
(makes about 6 large “rounds”)
5 oz (or 2/3 cup) milk
1 tsp sugar
2 tsp dry active yeast
Heat the milk in a pan or in the microwave until it feels hot when you put your finger in it. Add yeast and the sugar. Stir until dissolved & set aside for 10-20 minutes or until frothy. (No matter what your packet of yeast says, prepare your yeast this way rather than mixing yeast in with dry ingredients. For some reason, it makes a huge difference in this recipe.)
In a large bowl, sift together:
4 cups flour
½ tsp salt
½ tsp baking powder
1 tsp sugar
the yeast mixture
1 TBSP vegetable oil
1 egg slightly beaten
5 oz (or 2/3 cup, or one 6 oz single serving container) plain yogurt
Mix to form a ball of dough. Empty the ball onto a clean work surface, or put into mixer with dough hook to knead for 10 minutes, or until smooth & satiny. Roll into a ball & rub with oil, cover & set aside to rise for an hour or until doubled in size (requires less time if you use rapid rise yeast).
Pre-heat your broiler to the highest temperature. Put your heaviest cookie sheet into the oven to heat. Punch down the dough and knead it again for a few minutes. Divide it into 6 equal balls. Roll each one into a tear-drop or oval shape aprox. 10×5 inches and 1/8-1/4 inch thick.
One or two at a time place the naan onto the hot baking sheet (you’ll want hot pads and some tongs for this part) & place under the broiler for 2-3 minutes or until golden brown. (Watch it carefully to make sure it doesn’t burn, this happens fast.) Flip the naan over (use the tongs) and bake on the opposite side for approx 1 minute or until slightly browned. Continue until all naan are baked.
Serve warm as a side to Indian dishes, or spread with melted butter & cinnamon sugar for a sweet treat. Served cooled, this also goes great with hummus.