Friday, August 20, 2010

How to Make Deliciousness, Part 1

A staple of Indian cuisine is an unleavened bread called naan. From Wikipedia:

Originally, naan is a generic term for various flat-breads from different parts of the world.The name stems from (New) Persian, a generic word for bread.

I first had naan with my Indian meals in England. In English supermarkets, you can buy naan like you can buy hotdog buns in America. However, the only place I have found naan in North Dakota or Idaho is in health food stores and it's always frozen, heavy, and blah. This made me determined that I would try to recreate those that I found in English supermarkets, or, even better yet, English Indian restaurants.

I found this recipe on and after using several times, have discovered that it is tried and true with good results.

So. Without further ado, a tutorial.

Let me start out by saying that I had planned on posting this tutorial before I started, but once I began I kind of forgot about the blog. This is why you see the dough all ready made:

To make the dough you need: yeasty-ness, warm water, sugar, milk, salt, a beaten egg, and flour. Add enough flower to make a soft dough like you see here:

Throw some flour on your counter and make sure the dough is pretty covered since it starts off very sticky. I also find that if I rub flour on my hands things are a little easier. Also take off any rings unless you want to scrub them later!

Knead the heck out of that dough and then put it into a well oiled bowl that is pretty big as your dough is going to double in size.

Cover the bowl with a warm moist towel. I also put my bowl on top of the stove with the oven on low so that the yeast is nice and warm and wants to fill the dough with air.

Your dough needs to rise for an hour. If you're me, you'll use this time to be an old lady and drink some limeade mixed with fiber. You'll also need to chop some garlic.

Once your dough has done it's thing, dump that sucker onto your floured countertop once again and flatten it out. Dump on the garlic. MMM garlic. I wonder what Edward would have done if Bella would have eaten my naan or bruschetta before they got all kissy kissy*. I bet she wouldn't have been so irresistible then!!

Kneed in your garlic and then pull off golf ball sized clumps of dough, roll them into a ball, and set on a cookie sheet.

Get your handy-dandy towel and cover those bad boys up again. This time they only need 30 minutes.

After their nap under the blanket, they will look like this:

Get some oil hot in a skillet. I use canola because it's supposedly heart healthy and can handle a higher temp than olive oil.

Stretch out some of those golf-balls turned tennis balls and lay them down in the pan.

They only take a minute or two to get golden brown, then flip. Once you flip them, I found it works the best to squish them down with your turner so that the other side gets browned evenly. Plus, it's not like these are hamburgers. You can press all you want, they won't get dried out or anything like that. I guess that's kind of the point.

Put them on a plate (if you're classy you may use paper plates) to cool and then enjoy with your favorite curry!! They are so soft,  yet chewy, and slightly sweet but also garlicky. Num nums.

This recipe will make about 18-20 breads, depending on how big you make your dough balls. I put my extras in a ziploc bag and freeze them. They thaw nicely and are nice to have on hand since they are so much work to make. But OH SO WORTH IT!!

Next up: how to make my version of chicken tikka masala... with lentils instead of meats!

*If you're over the age of 40, or have been living in a cave, this is a reference to Twilight. Don't read the books, they are a waste of time. Trust those of us that have.


  1. I love this. I always wondered what unleavened bread was. I pictured it the dough before it is baked. But my question is, what is the signifigance? When I think of unleavened bread I think of the Jews and religous believes what does leavened mean? I know I could look it up, and I will, but why leave it unbaked but then fry it anyway? what is more holy about frying?

    Secondly, I want to say I love your footnote about twighlight, it is a waste of time for anyone that is not 25 or younger...or anyone who is over highschool.

  2. I think the unleavened part comes from how it doesn't rise for a long time into a loaf. While there is yeast in this bread, I don't really know the purpose since after it rises you punch it down and make it flat anyway. Not really sure! If you look it up and find out, enlighten me :)