Naan

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Megan and I have been trying to eat vegetarian from Sunday through Thursday, and Indian food is a veggie option that we’re quite fond of. Many of the dishes we like are hearty with big flavours, so we don’t find ourselves missing meat. Most curries also freeze really well, so we normally make bigger batches and keep some for later use. We used the last of our basmati rice the other day, so it was time to test out some naan recipes.

This recipe works quite well in a home kitchen, and can be mixed by hand over the course of the day or sped up with the use of a stand mixer.


Ingredients

161g water (1/2 cup + 2 tablespoon)
2g instant yeast (1/2 teaspoon)
2g sugar (1/2 teaspoon)
230g bread flour (1 cup + 1/2 cup)
77g durum flour (1/2 cup) (All purpose is also ok too!)
28g yogurt (2 tablespoon)
10g neutral oil (1 tablespoon)
5g fine sea salt (1 teaspoon)

Instructions
1. Scale out all ingredients.
2. Combine water, sugar and yeast. Let it dissolve for a few minutes.
3. Add bread flour, durum flour, and plain yogurt.
4. Mix with a spatula for roughly two minutes, until the dough forms a shaggy mass, then autolyse for 30 minutes.
5. Add salt and oil. If you are using a stand mixer, see the note here. Otherwise, hand knead to low gluten development, about 4-5 minutes.
6. Cover with re-usable plastic . Rest for one hour.
7. After one hour, perform a stretch and fold. Rest for another hour.
8. Perform a series of stretch and folds with an hour rest in between until you have done a total of 4 stretch and folds.
9. After the 4th stretch and fold, check for full gluten development. If the dough isn’t ready, rest for another hour and perform another stretch and fold.
10. Once full gluten development is achieved, rest for another 30 minutes.
11. Divide into 4 equal rounds, roughly 128g each.
12. Rest for another 45 minutes. In the meantime, preheat oven with pizza stone (or baking steel) inside to 550°F (If you don’t have a pizza stone, a baking tray will work too).
13. Using a rolling pin, roll all the dough into thin rounds and let rest for another 5 minutes. Meanwhile switch broiler in oven on to high.
14. The dough will have relaxed a bit. Roll out once more.
15. Transfer dough onto a sieve with a towel tied around the bowl, stretching the dough over the inverted sieve. Use the sieve to flip the dough directly onto the pre-heated pizza stone.
16. Bake for 3-5 minutes.
17. Brush with ghee or melted butter immediately after the naan comes out of the oven.
18. Sprinkle with salt and chopped cilantro. Enjoy!

Note: If you are using a stand mixer, after the autolyse and addition of salt you can mix the dough on medium speed for 7-8 minutes, until full gluten development is achieved. In this case, instead of a 4.5 hour bulk fermentation with stretch and folds in between, the bulk is reduced to 1 hour and 15 minutes with a book fold/ lamination after 45 minutes followed by another 30 minute rest. Then proceed to step 11.

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Note: If you have a gas stove, you can cook the top side of the naan for better colour by holding it with a pair of tongs close to the open flame. With an electric stove you can use the broiler or a torch (a Searzall, if you have one).

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