What I like most about Indian dishes (especially vegetarian dishes) is that they are not too heavy in soy or creams. Even if there are recipes that require such ingredients, their flexibility allows you to use lighter renditions by in large like I have for this naan bread recipe. Plus the curry is starting to grow into me. Naan bread is essentially a flat bread, often served with various Indian dishes. Like laffa bread, it is prepared in a very similar matter and baked in a skillet or grilled. Milk and butter are normally used in naan bread to enrich the flavors. I used non-dairy milk and a bit of oil to curb the fat content. I also used whole wheat flour for this naan bread recipe instead of exclusively using bread flour or all-purpose flour. Naan bread serves well with curried steamed vegetables, Tandoori chicken, and even with mulligatawny soup, a recently published recipe (although I advise you omit the rice from the soup or use it frugally if eating the naan bread with it). Naan bread also makes a wonderful base for personal pizzas as well. This flat bread is also excellent for dipping.
For this recipe, you will need:
- 1 package active dry yeast
- 1 cup warm water
- 1/4 cup white sugar
- 3 tablespoons milk of your choice
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
- 2 cups of bread flour
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic (optional)
- 1/4 cup oil
In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Let stand about 10 minutes, until frothy. Stir in sugar, milk, salt, and enough flour to make a soft dough. Knead for 6 to 8 minutes on a lightly floured surface, or until smooth. Place dough in a well oiled bowl, cover with a damp cloth, and set aside to rise. Let it rise 1 hour, until the dough has doubled in volume.
Punch down dough, and knead in garlic. Pinch off small handfuls of dough about the size of a golf ball. Roll into balls, and place on a tray. Cover with a towel, and allow to rise until doubled in size, about 30 minutes.
Lightly grease a skillet or grill pan on medium heat. Place dough on grill, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until puffy and lightly browned. Lightly brush uncooked side with oil, and turn over. Brush cooked side with oil, and cook until browned, another 2 to 4 minutes. Remove from pan, and continue the process until all the naan has been prepared.
Yields 8-10 naan bread loaves