May 18, 2013

Spiced Naan

Have you ever been to an Indian restaurant?  The air is filled with the most wonderful spices.  I have a soft spot for bread and curry.  Naan is a soft flat bread that is great for sopping up the sauce.  I found a recipe in the book, 500 Curries, by Mridula Baljekar, that is very good.  When I started making Moroccan bread, I would add anise seeds, which gave the bread a wonderful flavor. I liked it so much that I never make the bread without it.  The recipe calls for three different kinds of seeds: cumin, fennel, and onion.  I used anise seeds in my version.   Feel free to experiment.  


4 cups of all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp yeast, rapid rise
1 tsp salt 
1 tsp sugar
1-2 tsp fennel seeds,onion seeds, anise seeds, or cumin seeds or use one that is your favorite
2/3 cup  - 1 cup of milk, hot
2 tbs vegetable oil
2/3 cup of plain yogurt (Greek style is best) 
1 egg, beaten 

In a mixing bowl,add the flour, baking powder, and salt.  Stir in the yeast, sugar, and seeds.  Mix well. Make a well in the middle and stir in the milk, then add the oil, yogurt and egg.  Mix well and form into a ball.  If the dough is too dry, add a bit more milk.  If too wet, then add a little more flour, about a tablespoon at a time.

Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead for about 10 minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic.  Oil a large bowl and place the dough in the middle.  Make sure that you oil the dough as well.  Cover with plastic wrap and put in a warm place until the dough has doubled in size. 

Put a heavy baking sheet in the oven and preheat the oven to 475 degrees. Knead the dough lightly and divide into 6 pieces. Take out one piece and leave the other pieces covered.  Quickly roll the piece of dough out into a teardrop shape.  Brush lightly with oil and put the naan onto the hot baking pan.  Repeat for the remaining five pieces.  Bake in the oven until the naan is a light golden brown.  Then place under the broiler until the bread is golden.  Serve hot or warm.  Enjoy!