Every 5 or 6 weeks we have an Indian Night here in Casa GraciesBakes. I adore Indian food and we are lucky enough to have a good one in Drogheda – Punjabi House – that do take out. So every 5 or 6 weeks we get a take out. We are really boring when it comes to ordering and I am pretty sure that they know what we are going to order when we tell them our name! One of my favourite parts of getting a take out meal there is the enormous naan breads that we get. They are soft and doughy and perfect for transporting food from plate to mouth, as well as mopping up any of the delicious sauces left on the plate.
We haven’t had a take out since I have been trying to eliminate wheat from my diet so I decided that I would attempt to replicate the lovely doughy naan. I discovered a recipe jotted in one of my many notebooks and did a bit of fiddling with quantities and ingredients. I am delighted to say that it turned out great. Not as good as when someone else does the hard work of course, but nearly!
I used Spelt Flour and soya yoghurt. If you want to make this with wheat and dairy you can just use plain white flour and natural yoghurt in place of these two. But believe me when I say that even the most determined wheat and dairy eaters would be hard pushed to tell the difference!
For the naan bread you will need the following ;
7g Dried Yeast
300 – 350ml warm water
500g spelt flour, plus more for dusting.
1 tsp salt*
1 tbsp natural soya yoghurt
2 tbsp olive oil
To make the bread place the flour and salt in a large bowl and mix together. Make a well in the centre and add your yeast, yoghurt and olive oil. Mix into the flour and add the water about a third at a time. I find with Spelt flour that I need all of the water in the recipe. Your dough will be quite messy at this point but shouldn’t be soaking wet. Add the final third of the water a little at a time so that you don’t add too much water – you can always add more if you need to but you can’t take it back out if you put too much in!
Turn the dough out onto a floured surface – again use the spelt flour to dust the surface. Knead the dough for 5-10 minutes until you have a springy and smooth dough. As you would with any other bread.
Place the bread in a large bowl that has about a table-spoon of olive oil in it. Move it around and ensure that it is coated with oil to ensure that it doesn’t stick. Cover the bowl with cling film and place in a warm place for an hour. I usually pop it into the oven with just the light on – it creates enough heat to activate the yeast without killing it.
After an hour your bread should have doubled in size. Flour your work surface again and place the dough on it. Knock the gas out of it and knead gently into a round. Cut into 4 pieces and roll out each on to about 5 mm high. Leave to one side and cover with a clean tea towel for about 5 minutes. Cook in a frying or griddle pan on a medium heat until golden before turning.
You will find that your first naan will take the longest time to cook – as you add more to the pan the residual head in the pan will cook them faster so you will need to keep an eye on them. Many times i have been caught out on this and found myself in a kitchen full of acrid black smoke. NOT the most appetising of situations.
Once cooked, keep warm in a medium to hot oven for a couple of minutes and serve with the food or dips of your choice.
I served this with a lovely Channa Masala, a recipe I picked up on Eat Live Run. It is a simple and tasty recipe. Make life easy on yourself and have all the prep done in advance with all the ingredients chopped and laid out ready to go. Honestly, you will thank me for it. I also subbed out the butter for olive oil in the original recipe to make it dairy free but it is good either way!
If you wanted to add flavour to your naan bread try adding 2 crushed garlic cloves to the mix at the flour stage. Or a small bunch of chopped coriander. Ensure that it is mixed through really well in the flour before adding the yeast stage. As the dough sits for an hour, the flavours will develop nicely.
Whether you enjoy Indian food or not, these naan breads are great for dips. Tear them apart with your hands or cut them into shapes. Either way – Enjoy!!
PS – I had the pleasure of meeting the lovely Pat Whelan from James Whelan Butchers at the All Ireland Marketing Awards on Thursday night. I have been following him on twitter for a while and it was great to finally meet the man behind the hashtag! It was also great to see him win the category of Small Business Marketing Award. Congratulations Pat & Team!!!
*Edited – the original post I had called for a tablespoon of salt. That was wrong! Please dont’ put a tablespoon of salt into the naan’s – you will not like the results! Its a teaspoon – or less if you are sensitive to salt! Sorry.