I was left in a quandary last weekend. My desire to have naan to go along with Indian kabobs on the grill clashed with my fear of bread-making. The battle was ultimately won by necessity. How could you have Indian food without naan?
My relationship with dough is a tumultuous one, and this time around was no different. It took me three tries to accomplish the simple act of proofing yeast. With that hurdle over, the rest of the naan-making went relatively smoothly. A couple hours later, I had 15 pieces of nicely-risen dough that browned beautifully in about one minute per side over the grill's high heat.
Not sure if it was the recipe, or my inexperience with bread, but this wasn't quite the naan I'm used to having in restaurants. It was still great in its own right--buttery and crisp, with the right amount of chew--but having it fall short of my expectations was frustrating. And it put another rift in my rocky love affair with bread-making.
Adapted from Allrecipes.com
- 1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
- 1 cup warm water
- 1/4 cup white sugar
- 3 tablespoons milk
- 1 egg, beaten
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 4 1/2 cups bread flour
- 1/4 cup butter, melted
In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Let stand about 10 minutes, until frothy. Stir in sugar, milk, egg, 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. 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.
Light one chimney full of charcoal. When all the charcoal is lit and covered with gray ash, pour out and spread coals out evenly over the charcoal grate and oil the grill grate.
At grill side, roll one ball of dough out into a thin circle. Place dough on grill, and cook for 1 to 3 minutes, or until puffy and lightly browned. Brush uncooked side with butter, and turn over. Brush cooked side with butter, and cook until browned, another 1 to 3 minutes. Remove from grill, and continue the process until all the naan has been prepared.