October 28, 2012

Naan naan naan naan na-nah (gettin jiggy with it)

My husband and I love to make curry.  It's quick, and easy and soooooooo good.  We get curry paste (I like red best) from the Asian Market, and follow the instructions on the back.  Generally, its a tablespoon or two of paste, mixed with a can of coconut milk, veggies.  If we feel like adding chicken, we cook it in some coconut milk in a sauce-pan before adding it to the curry.

Now- nothing pairs with curry quite like Naan.  Naan is like a middle eastern tortilla.  It's awesome, but until now, I have had a horrible time finding a recipe that is on par with the naan I've had in restaurants.    I found this recipe on Pinterest from The Café Sucre Farine, and it does not disappoint.  The only thing I did differently was mix the herbs into the dough right before cooking, rather than brush them on.  Another tip- make sure you get the dough really thin before you cook it, so there aren't' any doughy spots.

Herbed Naan
from: the Café Sucre Farine 

2¾ cups hot water, 110-115˚F
1½ tablespoons granulated yeast
1 tablespoon sea salt
2 tablespoons sugar
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
6½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
Ingredients for the naan:
⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup finely chopped fresh herbs, I like to use 1/2 cilantro and 1/2 Italian parsley, but other herbs would also be good*
sea salt

Directions for the dough
1. Mix the water, yeast and sugar in a 5-quart bowl, or a lidded (not airtight) food container. Stir and let sit till yeast is bubbly. Stir in olive oil and sea salt.

2. Mix in the flour with a large wooden spoon or a heavy duty large whisk till all flour is incorporated.

3. Cover (not airtight), and allow to rest at room temperature until dough rises and colapses (or flattens on top), approximately 2 hours.

4. The dough can be used immediately after the initial rise, though it is easier to handle when cold. Refrigerate in a lidded (not airtight) container and use over the next 3-4 days.

Directions for the naan:
1. Combine oil and herbs in a small bowl.

2. When you're ready to make the naans, remove dough from refrigerator. Liberally sprinkle flour on a work surface. With a large spoon, scoop up 10 lumps of dough about the size of a small apple. Refrigerate remaining dough for another use (check these out).

3. Roll dough balls in flour to coat all surfaces, then flatten each with the palm of your hand. With a rolling pin, roll dough into circles (don't worry, they don't have to be precise circles, real naans aren't supposed to be perfectly round) about 8 inches in diameter. Keep work surface well dusted with flour to prevent sticking. Stack rolled dough circles on a platter, separating them with parchment or waxed paper.

4. Heat a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Coat surface lightly with olive oil. Place one dough circle in heat pan. Brush top surface with herb/oil mixture. If bubbles begin to form in dough just flatten them with your brush. This will give your finished naan lots of interesting texture. Continue cooking until bottom side is a light golden brown.

5. Flip naan to other side and brush top side lightly with herb/oil mixture. Continue to cook until second side is light golden brown, then flip one more time and cook for another 20 to 30 seconds. Remove naan to a plate and sprinkle with sea salt. Repeat process with other dough circles, stacking them on a plate, separating each one with paper towels.

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