Pizza Stone Naan

 

naan-10After getting my pizza stone, I had the idea that it might be useful to bake Naan on, being closer to mimicking a Tandoor than baking on a sheet. Of course I am not the only one with this idea, and found this great recipe and video instructions on Manjula’s Kitchen.

I love Indian food, and having an Indian grocer around the corner means that it is quite easy to experiment with. I made these Naan to both Channa Masala and Saag Paneer, and they were great meals.

Ingredients: (original recipe on Manjula’s Kitchen)

  • 2 cups of all purpose flour (475 ml)
  • 3/4 cup lukewarm water (175 ml)
  • 1 tsp active dry yeast (10 g fresh yeast cake)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • pinch of baking soda
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 2  1/2 tbsp plain yogurt
  • Nigella seeds for sprinkling (optional)
  • 1-2 tbsp butter, melted, for brushing (preferably clarified)

Method:

1. In a small bowl, dissolve the yeast in lukewarm water.

2. Mix the flour, sugar salt and baking soda in a larger bowl.

naan-1

3. Add oil and yogurt to the dry ingredients and mix it together

naan-2

naan-3

4. Add the water and yeast mixture and mix it in until a dough starts to form.

naan-4

5. Knead the dough until smooth, about 3-5 min. It is quite soft and sticky, that is OK.

naan-5

6. Put the dough in a bowl, cover and let rise for 3-4 hours until almost doubled. If you prefer, you can every 30 min or so, stretch the dough by taking the bottom of the dough and pulling it on top (gently to not remove air form the dough). It helps for the gluten, and I find it very useful with a wetter dough like this one.

naan-6

7. Place a pizza stone in your oven and preheat to 500° F/ 260° C for at least 30 minutes.

8. Knead the dough for a couple of minutes and divide into 6 parts.

9. Turn the oven to a high broil when you are ready to form the Naan.

10. Roll each piece of dough out to an oval or triangle.

11. If using, spread nigella seeds on top and use the rolling pin to roll them into the Naan.

naan-7

12. Place the Naan on your pizza stone, I could fit 3 at a time.

naan-8

13. Bake for 2-5 minutes, until risen and lightly browned.

14. Place on a wire rack and brush with melted butter or ghee (clarified butter).

naan-9

15. Repeat with the other Naan, letting the oven heat for about 5 min between each batch.

I think these are very tasty, easy, and beautiful, this is a great recipe.

Advertisements

Simple Focaccia

Foccacia-13I wanted to make some bread to go with a pasta dish, and I wanted to try and bake some bread on my pizza stone. A focaccia seemed to be a good choice.

Most focaccia recipes calls for the bread to be baked in a dish, but I was looking for one with a free form focaccia. I found one in my go-to book, Wenche Frølich’s Brød. I adapted it for the pizza stone, and it is simple to make, but this one does have a lot of resting, 4 hours total or so.

A focaccia is a very simple bread, flavored with salt and olive oil. I used Safeway’s O Organics brand olive oil, but I suspect you might get a better taste if you spring for a pricier, fancy olive oil. You can also add chopped herbs or sundried tomatoes to the dough for some extra flavor.

Ingredients:

  • 15 g yeast cake (5 g /0.2 oz dry yeast)
  • 175 ml lukewarm water (3/4 cup)
  • 275 g flour (9.7 oz)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 25 ml olive oil (0.1 cup or 1 tbsp + 2 tsp)
  • flour or cornmeal for resting
  • extra salt and olive oil for baking

Method:

1. Dissolve the yeast in the water

Foccacia-1

2. Add flour and salt and mix well until a dough forms.

Foccacia-2

3. Knead in the oil. Add a little more flour if the dough is too sticky, it should not feel dry tough.

Foccacia-3

4. Turn the dough out on a work surface, and knead for 5-10 min.

Foccacia-4

5. Put the dough back in the bowl and cover with film. Let rest for 1.5 hour, until doubled in size.

Foccacia-5

Foccacia-6

6. Form a large round bread on your work surface, it should be 25-30 cm in diameter.

Foccacia-7

Foccacia-8

7. Spread some cornmeal or flour on a wooden board or pizza peel, cover with film and let rest for 30 min.

Foccacia-9

8. Use your thumb to make small, deep grooves in the bread. Cover with film again and let rest for 2 hours.

Foccacia-10

9. Preheat oven to 500° F/ 260° C, with your pizza stone in the middle of the oven. Let the stone heat for 30 min or so, if you can.

10. Brush the bread with olive oil and scatter salt over.

Foccacia-11

11. Transfer the focaccia to the pizza stone, and immediately turn the heat down to 435°F / 225° C.

Foccacia-12

12. Bake for 20-25 min, until golden.

13. Transfer to a rack when done, and eat while still warm.

I went a little overboard when brushing with oil, but it turned out well. I didn’t even have time to do a ‘nice’ picture of the focaccia, it was eaten fast, which is what you want. It does not keep that well, and goes dry fast.

Naan breads

Naan breads

Naan breads are Indian breads cooked in a Tandoor oven. I always order them when eating at Indian restaurants, and enjoy eating them when I cook Indian themed food myself. The ones you can buy pre-made are not really that great, though, so I try to make them myself.

You can’t get the special taste of cooking them in a real tandoor that you would get in a restaurant, but this recipe from Wenche Frølich’s Brød comes pretty close. They are fried on a stovetop before finished off in an oven.

This recipe is interesting, since normally naan bread is a yeast bread, but this is made with baking powder. It is still left to rest for a significant amount of time – the original recipe called for 3.5 hours. It is not as the bread will rise, but I assume the yoghurt will start some biological process with gluten – I have not looked into the science behind this. I made these twice recently, and the second time I did not have time to let them rest for more than 1.5 hours. They still turned out fine, but they were a little tougher.

Ingredients

  • 375g all purpose flour ( 13 1/4 oz)
  • 1 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 200 ml yogurt (scant 1 cup)
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 large egg (lightly beaten)

Method

1. Mix the dry ingredients together and add the rest. Mix well and knead for a couple of minutes

Mixing

Mixing

2. Leave to dough to rest for 3.5 hours, though shorter will do. The dough will not rise.

Resting the dough

Resting the dough

3. Turn on your oven on broil. Form the dough into a short roll, and cut into 6 pieces. Strech each piece to a triangle shape.

Forming the breads

Forming the breads

4. Brush one side with water, and fry them on the stovetop for about 2 minutes wet side down, until crispy brown on the back.

Frying the breads

Frying the breads

Nice and browned

Nice and browned

5. Put the breads on a sheet, and bake under the broiler until brown on the top and nicely risen – about 7-10 minutes (but broilers vary, so keep an eye on them!). I made 2 at a time like this.

6. Wrap the breads in a tea towel until all are done, and eat while still warm.

I made these for Simply Recipes’ Red Lentil Dal, which I modified for the slowcooker and played with the spices a bit. Two hints here: Don’t skip the nigella seeds, even if you can’t get panch phoran, and the red lentils needed more than 4 hours on low (this was what I saw in slow cooker lentil recipes), probably closer to 6 or 3 hours on high? (I ended up with 4 on low, 1 on high). Dal is such a great winter comfort food, and my son loves it. There are many different ways to make and spice it, what is your favorite?