Skillet Naan Flatbread
Makes 8 large naan flatbreads
Naan, that Indian restaurant rock-star of a flatbread and so beloved by foodies everywhere, can be made with excellent results at home baked on an ungreased cast iron griddle or skilled. Tightly wrap and freeze leftover naan; to reheat, let naan defrost on the kitchen counter for 10 minutes then throw on a hot griddle again to toast pipping hot.
After the recipe are suggestions for additional knead-in or garnishes for different flavored naan. If you can’t decide which one, why not make a few different kinds? It’s easy enough; the flavorings are either added to the dough during in the second kneading or just pressed into the top, so you may divide the risen dough and prepare as many versions as your naan-shaped heart desires.
Tip: Replace half the flour with white whole wheat flour for more wholesome naan.
Make ahead tip: Prepare naan dough and store in the refrigerator for a day to slow the rising. 1 hour before baking, remove from the refrigerator and divide into pieces and proceed with the second rising at room temperature as directed.
- 1/4 ounce package active dry yeast
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 3/4 cup warm water
- 3/4 cup plain soy or coconut yogurt
- 3 tablespoons mild vegetable oil
- 1 3/4 teaspoons salt
- 3 1/2 to 4 cups bread flour, plus additional for kneading
- 3 tablespoons vegan margarine, melted
1. Pour in warm water into large mixing bowl, stir in sugar, and then sprinkle with yeast. Set aside for 10 minutes to proof the yeast; the mixture will become frothy. Use a wooden spoon to stir in the soy yogurt, 2 tablespoons of the vegetable oil, and the salt until smooth. Add the 3 1/2 cups of flour and stir to form soft dough. If the dough is too moist, stir in another 1/2 cup of flour a tablespoon at a time until the dough is no longer sticky.
2. Lightly flour a large work surface and knead the the dough until smooth, about 5 minutes. Clean the mixing bowl, pour in the remaining tablespoon of oil and add the dough; roll the dough in the oil to completely coat the surface. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in a warm, draft-free part of the kitchen for an hour for the dough to rise; the dough should double in size. Punch down the dough, lightly flour the work surface again. If adding additional ingredients to flavor the naan, stretch out the dough to about an inch thickness, sprinkle on the garlic, onions or herbs and knead the dough for 2 mintes to evenly incorporate everything. Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces and place on a lightly floured baking sheet. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm place for a second rise, about 20-30 minutes or until pieces are doubled in size.
3. When ready to start cooking the naan, heat a cast iron griddle, skillet or grill pan over high heat. Flour that work surface one more time and lightly flour a piece of naan dough. Use a rolling pin or dowel to roll into the thinnest circle possible, at least 1/4 inch. Lower the naan onto the griddle, brush with margarine and sprinkle with dried herbs or seeds if using and cook the for 2 to 4 minutes; the naan will puff up as it bakes and form a few large bubbles. Check the underside of the naan; when it looks well browned, turn the naan over and bake for another 2 to 2 1/2 minutes. Wrap hot naan in a large, clean dish towel and repeat cooking process with remaining dough, stacking and wrapping together hot naan. Serve naan hot, if desired cutting in quarters to scoop up curries.
Plain naan are good, but flavored naan rein supreme. Try adding some of the following as directed above:
Knead into naan dough one of the following:
-3 tablespoons minced garlic
-1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
-1/2 cup finely chopped scallions, green part only
-1/4 cup finely chopped mint or cilantro
Press onto one side of each naan, once rolled flat:
-1 tablespoon of dried rosemary per naan
-1 teaspoon cumin seeds per naan
-1/2 teaspoon kalonji (black cumin) seeds per naan