August 15, 2014

Naan

Naan


Naan

My husband called his maternal grandmother, "nan", pronounced "naan" like this flatbread. Fitting because she was a professional baker who hailed from Poland and made dishes that linger in the families memory: rich bread, elaborate cakes for birthdays, donuts she fried fresh in her kitchen, polish cheesecake, soup noodles and so on.  I would've liked to have met her but she passed away before I came into the picture. 

Her food lives on — my mother-in-law has reluctantly shared a few recipes but asked that I please not put them on "that computer thing of yours" (i.e., this blog), which I will of course honor, not wanting to blow the lid off the cooking world by revealing that nana put a pinch of cream of tartar in her donut batter (just an example, I know no such thing to be true). 




A warm flatbread served fresh off a hot griddle may be my family's favorite thing. I make homemade pita too and this is a little tangier and richer due to the addition of yogurt and milk in the dough. 

Maybe it will be my own "nana" dish when the time comes. Soft and crisp, perfect on it's own or with a little butter or olive oil it also makes a great base for other add-ins (garlic, herbs, cheese), toppings or as a vehicle for a hummus dip or tzatziki. 


I pulled this recipe off Food52 and it's almost perfect. I added some needed salt and made it using my awesome KitchenAid stand mixer (that has made it so much easier to do all kinds of baking) but you can use your hands and it will work just as well. 

Naan 

adapted slightly from Food52

Makes 16

1 teaspoon sugar
3/4 teaspoon active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water
3 cups AP flour
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cups whole milk
1 cup plain yogurt*
Melted butter or olive oil for brushing

*the original recipe calls for "not Greek" but I used Greek with no problems.

Note: unrolled-out dough balls keep well in the refrigerator overnight. Just punch down, roll out and griddle away.

1. Mix sugar, yeast and warm water together in a small bowl and let rest until foamy (10 minutes).

2. Meanwhile, whisk remaining dry ingredients together in a large bowl (or bowl of standing mixer) and make a well in the center. Combine milk and yogurt in separate bowl.

3. When yeast is bubbly, pour into milk/yogurt mixture, stir to combine and add into the well of flour mixture.

4. Stir with a wooden spoon until shaggy then put dough hook on mixer and set to lowest setting to knead. Knead approximately 3 minutes on lowest setting then turn up one notch and knead for another 3 minutes until dough is smooth. If you're kneading by hand it will take about 8 minutes. Dough will be sticky.

5. Scrape out of bowl and put into a large oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and set someplace warm to rise for an hour or so until doubled in volume.

6. Punch down on floured surface, diving into two halves, then divide those halves into 8 pieces each.

7. Roll or pat out into approximately 6 inch ovals that are about 1/8 inch thick.

8. Heat a heavy pan on stove top over medium high heat. Brush ovals with melted butter or olive oil and place on hot griddle. Cook for one minute then flip and cook for another minute.

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