Sunday, 10 April 2011

Peshwari Naan

Naan is a delicious flatbread that is best cooked in an extremely hot oven. Lacking an extremely hot oven, we made do tonight with an extremely hot grill - but didn't leave quite enough space between the pan and the elements! So be aware that if you try this, you'll need a few inches of leeway for the naan dough to expand, or of course you can use an oven. I find it's hard to substitute the yoghurt in naan; it just adds the right tang to the dough. This recipe makes four large naan.

For the dough:

  • 50 ml boiling water
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 100 ml cold water
  • 1 tbsp active dried yeast
  • 175g natural yoghurt
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp melted butter or ghee
  • 450g strong white bread flour

For the filling:
  • 2 generous handfuls of almonds
  • 2 generous handfuls of raisins
  • 75g solid coconut cream or dried coconut
  • 3 tbsp honey

Dissolve the sugar in the boiling water, cool to blood heat with the cold water, then stir in the yeast and leave for 10 minutes to activate. If you have a breadmaker, add the yeasty water and yoghurt to the breadmaker along with the other ingredients, and set to dough cycle. If you don't, combine the ingredients in a large bowl, stir to make a dough, then knead for 10 minutes until soft and elastic, leave for 30 min, knock back and knead again, then leave for 30 further minutes.

Meanwhile, blend the filling ingredients in a food processor - or I guess finely chop them if you don't have one. Pour a little milk into a ramekin and preheat the oven to 250C or the grill to its maximum setting.

Flour a clean surface, and divide the dough in two, then again, and then again, to make eight equal pieces. Roll two pieces as flat and thin as you can, and add 1/4th of the filling to the centre of one, patting it flat with the back of a spoon. Using your fingers, dab some milk from the ramekin around the edges of the piece, and lay another piece over the top. Push together to stick the dough together, and repeat for the other three pairs of pieces.

Put your baking trays in the oven or under the grill, and when they are properly hot, slide the naan doughs onto the trays, and place immediately in the oven or grill. If grilling you might need to flip them halfway through. Cook for 4-5 minutes, until browned. If you like, brush with a little melted butter before serving.

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