Naan - Indian Flat Bread

Naan - Indian Flat Bread

Makes 8

1 envelope (21/2 teaspoons) dry yeast
2 tablespoons sugar
4-1/2 to 5 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting and rolling
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 tablespoons milk
2 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus more for the bowl
3 tablespoons ghee (Indian-style clarified butter) or melted unsalted butter.

  1. In a small bowl, combine the yeast, sugar and 1/4 cup warm water (110 to 115 degrees F). Let stand until foamy, 5 to 10 minutes.

  2. Place 4-1/2 cups flour, the salt and baking powder in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a dough blade or in mixer with a dough hook. Mix to blend. Add yeast mixture, milk, yogurt, egg, 2 tablespoons vegetable oil and 3/4 cup warm water. Knead dough until smooth and elastic, 2-3 minutes in a processor, 5-8 minutes in a mixer, 8-10 minutes by hand. Dough should be soft but not too sticky. Add flour as needed.

  3. Place dough in a large, lightly oiled bowl, turning to coat all sides. Cover bowl with plastic wrap, then a kitchen towel. Let the dough rise in a warm, draft-free spot until doubled, 1 to 1-1/2 hours.

  4. Punch down the dough and divide into 8 equal pieces. Roll them into balls, place them on a lightly floured baking sheet and cover with a slightly damp kitchen towel. Let rise until doubled in size, 40-60 minutes.

  5. If using a tandoor, heat it to about 450 degrees. If using the oven, place a pizza stone on the bottom rack and heat oven to 450 degrees. If using a barbecue grill, set it up for direct grilling and heat to medium-high.

  6. Roll out a dough ball on a lightly floured work surface into a disk about 6 inches in diameter. Roll and stretch one end to make a teardrop shape. Brush off any excess flour. Repeat with remaining dough.

  7. If using a tandoor, drape one piece of dough over the round cloth pillow called a gadhi. Press the bread onto the hot clay wall. Cook the naan until the top is puffed, blistered and browned, 1-2 minutes. Using a skewer, gently pry the bread off the tandoor wall, taking care not to scratch the clay. Brush the top of the bread with ghee or melted butter, then place in a cloth-lined basket for serving. Repeat with remaining dough.

  8. If using an oven, turn on the broiler. Lay 1 or 2 pieces of dough at a time on the pizza stone. Cook until the bottoms are browned and the tops blister, puff and are lightly toasted, 2-4 minutes. Brush with ghee.

  9. If using the grill, brush and oil the grate. Lightly brush top of dough with butter and place butter-side down on grate a few at a time (do not crowd the grate). Grill until the bottoms are browned and the tops start to puff and blister, 1-2 minutes. Lightly brush tops with a little butter. Invert and grill other side until lightly browned, 1-2 minutes. Transfer to a cloth-lined basket, brushing tops with remaining butter.