Naan (makes 4)
- 2 cups all purpose flour (or maida)
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ cup warm water
- 1 teaspoon active rapid rise yeast
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 2 tablespoons plain yogurt
- Mix together the dry ingredients in a large glass bowl. Dissolve the yeast and sugar in the warm water in a measuring cup and allow the yeast 5 minutes to develop. Break an egg into the measuring cup, whip it and add yogurt and oil. Stir well. The liquid ingredients should add up to ¾ quarters of a cup or just slightly more. This depends on the size of the egg. Add just 1 tablespoon yogurt to keep the total amount of liquid to as close to ¾ quarters of a cup as possible.
- Make a well in the flour and add the liquid ingredients. Mix well with your fingers and incorporate into a soft dough. If all goes well, you’ll get dough that doesn’t stick too much to your fingers or to the bowl. If it’s too dry, add another tablespoon of yogurt. If it is too sticky, add a little bit more flour.
- Preheat your oven to 175 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease the inside of the bowl and coat the outside of the dough with a bit of oil. This makes the dough much easier to handle! Cover the bowl with a damp cloth, turn off the preheated oven and place the bowl inside. The warmth helps the dough rise faster and the damp cloth keeps it moist. You may not need to use the oven if it’s warm in your kitchen. After an hour, your dough should have doubled in volume. If not, work the dough for a couple of minutes and put it back in the oven for another hour.
- Divide the leavened dough into 4 equal parts. Don’t worry if the dough reduces in size when you do this. Work them into round balls and dust them slightly with flour. Dust your work surface with flour as well. If the dough is very sticky, rub a bit of oil into your palms and dust the dough with more flour. Roll out each naan into an oval shape that is about ¼ inch thick without overworking the dough. Keep covered with a damp paper towel or cloth.
- Heat a cast iron skillet on medium high till it starts slightly smoking. Gently place the naan on the skillet taking care not to stretch it out further. Turn over onto other side when you see bubbles form, about 30-45 seconds. A few black spots on either side indicate the naan is done. Remove from heat and spread some ghee, butter, or olive oil on top. If the skillet gets too smoky, reduce the heat. Increase the heat again if the naans are taking too long to cook.
- For cumin naan, sprinkle some cumin seeds on the rolled out naan and press them in with the roller. For garlic naan, add minced garlic into the dough. Alternatively, saute the garlic in butter separately and spread it on one side of the cooked naan.