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Monday, May 9, 2011

Naan

I'm not the biggest fan of Indian food, but the one thing I love there is the Indian flat bread known as Naan.



Typically, Indian buffets will have 3-8 different sauces (usually various Chutneys) for you to dip your naan in. It's delicious. For real.

Every now and then I get this intense craving for Naan, but its not worth me paying $14 for an Indian buffet when all I'm going to eat is some flat bread and sauce.

A few days ago I was carving naan pretty badly and decided, "Dan, you are a baker now. You've made multiple types of bread. Let's find a recipe, and make this happen." So I did.

Naan is much easier and takes a lot less time than other breads I've made. Typically, fermentation of naan only takes about one hour and twenty five minutes, whereas other breads, like Ciabatta, ferment for days before you actually bake.

However, with artisan breads, you typically want to be very gentle. Even when mixing the dough, you want to be careful not to deflate the dough or work it too hard. It's all about providing a gentle wave of creation over the dough.

With naan... that doesn't work. You have to make naan your bitch by punching and rolling and flipping it until its a thin, flat, piece of dough. Then you basically throw it on a 400 degree grill and burn it into submission.

It was a very different experience than I'm used to. I was constantly second guessing myself and wondering if I was doing things right. Then end result was awesome. I'm probably going to start making it regularly because it makes such a good snack and staple of just about any recipe.

I'm going to refine the recipe a bit and then I'll put it in that cook book I've been promising all of you for years.




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