That’s right peeps! Let it never be said that when someone takes the time to reach out and actually say “Hey! Ouyang! You are a fairly cool peep, and I think you have some cool stuff going on, I would love it if you could do X” where “X” is something reasonably within my powers of awesomeness to grant, that I do not, if not after some time due to the Powers That Be (those scamps!) fucking with my spoons and joints and such from time to time, deliver. (I am not even sure that is a sentence anymore, nor do I care, for I am in a bit of a hurry and my left hand is currently cramping.)
I believe Garland Grey asked once about the recipe for naan, which I started making this summer after one of my fellow military spouses taught me how, and after my EMPIRE RED STAND MIXER OF AWESOME arrived. This is a long one peeps, so I hope you are prepared. I apologize in advance that I do not have a kitchen scale with which to weigh things for you, and yes, this recipe assumes you have access to a nifty mixer like mine, but it does not specify the color, but if you can match yours to your tattoos like I have, then I encourage you to do so for added kitchen fun!
No, I will not be posting pictures of my tattoo today, but maybe naan, which is not shaped like my tattoo.
Naan: (you are going to need to follow directions, peeps, or I can not be held accountable for the quality of product. and even then, I accept no responsibility for your outcome)
You will need:
2 ½ cups bread flour, plus extra as needed
¼ cup whole wheat flour, sifted (unless you like the little hull bits in your bread, then knock yourself out! Shun sifting!)
1 package instant yeast (2 ¼ teaspoons)
2 teaspoons sugar
1 cup water, at room temperature (whoever wrote this, must seriously live in, um, Florida, or Arizona, or something. “Room temperature” means “warm enough to not kill the yeast after some cold shit is added to it”. I start out with relatively warm water, about 110-120F, because you will add the next two ingredient to it first)
¼ cup plain yoghurt (I let mine sit out for a while the day I make naan)
1 tablespoon olive oil, plus extra for the bowl
4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted (I skip this step, and will indicate which parts I skip, because I store mine and use it over 2-3 weeks from the refrigerator)
- Combine the yoghurt, water and olive oil and mix well. Make sure it is still “room temperature in Florida” (if you have an oven safe measuring bowl, like Pyrex, don’t be afraid to put it in a low oven for a few minutes). Combine the Flours, yeast, sugar, and 1 ½ teaspoons salt in the bowl of a stand mixer and mix with the paddle attachment until blended, about 15 seconds. Add the wet mixture and mix on low-speed until a shaggy dough forms, about 30 seconds.
- Replace the paddle with the dough hook and knead the dough on medium until smooth and glossy(ish – it never looks “glossy to me”), about 8 minutes, adding additional bread flour in 1-tablespoon increments, allowing 20 seconds between each addition as needed for the dough to clear the sides of the bowl, but stick to the very bottom. Transfer the dough to a clean work surface and lightly knead by hand for 1 minute.
- Shape the dough into a large ball, transfer to a large, lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and place in a draft-free spot (we don’t want that bad babe getting called to arms while it is trying to rise!) until the dough has doubled in size, about 45 minutes to 1 hour. It says “draft free”, and it means it. If you are baking in the summer in an air-conditioned home, place the covered bowl on top of your pre-heating oven, away from the cross-breeze. At this point you can take out your aggressions on the lil’ darlin’ by punching it down, wrapping it tightly in plastic wrap, and refrigerating it for up to two days.
- Turn the dough onto a clean work surface, but really, it is a little sticky, so a light dusting of flour might be needed. Cut into 8 equal portions, and roll each portion into a round ball. Set the balls aside on the counter or a baking sheet, again out of the draft, to rest for ten minutes.
- Working with 1 ball of dough at a time, lay on lightly floured surface, and roll into a 6-inch circle with a rolling-pin, sprinkling with flour if the dough is sticky. Set the circles aside. You will need to do this quickly, because they will be difficult to work if they get cold, because they are alive.
- Heat a heavy skillet over medium-high heat (or, if you have a Korean stove like mind, just whatever isn’t going to burn the crap out of your food) for about 5 minutes. I use a heavy cast iron. Working with one circle at a time, lift the dough and gently stretch about one inch larger, and lay it on the skillet. Cook until small bubbles appear on the surface of the dough. Flip the bread and continue to cook until it is speckled and deep golden brown in spots, about 2 minutes on each side. I use as many skillets as I have room for to make this go faster, as you can roll the dough while the naan is cooking. If the dough balls sit too long they start to rise and get tough to roll. But DON’T LET THEM BE THE BOSS OF YOU!
- Transfer to a wire rack (the rest I skip, and after the bread cools, I place parchment between layers and store in a 2 ½ gallon zippered storage bag in the fridge. Make sure to put a paper towel or something inside the container to absorb the moisture so your naan doesn’t get soggy. It stores for 2 weeks or so, and I heat it in the oven and brush it with butter just before serving. you can salt it too, but I usually don’t.), brush lightly with butter, season with salt and let cool. Wrap loosely in a clean kitchen towel and serve immediately.
Each “loaf” cuts nicely into four pieces, and if you ask my family, serves one, but I think two serves the three of us just fine as a snack or a side with soup or salad. We haven’t made any good curries in a while, but I am jumpin’ to try!
I hope you get a chance to try it out. Of course, if you do, and you have success stories, or uses for the naan, please be sure to pass them along and share!