Sunday, 20 November 2011

Bread of the Week: Naan Bread

For every yin, there is a yang.  A few weeks back, I had success with replacing the usual Sunday night curry with Dame Mary's Chicken Tikka.  It is now the husband's favourite ever dish and I will be cooking it for all eternity - especially since the unfortunate Loyd Grossman curry sauce episode.

Sadly, for that yin, today's yang is the total failure of the Naan bread recipe from Breads of the World (or whatever the book is's downstairs and I can never remember....)
The teardrops exploded

A long time ago, we used to eat the dry, tasteless shop-bought naans that have a sell-by date of 'the twelfth of never'.  Then, when the husband was diagnosed by some Chinese quack herbalist as having a wheat intolerance (and a tomato, dairy, meat, poultry, sugar, caffeine, starch and life intolerance) I switched to making my own.  Well cheating at it.  I just bought Sharwood's Naan mix.  I figured that one teeny bit of wheat a week couldn't hurt.

When we finally realised that someone as fussy as my husband would never survive on a diet of mung beans and fake bread made from super expensive non-wheat flours that went mouldy the second it was out of the oven, we reverted back to wheat bread, but I continued pretending that I was making the same naans that we'd had before because he liked them.

And then Sainsburys stopped stocking the mix.  Or they only have it sporadically, and never it seems, when I venture into the shop.  I can't find it anywhere else (other than from so tonight I decided to follow the recipe from Breads of the World.
Post baking

It got a thumbs down from us both.  It may be partly my fault for over-baking it slightly - but even so it was completely tasteless.  Just a half-teaspoon of salt to 8oz bread flour seems so wrong.  It's funny because for the past few weeks, I've actually been making naan out of my quick bread recipe and although it's not quite as soft as the Sharwoods naan mix comes out, it was far nicer than the proper recipe we had tonight.

Ah well.  Back to the drawing board. Make of this recipe what you will.

Makes 3 large naan

  • 225g bread flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 7g sachet dried yeast
  • 1 tsp onion seeds
  • 4tbsp lukewarm milk
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp yogurt
  • 1tbsp melted butter or ghee

  1. Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl.  Add the wet ingredients and knead to a smooth dough.
  2. Leave to rise in a warm place in an oiled bowl covered with oiled cling film for 45 mins.
  3. Knock the dough back.  Divide into three balls and roll each into a teardrop shape approx 10 inches long (mixed measurements, I know!)
  4. Preheat the oven to the hottest temperature available (at least 230c) 
  5. Place two heavy baking trays in the oven to heat. 
  6. Bake the bread on the hot tray for 3-4 minutes until puffed up.
  7. Brown under the grill if necessary.

Brush with melted butter or ghee

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