From the moment I broke a piece off, I realized it was going to taste good. I could feel the warmth of the fresh oven and the softness of a perfect baking time. Then I took a bite, and boy, was I right. It was delicious. Ten minutes later, when my main dish arrived, I was too full to eat anymore. I had eaten too much naan.
The first time I tried naan—the pita bread-like staple of West, South and Central Asia—I fell in love. My mouth savored one bite after the other as though my stomach were a bottomless pit. And each piece I broke off was bigger than the last.
That was eight years ago. For some reason, it had never occurred to me to try it out at home. Then last year, when my mind finally started thinking straight, I realized there was nothing stopping me from replicating the deliciously fluffy bread. So I gave it a go.
My biggest concern that night was my waistline. How was I supposed to pass by the opportunity to bake fresh naan on a daily basis if it was so easy and yummy? Self control, I said to myself. And it has been hard, but some days, it is just impossible; some days, there is just no way to escape the thought of a warm piece of naan with a dab of melting butter on top.
Naan (adapted from Tasty Kitchen)
Makes about 8 pieces.
Active time: 30 minutes. Total time: 2.5 hours, including rising time.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon granulated Splenda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/2 cup plain yogurt
- Spices (optional)
- Oil or butter for serving
- In a large bowl mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, Splenda, and salt. Make a well in the middle and set aside.
- Place milk in the microwave for about 25 seconds, or until warm but not hot. Combine with yogurt and stir to blend well. Pour half of the milk mixture into the well previously made in the dry ingredients. Slowly stir to combine. Keep adding as much milk mixture as needed to form dough (I used almost all of it). Cover dough with a damp towel.
- Place a bowl of water in the microwave oven and heat for 30 seconds. Remove bowl and place covered dough in the microwave. Let rest, undisturbed, for at least 2 hours.
- After dough has risen slightly, remove dough from bowl and place on a lightly floured surface. Knead for 2-3 minutes, adding flour is dough is too sticky.
- Separate dough into 8 portions. Roll each piece out until 1/4-inch thick. Season one side with whatever spice you are using and brush other side with water.
- Heat a large heavy skillet over medium heat and place naan water-side down. Cover and cook for about 30 seconds or until bubbles appear.
- Flip naan and transfer to a low flame, cooking it spices-side down directly over the flame. Cook until slightly charred. Serve warm.