06bNaanbfLOOn Tuesday, I wrote about the fine flatbread pizzas we made on the grill using naan from Target.

Which got me to thinking…

how hard could it be, exactly, to make a batch o’ this staple – found everywhere from Iran to India to Burma to – well, that little Indian place down the street and NOW, the bread aisle at Target?

Pretty easy, as it turns out.

•2 cups flour
•1 tsp sugar
•1 tsp fine sea salt
•1/8 tsp baking powder
•1 tsp active dry yeast
•1 tsp sugar
•3/4 cup warm (100º) water
•3 tbsp buttermilk
•2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

01aYeastFoamybfLOSift the flour together in a large bowl with one teaspoon of sugar, the sea salt, and baking powder – I used the whisk attachment on my stand mixer; worked a treat.

Set aside.

02aDoughForkbfLODissolve the yeast in the warm water and the other teaspoon of sugar in a 2-cup container and let rest for ten minutes, until the mixture is nice and frothy.

Stir in the buttermilk and olive oil, then pour into the flour mixture and mix gently with a fork, just until the dough is moistened but still kinda crumbly.

Here’s where I took leave from Aarti Sequeira of Food Network, whi very kindly posted the original recipe – well, in truth I left at the beginning, substituting buttermilk for a like amount of yogurt, and totally omitting (they were ‘optional anyway) the nigella and fennel seeds.

02cDoughKNeadedbfLOWhere was I? Oh, yeah – departing from the recipe instructions! Aarti says to use your hands to knead the dough, stopping as soon as it has all come together in a soft, sticky lump.

Well… I figured that’s what my mixer has a dough hook for, so swapped that out from the whisk attachment and set the machine on low.


Peel the extra dough off the hook (or your hands) and add it to the dough in the bottom of the bowl – it will, indeed, be sticky.

Cover the whole thing tightly with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm spot to rise for about four hours.

04bNaanRolledOutbfLOSet out a large board and lightly flour it, then set out two bowls, one filled with water, and one with a bit of additional flour for dusting on your hands – this dough is still quite sticky!

Dust your hands with some of the flour, then divide the dough into six more-or-less equal portions.

Dust each portion with a bit more of the flour and roll it out into a rough triangle.

Repeat with the remaining portions and set aside while you get your pan ready.

05aNaanPanbfLOOh, didn’t I mention it? This bread is made on top of the stove, traditionally in a very hot Tandoor, but I used my cast iron skillet.

Over high heat, bring the skillet to the almost smoking point, then moisten your hands with a bit of the water and grab one of the rolled out bits of dough – tossing it lightly between your hands to dampen both sides – and drop it on the hot pan.

06aNaanDonebfLOCook for 60 to 90 seconds, then flip and cook for another 60 to 90 seconds – bit s of the bread will be slightly blackened, but that’s a good thing!, and it will puff up slightly in parts.

Transfer the now nicely cooked naan to a towel lined pan and repeat with the remaining dough.

If you’re planning on serving immediately, slather a bit of melted butter or ghee on each slice as you remove it from the pan.

I was thinking more of those pizzas, so stashed my six lovely pieces of flatbread on a towel in my tagine, covered, and let them be.

As it happens, the naan is lovely the next morning with a schmear of cream cheese, but I would bet peach butter would be nice as well. Just a thought.

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