Parfait! Naan

04aNaanReadybfLOHappy Day-After-the-Feast!

If you’re like many folk, you have a fair amount o’ (hopefully) nicely roasted turkey sitting in the fridge waiting to be used up.

If you’re looking for a casserole, might I suggest a very tasty turkey club?

Want something a touch zippier? How’s about turkey tostadas? Also very good.

But, I’m thinkin’ sammiches.

03bNaanGriddleDonebfAnd lately, when I think sammiches, I think


Wicked simple to toss together, and a snap to ‘bake’ in a cast iron pan or, as I discovered with this batch, on the cast iron griddle that fits over the fifth burner on my range.

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

01bFlourSiftbfLOStir the yeast and the sugar into the warm water in a large glass or two cup measure  and let it rest on the counter for ten or fifteen minutes, until the mixture has a nice, foamy head.

Combine the flour, salt, that second teaspoon of sugar, and the baking powder together in a large mixing bowl (I use my stand mixer) and ‘sift’ together using the whisk attachment.

Add the olive oil and the buttermilk* to the yeast mixture, then pour into the flour mixture and gently mix with a fork just until the dough begins to come together.

02aDoughForkbfLO*No buttermilk? NO PROBLEM! all you need is some milk and lemon juice or white vinegar and five minutes. Check it out, here.

Ermmm, you could also use plain yogurt.

Traditionally, once the dough has been combined with the fork, you complete the process by kneading with your hands until all of the flour has been worked in and the dough is soft and sticky.

02cDoughKNeadedbfLOI don’t do that.

Once I’ve tossed the yeast with the flour, I replace the whisk with the dough hook attachment on the mixer and let modern technology do my dirty work for me.

The dough will not come together into a ball or clean the sides of the mixing bowl – it’ll look a lot like this:

03bDoughRisenbfLOThat’s a good thing for naan.

Remove the bowl from the mixer, peel off any of that sticky dough on the hook and add to the bowl, then cover with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm spot to rise for two to four hours, until the dough has more or less doubled in size.

Recall, tho’, that YOU are the boss of that dough. If it looks ready in two hours and you aren’t, too bad for it! It’ll be fine if it spends another hour or two waiting until you are good to go.

04aDoughDividedbfLOWhen you are ready, dived the dough into six balls – it’ll still be a lot softer and more sticky than other bread doughs, this is what you want in a naan dough.

Place the dough balls on a large, floured board, and place a bowl of water and a bowl of flour nearby.

Get your cast iron pan or griddle nice and hot (almost smoking) over high heat.

01aNaanRolledOutbfLORoll each piece of dough into a rough teardrop shape or circle, about 1/4 inch thick, tossing with a bit of the flour to keep it from sticking to the board or the rolling pin.

Sprinkle a bit of the water on your hands, pick up a piece of dough, let it stretch out a bit, then toss it back and forth between your dampened palms before adding it to the hot pan or griddle.

Add the first piece of dough and cook for a minute or two, until the dough puffs up a bit and bubbles form.

03aNaanGriddlebfNote: even though I try to start with a nicely heated pan or griddle, I am always just a bit off, so the cooking times will vary from the first piece to the last, and even at it’s longest, this bread cooks quickly, so do plan on watching closely as each piece cooks.

Once the first side is a bit blistered and blackened in spots (again, that’s fine, and exactly what you want in a piece of naan), flip the dough and cook the other side for another minute or so, until it is also slightly blackened.

01NaanbfLOToss the cooked naan with a little sea salt and brush with melted butter – if you’re planning to use it right away – I never bother with the butter, as I’m planning on those sammiches, or mebbe a nice bit of ‘za!, transfer the naan to a towel-lined basket to keep warm and repeat with the remaining dough.

The naan will keep fresh in a plastic zipper bag for a couple of days. After that, I’d suggest brushing it with a bit of that butter, toasting it in a slow oven, and crumbling over a salad.

Enjoy your sammiching!

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