I'm back...had another of those famously busy weeks that Summer brings. Last week, I got to take care of my grand daughter, Sophie, for a couple of days, so that her mama, @smylie2005 could help Daddy at work!
At a precocious 3, Sophie loves to be involved with whatever is going on in the kitchen...and she loves her bread! What better an opportunity to make some magic and some memories! We're going to bring you along for the ride, Steemian friends! C'mon in the kitchen with Sophie and I...let's bake up some Naan Bread!
1/2 cup warm water (about 105 degrees F)
1 packet active dry or instant yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
1 egg, large, lightly beaten
1/3 cup yogurt (sour cream works, too)
1/4 cup olive oil
2.5 cups all purpose or bread flour
1 teaspoon sea salt
The hardest part of this is gathering the ingredients together! If you've ever baked with a three year old, you know the anticipation of the 'fun' part is almost too much to bear, as Grandma gathers together the items we need...and, OMG! she has to stop and take pictures!!!
You got your stuff together??? C'mon...Sophie's waiting!
Like any good bread recipe, it starts with simplicity...the sugar, water and yeast. If using active dry yeast, you'll want to mix together and let it sit for 10 minutes or so, to get the yeast to wake up. We had fast acting yeast...so we can move right along. Sophie has no time for waiting on yeast to wake up!
In goes the yogurt (or sour cream). We had to use sour cream. I don't usually have unflavored yogurt in the fridge...it's just not something we widely use. These guys like their yogurt to be strawberry, or some other fruity combo!
And the egg goes in. Mix it all together.
Add in one cup of the flour and stir it in. You'll have a big, sloppy mess! That's fun!
After the first cup of flour, the rest is added in half cup increments, working each in before the next is added. We'll knead the very last half cup in a few tablespoons at a time.
Kneading was a workout! Believe it, or not, Sophie doesn't like her hands getting sticky and messy...it was something different for her to be able to get messy and just keep on going.
See? Sticky fingers, sticky hands!
So, I cleaned up our Sophie's very messy hands, and finished working the last of the flour in to the dough. Then, it gets rolled into a ball and rests, to rise, covered, in a spot over the oven. It'll take about an hour for the dough to double in size; when it does, you're ready to proceed. Until then, let's go out and feed the chicks!
I feed these guys in the morning, with their grit, chicken feed and fresh water. Sometimes they get scratch and snax in the afternoon. When they see Sophie, they know the 'good stuff' is coming! We go out to the gardens and pick herbs and berries, grass and weeds. The 'girls' know that Sophie brings the treats! This little buff orpington, Blondie, is first in line!
After we came in, and washed up, it was time to resume our baking. The dough had risen double...I punched it down gently and divided it into eight fairly equal pieces.
We flatten out the rounds before rolling out, so they're easier to manage.
We're looking for a semi-round-ish 6 inch shape...it's rustic, what can I say! The fun is in the journey! About a quarter inch thick...or whatever... In the meantime, I have my comal heating up on the stove. A comal is a cast iron flat pan used, traditionally, in Mexican cooking for tortillas and such. The cast iron lasts forever, and it holds the heat well. Naan is normally cooked in a blazing hot oven or tandoor. It's Texas, it's already hot...no way is that oven getting turned on to 500 degrees F.
While Sophie continues working with the Naan rounds, I'll take care of the stove part of the process. If you don't have a comal, you can use a large cast iron skillet. Heat it up over medium high heat.
Part of what makes Naan so delicious are the airy bubbles! As the first side browns, the bubbles rise. When it's good and bubbly, like this, it's time to flip. It takes just a few minutes...don't wander off anywhere!
And, the flip, and the landing! A few more minutes, to brown the other side, and it's done! Stack them up on a plate.
In a matter of minutes, you'll have a stack of eight fluffy, delicious Naan bread! Great for sopping up the deliciousness of any stew or curry...or just as tasty slathered with butter and eaten warm!
I hope you'll give this a try this Summer, as an alternative to baking in the dreaded oven! Stay cool! Make memories, not sweat! And, always, always, keep on Steemin' on! Till later, my friends!