After the hot mess that was my last bake, I needed something a little easier to tackle. The fraisier cake has shaken my confidence, left me wondering if this was a good decision - maybe I should call it quits.
Who am I kidding? I love baking. A difficult bake isn't going to make me stop loving the adventure of baking.
But I did want to do something a little simpler as a palate cleanser. I had planned to make an Indian dish, keema per eedu, for dinner - so it worked out well for making Garlic Naan. My recipe for Keema per Eedu (spiced ground meat with an egg) comes from a restaurant my best friend and I stopped at in London last December. The restaurant, Dishoom, was some of the best food I had in London, and hands down in the top three for best Indian food I've ever had.
I had a choice to make. I could use Paul Hollywood's recipe for garlic naan, or I could use the recipe in the Dishoom cookbook I purchased from the restaurant.
Since this is a GBBO blog, I decided to use Paul's recipe - but make no mistake, I'll be trying out the Dishoom recipe sometime soon.
Naan has featured on a couple of episodes of GBBO. It appeared in series 3 (Netflix GBBO The Beginnings season 1) episode 2 and in series 9 (Netflix 6) episode 3. In series 3, naan appeared as part of the signature bake challenge - flatbreads, leavened and unleavened. In series 9, the garlic naan was the technical bake for the week.
I will be doing more flatbreads in the future - because I love flatbreads and there were several I wanted to try out, but naan is one of my favorites and it seemed like a good starting point. In the future I'm planning to make tortillas, tattie scones, pita, chapati, taboon...we'll see how it goes.
Without further ado: Ready. Set. Bake!
For the dough
For the garlic ghee
1) Mix the flour, salt and baking powder together in a bowl.
2) In a jug, whisk together the milk, yogurt, egg and caster sugar.
3) Make a well in the centre of the flour and pour in the milk mixture. Mix together with one hand, to a soft, sticky dough.
4) Turn out the dough onto a lightly oiled worktop. Knead for 5 minutes, until smooth, then place the dough into a lightly oiled bowl, cover and leave to rest for 30 minutes.
5) To make the ghee, melt the butter in a small pan over a low heat so that it is only just bubbling. Leave to simmer for 20 minutes – this gives the ghee its nutty flavour and golden colour – carefully skimming the foam as it rises to the surface. (Take care to remove just the foam and not the clarified butter.)
6) Remove the pan from the heat and pass the butter through a sieve lined with a square of muslin into a clean bowl. Skim off any remaining small bits of foam and stir in the chopped garlic. Set aside.
7) Tip the dough onto a lightly floured worktop and divide into 8 equal pieces. Shape 1 piece into a ball, flatten it, then roll it into a teardrop shape about 3–5mm thick, 20cm long and 12cm at its widest point. Repeat for the remaining dough pieces.
8) Lay a heavy-based metal baking sheet on a grill pan and heat under a hot grill for 5 minutes. One at a time, lay the naan on the hot baking sheet and grill for 1–2 minutes, until the naan bubbles up. (Keep a close eye on it, as it will burn easily as it puffs.)
9) Remove the naan from the grill, brush with garlic ghee, and set aside to keep warm. Repeat with the remaining naans, then sprinkle with chopped coriander to serve.
Naan is pretty straightforward, even if it is being made without a tandoor and without quite the right heat levels overall. Paul Hollywood's recipe has a lot going on compared to the Dishoom recipe, so I would be interested to see the differences in the final product and how it impacts the flavor and texture.
The broiler/grill pan method for making naan worked well. I wound up with a delicious naan that Andrew said wasn't the best he'd ever had, but was better than some of the restaurant naan he'd had. Basically, middle of the pack. I'll take that as a compliment with my first time making naan, thank you!
We're talking about building a tandoor now, just to see how it does. No telling if it will actually happen - but if it does I'll remake the naan and give you the details.
Overall, naan is an easy bread to make by comparison to some of the more time consuming leavened breads you may come across. There isn't any intricate plaiting or long proving times, which makes it fairly beginner friendly.
Have you made naan before? Or any other flatbreads?