In the span of my lifetime, I am relatively new to naan. In fact, I am relatively new to Indian food in general. Most of what I have had was ordered for lunch at work from a little, local Indian restaurant back in Nebraska. One of our technicians would usually order for all of us there on the weekend, and it would come in Styrofoam soup cups and foil-wrapped packets. Most of the time I didn’t know the exact name of what we were eating, but I do know that I liked it!
If you haven’t guessed, the foil-wrapped packets contained the hot, garlicly, buttery naan. To say this was one of our favorite parts of this meal would be an understatement. I guess since it was so foreign to me I always assumed that it would be relatively hard to make at home. Not true. After finding Jessica adaptations of Indian Simmer's recipe on Tasty Kitchen and seeing Tracey have good luck with it in her kitchen, I knew I would give it a shot next time we made an Indian meal. Who knew that making naan didn’t even involve yeast?!?
2 cups all-purpose flour (whole wheat pastry flour)
3/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup warmed milk, about 100 F (I used skim)
1/2 cup plaint non-fat yogurt
bulb of garlic
melted garlic (to brush over the cooked naan)
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, and salt. Combine the milk and yogurt in a measuring cup. Pour over the dry ingredients and start to mix with a spoon, keeping in mind that you might not need all of the liquid to bring the dough together (I needed it all, but I live in the desert). The dough will not look like a typical bread dough at this point. Do not worry. Cover the bowl with a damp towel and set it aside in a warm place for at least 2 hours.
Turn the dough onto a floured work surface and knead for 2-3 minutes. The dough will become silky and smooth. Divide the dough into 8 pieces. You can add more flour if the dough is sticky. Roll the piece out to about 1/4-inch thick. The shape does not have to be a precise circle; it can be any shape. Push several garlic cloves through a garlic press. Brush one side of the bread with the minced garlic and wet the other side of the bread with water. I used a spray bottle and it worked really well, but you can also use a pastry brush.
Heat a heavy-bottomed skillet over medium to medium-high heat. When it is hot, place the naan wet side down and cover with a lid. The bread will stick at first, don't worry. Let it cook for about 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until you can see the dough bubbling. If you have a gas stove, you can cook the other side over the open flame of another burner, or you can flip the bread and cook the other side in the pan (like a pancake). Brush only the pieces you plan to eat immediately with melted butter.