Garlic. If there’s one ingredient I cannot live without, it’s garlic. In fact, without really giving it a second thought, I almost always start savory recipes with sauteed garlic and onions. But for the recent Indian cooking class I hosted, we used garlic in a different way. For this Garlic Naan recipe, minced garlic is mixed with olive oil and herbs which was then brushed on freshly baked naan for additional flavor. Boy, was it good!…
An Indian meal is often accompanied with these soft, pillowy breads called naan. Believe it or not, naan bread is already lurking in your pantry. Considering that this specific bread calls for all purpose flour, salt, sugar (or honey), yeast, water and oil, there really isn’t an excuse to not give this recipe a chance! The dough comes together rather easily. Once the dough has risen once, it’s punched down and rolled into balls, then left to rest for a few more minutes. Each ball of dough is rolled out to a circular or free form shape then baked. After it’s baked for a few minutes, the tops of the naan is brushed with garlic oil and baked once again. The garlic oil is a combination of minced garlic, olive oil and minced parsley. Delish!
If you’re craving more carbs, check out YeastSpotting, where I submitted this recipe!
recipe adapted from The Fresh Loaf
3 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 Tablespoon sugar or honey
1 packet yeast (or, if from bulk, 2 teaspoons yeast)
1 1/4 to 1 1/2 cups water, roughly at room temperature
2 tablespoons olive oil, vegetable oil, butter, or shortening
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the yeast with the flour, salt, and sugar. (If you are using active dry yeast, follow the instructions on the packet to activate it before combining with the rest of the ingredients.) Add the olive oil and 1 1/4 cup water and stir together with a wooden spoon until you form a ball. Add water if needed to get all the flour mixed into the ball of dough.
Once all of the ingredients form a ball, remove the paddle attachment and replace with the dough hook attachment. Knead the dough at low speed for approximately 10 minutes. After kneading, place the ball of dough in a lightly oiled bowl and roll the dough inside the bowl around to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside to rise until it doubles in size (roughly 1 1/2 hours – 2 hours).
*Alternatively, you can use your INSTANT POT to help proof the dough! Place a piece of parchment paper large enough to hold the dough inside your Instant Pot…. OR spray the inside of your Instant Pot with non-stick spray. If using parchment paper, press the parchment paper into the liner pot and spray with non-stick spray. Place your dough and gently shape into a ball size shape to fit inside your Instant Pot. Press the YOGURT button on the Instant Pot, then select the LOW temperature setiing. Once the Instant Pot beeps, cover with a clear Instant Pot lid or a (clear glass) plate that is big enough to cover the liner. If you don’t have a clear Instant Pot lid or glass plate, you can also cover tightly with plastic wrap.
*Alternatively, you can use your SLOW COOKER/CROCKPOT to help proof the dough! Fill your slow cooker halfway with water and set to the low setting (which will heat the water to about 200ºF). Put the lid on upside down, lay a dishtowel on top, then set your covered bowl of dough on top. The radiant heat from the hot water will help the bread to rise.
When the doubled in size, punch the dough down to release some of the trapped gases and divide it into 8 pieces. Roll each piece into a ball, cover the balls with a damp kitchen towel, and let them rest for 20 minutes. This step allows the dough to relax so that it’ll be easier to shape.
While the dough is resting, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. If you have a baking stone, put it in the oven to preheat as well. If you do not have a baking stone, turn a cookie sheet upside down and place it on the middle rack of the oven while you are preheating the oven. This will be the surface on which you bake your pitas.
After the dough has relaxed for 20 minutes, spread a light coating of flour on a work surface. Set a ball of dough on the floured surface. Flour the top of the dough, as well as your rolling pin or hands. Stretch and flatten the dough with your rolling pin/hands and roll out the dough to a 1/8 – 1/4 inch thickness. If the dough is too touch to stretch, cover it with the damp towel and let it rest 5 to 10 minutes before trying again.
Open the oven and place as many pitas as you can fit on the hot baking surface. Bake in the preheated oven for 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and brush with the garlic oil. Return to the oven and bake for another 2-3 minutes, enough to warm the garlic oil.
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