I should’ve taken pictures. I always remember when it is already too late.
So I have this awesome cookbook. It is a little confusing because the ingredients are given in metric and in US. Sometimes the conversions are off, so I like to weigh all the stuff. Also, there are often a few ingredients that don’t make it into the prose of the recipe, so sometimes I have to guess. I’m a pretty competent cook, so it’s not usually such an issue, but I’m really largely ignorant of other cultures’ cooking, having only had ethnic food in restaurants in the US.
Here’s the Naan sitch in our household. Brad is way more a bread baker than I am. He understands the science of it in a way that sort of eludes me, and often does not use a recipe. I love to make and knead bread, but it almost never comes out right.
The first time we tried Naaning it up together, I made the Naan, from the recipe book linked above, without a scale that measured grams, and without a grill or tandoori oven. I just did it in the conventional oven at 375. It came out kind of blah. It was, in my estimation, an epic fail. Nothing Naanish about it.
The recipe calls for baking powder and soda, but no yeast. It’s a simple list of ingredients in addition: flour, water, yogurt, milk, salt, oil, sugar.
The Naan I’ve had at Indian places is this light, fluffy, sweetish bread that just slides down in this marvelously comforting way.
Brad says that he recalls the Naan having raw garlic in it, so when he does it, that’s what he does. And he makes his dough with yeast and yogurt and sugar and salt and some other stuff, too.
So the second time we’ve had Naan as a pair, Brad made it. And it had a nice texture and flavor, but it was tough. Too chewy. And I was unsettled a bit by the raw garlic. I think it’d be better to roast it, or at least sweat it for a minute, first. He brushed it with butter and cooked it on the grill and it was bea-you-ti-ful.
So today, the third time, I made it from the recipe in the book linked above. But using a grams scale, and with a grill. I also gave it more time to rise, which was a good choice. My Naan was prettier this time around, and had a nice, pretzel-y texture, and wasn’t tough. But it was still a little bit meh.
So our plan is to revisit an Indian restaurant and we will refresh our Naan memories. Stay tuned.