A few weeks ago I was walking through the neighborhood Indian store when I noticed a table I had never noticed before. On this table were stacked different types of flat bread wrapped in plastic packets all of them over a foot in length. I ventured closer to take a look. The bread was baked locally in a bakery and sold through the Indian stores. One of the them was the Afghan naan.
I was fascinated and wanted to know how this was different from the Barbari naan. I found a blog by Humaira who lives in California. Her blog has some very interesting information about Afghanistan. You might want to browse around. She has a recipe for Afghan bread that can be cooked in the household oven. This recipe is adapted from her blog. The trick according to her is to keep the oven humidity high. She achieves this by spraying water into the oven. I have read that a pie dish full of hot water is placed on the lower shelf of the oven when European dense bread is cooked. It helps to give the bread a crispy crust. So that is what I did.
We ate the naan as if it was regular Indian flat bread but I had leftovers. The next day after school my daughter sprinkled some grated cheese on it and nuked it for 15 seconds. She then topped it with some salsa. I have to say that was delicious.
You will need
2.5 cups bread flour
1/2 packet of 1/4 oz. Fleischmann instant yeast
1 tsp. salt
2.5 tsp. olive oil
1 cup warm water
1/2 tsp. nigella seeds
Mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl. Rub in the oil. Add the water a little at a time and make a dough. It will be a little sticky. Knead the dough for about 10 minutes until it is smooth and elastic.
Cover and let it double it volume for an hour or two.
Preheat oven to 450 F. Cover a baking sheet with aluminium foil and place it in the oven. Punch down the risen dough and divide it into two. Flour a working surface and roll out the dough into a rectangle about a foot long. Add nigella seeds on the top and roll over it to allow them to stick to the dough.
Heat a cup of water in the microwave for about a minute. Pour it into a pie dish and put the dish on the bottom rack of the oven. Now to transfer the dough to the heated baking sheet. Fold the dough in half once and then again to a quarter. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and transfer the dough on to the aluminium foil.
Open up the fold to spread it out again.
Score three lines on the dough ensuring they do not go all the way through and put in the oven. Let it bake for 5 minutes.
Turn the tray around and let it bake for another 5 minutes or until the top begins to brown.
Take it out of the oven and wrap it in a towel to keep it from drying out. Repeat with the other portion of dough.
This is my entry for week four, day two of BM #38 for the theme Naan.
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