Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Tajik Naan

The naan from Tajikistan has got to be the most beautiful of flat breads. It is stamped with designs and made to look like a piece of art. The designs range from the overtly embellished suitable for weddings to the moderately embellished for every day consumption.


I saw a video of this bread a few months back and added it to my wish list. This bread takes time as the bakers spend considerable effort to get the intricate designs on the bread. They also use a range of stamps to transfer these designs. The trick is to stamp the designs deep enough to withstand baking but not cut the naan.


I do not have the tools that are used to create the complex impressions so I improvised. I used steel spoons, bowls, cookie cutters and icing tips.


Even my daughter could not resist and had to give it a shot.


Though my embellished naan looked nowhere close to the real thing it gave me a chance to really enjoy the making of something as simple as everyday bread. It must be this inner joy that has kept this tradition alive in Tajikistan for hundreds of years.


Though there are a lot of videos online on how this naan is made I could not find an authentic source for the ingredients. I finally found a version in Sasha Martins Global Table Adventure. The ingredients she used are similar to the Indian naan.

This naan is leavened with yeast and a tangy flavor is introduced with the yogurt. It is traditionally cooked inside a tandoor vertically stuck to an inside wall. I baked it in a hot oven for about 8-10 minutes. I brushed some of them with an egg/milk wash before popping them in the oven and the color on those was deeper than the others. They all tasted just as good. I completely ran out of wheat flour. I only had half a cup so I used bread flour instead.

You will need
1 1/2 packet yeast
1 cup water
1 cup yogurt
1 tsp sugar
1/2 cup whole wheat
2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups bread flour
1 tsp salt

Heat the water. In a mixing bowl combine the water with the yogurt to form a lukewarm solution. Dissolve the yeast and sugar in the bowl and let it sit for 20-30 minutes to create the sponge.


Sift the flours and salt. Add them to the sponge and form a dough. Knead well for 15 minutes until the dough is soft.


Shape it into a ball and leave it covered until it doubles in volume or about 2 hours.


Preheat the oven to 475 F. Transfer the dough to a floured working surface. Punch the air out gently and divide into 8 portions. Keep the portions covered to keep them from drying out. Using a rolling pin roll out one of the portions into a disc. Keep it aside and work with another portion of dough. Roll out 4 of the portions and then return to the first one. The disc should be puffy.


Using your imagination and your tools work out designs on the discs.


Sprinkle with a little water and bake for 5 minutes. Turn the baking sheet around in the oven and bake for 5 more minutes. Take the naan out of the oven and cool on a rack. Repeat for all the portions of dough.


Serve hot for breakfast or dinner.

This is my entry for week four, day three of BM #38 for the theme Naan. Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM#38.

7 comments:

  1. Wow that is indeed a piece of art Varada, very nice. Thank you so much for your effects. You really made this series so good..enjoyed reading all of them!

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  2. Looks very delicious! All of UR naans are unique...Art work in this naan is superb !

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  3. Wonderful varada!!! that is really a piece of art!!! Looks awesome!!!

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  4. Wow Varda it is really a piece of art. Very unique and hats of to you for your effort put in. I would surely say that this was the best Naan of the series. No offences dear co bloggers.

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  5. Thats beautiful piece of art, love the way you have decorated it..Fantastic Naan..

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  6. Those naans look gorgeous Varada. I haven't seen the pros make these, so I'm going to say you have done an excellent job with the designs.

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  7. OMG - these are just too beautiful for words

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