Monday, January 18, 2010

Trying out new things: Naan

So I said in my blog description that I was going to try new and interesting things this year.  And in one of the baking blogs where I have recently been lurking, I found a baking challenge:  Naan.  Now I've never had any type of Indian flatbread, so this will definitely be new and interesting.  My hubby on the other hand has quite a few coworkers from India, so his exposure to Indian food has been much greater than mine.  I'll have him do a taste test when he gets home from work.  Wish me luck!  I will modify the original recipe a bit because I want to try out some different techniques and see how they turn out.  Check out the original recipe at http://cookiebakerlynn.blogspot.com/2010/01/some-baking-naan-sense.html 
(Naan must be in the air right now, because Artisan Breads in Five Minutes posted a gluten free naan today...)


So instead of working in the filling in big chunks, I took a tip from another naan recipe and ground up my filling so I could just enclose it and then roll it out.  As you will see, I ended up with a pita like structure doing that way.  Not bad, but I don't think it should be that way.  Next time, I'll stick with the original directions.  :)



I decided to try two different cooking techniques, the one listed which is a skillet method, and the oven broiler method.  So this first one I brushed with butter and tried with the broiler.  The next one I forgot to butter.  Don't forget to butter.  The rest I did in a skillet.  My conclusions?  The oven method may be reputed to give more authentic results, but it is very persnickety.  I liked the results from the skillet much better but definitely like the flavor the butter added.  

So the bottom one I rolled too thin since I wasn't sure how thin to roll for the first one.  It did have the best incorporation of filling though.  (No pita pocket.)  Then there is the middle left, which I forgot to butter.  I repeat: Don't forget the butter.  Then middle right is my first skillet attempt.  Too much oil I think, but nice and soft.  The last two on the top were I believe the closest to what they should be.  So when hubby got home I asked him to try them out.  He said he was more used to the plain, somewhat bland he said, flatbreads and wasn't quite sure about a sweetish one.  Then he took a few more bites.  And a few more.  And then proclaimed that he could keep coming back to these all night.  So I think I achieved a moderate degree of success.  Now I need to try some good authentic naan to aquaint myself with the proper characteristics.


You can see that the fold and roll left me with a pita-like pocket.  It probably would have been better to work in the whole raisins.  But as I was trying new things, I tried lots of new things at once.  And I learned lots of things too!  I still don't know if naan should have a pocket like that.  I'll have to ask some of my hubby's coworkers.  Good resource! 

Thanks to Cookie Baker Lynn for pushing my baking horizons.

10 comments:

Cookie baker Lynn said...

Wow, what great naan! You are quite the culinary adventurer. High fives on pushing your baking boundaries!

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

So happy you made the Naan with us!
I think you're right, your top two look the most like Naan's I've had in restaurants.
I tried doing one on my panni grill - no it doesn't do right but I like to try things.
Interesting to hear how the oven works ... or doesn't.

hobby baker said...

Thanks! Now I will probably have to go try out real pita breads. Bet they will be SO much better than storebought. But then again, just about everything homemade is...

Lien said...

I love the way you searched for the best way to get it done, I love the top ones the best too. Thanks for baking with us!

Monique said...

Thanks for baking with us !
And you know what ? If you never try, you`ll never know... Keep on trying , that`s the BBB -spirit!!!

Baking Soda said...

Yes defiitely skillet! Love the looks of those Naans. Persnickety. Gotta love the word.

Mama JJ said...

You did quite the experimentation! Thanks for all your advice and good suggestions. I'll keep them in mind for when I decide to attempt naan (which may be soon since all these posts about naan are making me crave it).

AP269 said...

I made naan in the skillet and my whole family was thrilled! Yes, you should try to make Pita. I used the Lavash cracker recipe from the Bread Baker's Apprentice - that worked perfectly fine for pita.

hobby baker said...

Thanks for all the encouragement! I'm looking forward to baking with y'all again. I think I may need to bite the bullet and add Bread Baker's Apprentice to my myriad cookbook collection. It seems like many people refer back to that one. :)

Natashya KitchenPuppies said...

I like that you played around with the technique. And I love that your hubs loved them so much. They look tasty. Thanks again for baking with us this month!

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