Naan bread

Naan.
Naan. Photo: Murdoch Books
Dietary
Vegetarian

These teardrop-shaped breads are served as an accompaniment to savoury dishes and are traditionally used as a 'scoop', to replace a knife and fork. Authentic naan are slapped against the clay sides of an ultra-hot tandoor oven to cook, but a short blast under a grill after baking is a good alternative.

Ingredients

150ml lukewarm milk

2 tsp castor sugar

7g (2 tsp) dried yeast

450g (3 cups) plain flour

1 tsp salt

1 tsp baking powder

2 tbsp vegetable oil, plus extra, for greasing

150g plain yoghurt

1 egg, lightly whisked

Method

1. Combine the milk and sugar in a small bowl, sprinkle over the yeast and set aside for 5 to 6 minutes or until foamy.

2. Sift the flour, salt and baking powder into a large bowl. Add the yeast mixture, oil, yoghurt and egg. Stir with a wooden spoon to form a coarse dough.

3. Turn out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead for 10 minutes or until smooth and elastic. Shape into a ball and place in an oiled bowl, turning to coat in the oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm, draught-free place for 1 hour or until doubled in size.

4. Preheat the oven to 240C. Preheat a large, heavy-based baking tray in the oven. If your oven has a separate grill, preheat that to high also.

5. Knock back the dough with just one punch to expel the air and divide it into 6 equal portions. Roll each portion into a ball, place on a lightly greased baking tray and cover with plastic wrap. Working with one ball at a time, use a rolling pin to roll out on a lightly floured work surface into a rough oval, about 25cm long and 13cm wide.

6. Working quickly, remove the hot baking tray from the oven and slap 2 naan bread onto it. Immediately place in the oven and bake for 3 minutes or until puffed. Transfer to a large tea towel to keep warm. Repeat to cook the remaining naan.

7. If your grill is not separate to the oven, change the oven setting to grill and preheat on the highest heat, or use the preheated separate grill. Grill each naan, about 10cm from the heat, for 40 to 45 seconds each side, until lightly scorched.