Weather: 50, rain
What I’m listening to: His Glory is Rising, The Neverclaim (a reader recommendation)
A moose made me late to church yesterday. No, really. I told the kids to go outside and hop in the car, and just moments later, they came flying back into the house declaring that there was a “huge” bull moose out front (we see cows most often and they are sometimes accompanied by calves, but a bull in the yard is a real treat). Since we couldn’t safely get into the car without disturbing the bull, I pulled out my camera and my iPhone and we all stood very quietly at the front door observing him and snapping pictures while he ate a big breakfast off of the fallen tree pile we have in the yard. When he had his fill and moseyed off, we got into the car and headed to church. I love my life.
Although I enjoy curry all year, I especially love it in the fall. It’s something about the color of it – rich oranges, yellows, and reds – and the deep spicy complexity of it. And when I have curry, I crave a good piece of naan bread to soak up all that deliciousness.
I hadn’t had naan since we moved up to Alaska, so I figured it was about time to learn to make it at home. Some of you may have seen a particular Instagram photo in my feed where a very yeasty dough overflowed the bowl of my KitchenAid stand mixer. That was this dough. It is the yeastiest darn thing I’ve ever had the pleasure of cooking in my kitchen. It overflowed my bowl, then per the instructions, I piled it all into a different container and refrigerated it and it overflowed in my refrigerator as well. It was downright hilarious. It had a mind of its own, this naan dough. But, that’s precisely how naan gets those beautiful pockets of air and puffs up the way only naan does.
Aside from the overflow situation (and you can learn from my mistakes, which I will try to help you avoid in the recipe instructions), homemade naan is well worth the effort. It is downright fabulous. Chewy yet airy, with those perfect browned areas, and seasoned with garlic, cilantro, and sea salt. Time to get your curry on. Also, be looking forward to the curried Coconut Red Lentils recipe (pictured) coming up later this week.
Homemade Naan with Garlic & Cilantro
Adapted from [The Cafe Sucre Farine|http://thecafesucrefarine.blogspot.com/2012/08/delightful-any-time-of-day-herbed-naan.html]
Yields: About 12 naan
- For the Dough:
- 2-3/4c hot water (about 110 degrees F)
- 1-1/2T yeast
- 2T sugar
- 2t salt
- 1/4c extra-virgin olive oil
- 6-1/2c unbleached all-purpose flour
- For Serving:
- 1/3c extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/3c cilantro, finely chopped
- fine sea salt
To the bowl of a stand-mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, add the hot water, yeast, and sugar. Stir and let sit 5 minutes. Add salt and olive oil. Turn the mixer on low speed and gradually add the flour until completely incorporated. Dough will be elastic, yet sticky and loose.
Transfer dough to a large (5qt or larger) bowl. Cover with a kitchen towel and allow to rise at room temperature for 2 hours. Dough will expand substantially.
Once dough has risen, refrigerate for 1-2 hours before making naan for easier handling.
Combine oil, garlic, and cilantro in a small bowl.
Flour your work surface. Portion dough into balls, about the size of a tennis ball. Roll out the balls into circles about 8 inches wide (naan do not have to be perfectly circular, they're meant to be rustic). If stacking the rolled dough, separate them with waxed paper.
Heat a cast iron skillet or frying pan over medium-high heat. Coat the pan lightly with olive oil (you may need to add more later). Place one dough round into hot pan. The naan will begin to puff up. Gently brush the top side of the naan with the olive oil/garlic/cilantro mixture. Cook until golden brown, then flip (about 2-3 minutes). Brush the other side with the oil mixture. When browned on both sides and cooked through, remove to a plate lined with paper towels. Sprinkle with fine sea salt. Repeat with remaining naan.
Serve naan warm with curry.
- Preparation time: 4 hours