Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Bread From Toaster? Naan-sense!

They say that necessity is the mother of invention. In my case, it was the empty gas tank.

Imagine. The sun is setting on Motezuma, Costa Rica. The red yolk is casting its last light on wavering lines. The sounds of howling monkey bellies from close by branches...leaves float freefall. Inside the kitchen, a cast iron skillet sits on stove. Inside the black canvas, white naan dough, the face of the full moon....Biela stations next to shoeless feet, her customary place when her human cooks.

It's only been a couple of minutes, not a scent of bread yet when...the gas light dies.

Flashlights go searching for the spare gas tank. Fruitless.

Then panic. What to do? The naan isn't ready. Do you throw it out? Store it in the fridge? What to do? There's a microwave. But it won't brown if you zap it?

And then you see from the corner, the familiar form, the old faithful, the gentle king of kitchen appliances...the toaster. Is it ready for the challenge? Ready to finally make bread history?

The partially cooked bread is sliced in half and tucked into the tiny tandoor.

One small feat, one giant leap for toasterkind...we have naan!

Recipe below. Enjoy and I'd love to hear from you on your naanaventure.

Love, mb

pop goes the naan. 2-4 minutes depending on the toaster

The method...

with salt, butter  and cilantro

Naan Made in a Toaster Recipe (makes 6) 
adapted from manjula's kitchen

2 c flour
1 teaspoon dry yeast (or 1/4 c poolish)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoons of oil (+ oil to coat dough and bowl)
2 1/2 tablespoons yogurt
3/4 cup warm water (for poolish add ½ c water)
Melted butter or ghee (for serving) 

The dough
Dissolve dry yeast in warm water for 10 minutes. Mix dry ingredients (sugar, salt and baking powder to the flour and mix well). Add the wet ingredients (oil, yogurt, water, yeast). 
Form and knead for a couple minutes to incorporate into a ball. Cover dough with some oil and place in an oiled bowl. Place somewhere warm (ie oven with the light on) for 3-4 hours or until the dough has almost doubled in size.

Punch the dough and knead a second time until the dough is elastic for several minutes. The dough will be very sticky. Generously oil your hands and divide the dough into six equal parts. Rest for 30 minutes.

To form the naan, flour the surface. Take a piece of the dough and roll into an oval shape (8 inches). Brush any excess flour off of the dough. (Tip. Best to make the naan one at a time vs in a batch. When I’ve rolled out my naan a head of time, when it was ready to cook, as I moved it, the dough sagged and lost it’s elasticity. You want a fairly firm dough that will have a slight bounce when you press on it. So forming the last minute is a good thing).

"Pre-heat" in pan
Heat a 9-inch skillet on low. Place the naan in the skillet and cover. Cook gently for only 2-3 minutes depending on the stove (too much time and you will completely cook the dough which you want to avoid). You are not looking to fully cook or brown the bottom, rather you are taking out the wetness (dehydrating), gently allowing the heat to set through and dry out the surface of the dough. When ready, the top will be slightly dry/set and the inside still moist but not wet. It will look like a pre-cooked pizza dough. Only heat on one side, don’t flip.

Remove from the pan and set aside. At this point you can "pre-cook" the rest of the naan one by one or in a larger pan and refrigerate for toasting later.

Toaster tandoor
Once you have your pre-cooked naan ready, take a piece and cut it in half. Place the round edge face down in the toaster.

Cook on high for 2-4 minutes depending on the toaster. The naan will puff inside. Keep a watchful eye. You might need to reposition the naan a couple times for it to brown evenly.

The naan is ready when you smell a wonderful bread smell. It will be golden brown, not too dark and moist in the inside. If too hard, lessen the pre-cook time. Helps to experiment to find the right balance. Brush with butter and enjoy warm.

Tip trick:

for the ideal shape, form like a pizza. thin inside and more puffy on the edges

1 comment:

Cedric Brehaut said...

... and the naan was delicious :)


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