Persian Naan Bread
Makes 8 small rounds
- 2 ½ cups tepid water (80-90 degrees F)
- 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 5-6 cups of bread flour or unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon salt
Oasis Naan Toppings
- 1 tablespoon coarse salt
- 2 scallions, trimmed and chopped (white and tender green parts only)
- 1 teaspoon cumin or caraway seeds
Put the water and yeast in a large bowl of counter top mixer and stir to blend with paddle attachment. Add 3 cups of flour and salt and mix until comes together mix for 2 or 3 minutes. Add remaining 2 cups of flour and mix until machine slows. Switch to dough hook (at this point I knead the dough in the bowl to form a rough ball). Knead at medium speed for about 5 minutes adding additional flour as needed. Knead until dough is smooth and easy to handle.
Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl, turning to cover the entire surface with oil, cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and let the dough rest at room temperature until it has more than doubled in bulk, about 2 hours. If it’s more convenient you can put the bowl in the refrigerator and let the dough rise overnight; bring the dough to room temperature before continuing.
Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F.
Center a rack in the oven and line it with quarry tiles or a baking stone, leaving a 1-inch air space all around. If you do not have tiles or a stone, place an inverted baking sheet on the oven rack. Set aside a baker’s peel or dust a baking sheet without sides with flour.
Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces and roll each piece into a ball; flatten each ball with lightly floured palms. Roll out the dough into circles about ¼ inch thick and 5 to 6 inches across and sprinkle with water. Each circle needs to be well pricked all over with the exception of a 1-2 inch border. Using a pastry docker or the tines of a fork. Whatever you choose, you want to prick the dough with determination, flattening the center of each circle. Sprinkle each center with coarse salt, chopped scallions and caraway seeds.
Slide the breads onto the hot stone using a baker’s peel and bake for 6-8 minutes or until the tops start to color. Remove the breads and cool on a rack for about 5 minutes before wrapping them in a cotton towel. These are best served warm.
The breads are best eaten shortly after they’re baked, but they’ll keep wrapped in a towel for about a day. For longer storage, wrap the breads airtight and freeze for up to a month. Keep the breads in their wrappers while they thaw at room temperature and then warm them for a few minutes in a 400 degree F oven before serving.
Recipe Adapted from "Baking with Julia"