Naan Bread…Flat Bread: Experimentations

For my birthday (right around Christmas) I received a bread book from Huz entitled “Crust and Crumb: Master Formulas for Serious Bread Bakers“, written by Peter Reinhart. Last night we attempted the Naan bread recipe on page 142. The recipe involved a bit of prep ahead of time, but was pretty straight forward.   Naan bread is a generic name for all sorts of different breads made from India.

Since I married Mr. Science Teacher who loves experimenting, this turned into quite an interesting taste test. The recipe yielded 8 Naan breads for us to use thus each one was baked differently.  Here are our test results, also this bread paired nicely with a bottle of red wine, which is now sitting empty in my recycling bin!

  • Round 1 – Whenever I make new recipes I always like to follow it quite closely so I can get a feel of how the base tastes then if we like it, we experiment from there.  So the first round was cooked in the oven on the fire bricks for 5 minutes, once removed we brushed it with garlic butter as instructed in the book – this was a promising start!
  • Round 2 – In the book Peter mentions a delicious “topping to die for” that contained loads of garlic, a bit of olive oil,  a pinch of Tabasco, and quite a bit of crushed red pepper.   (Side Note:  The only crush red peppers we have in our house are the super chilies and cayenne’s grown in the garden that are dehydrated for pepper flakes.  They are hotter than the store bought version.)  Well we followed his topping recipe and added it to the naan bread like suggested – holy hell fire, it was spicy!  Even Huz said it was hot and he can handle pretty spicy food!
  • Round 3 – I wanted to try a plain one, this one was good with butter added after it came out of oven.
  • Round 4 – We brushed with garlic butter  before baking, the butter did not really soak in like we thought, it kind of stayed on top while the naan bread cooked – still a very good option.  It was so bread stick tasting we had to bust out some of our pizza sauce to dip with.
  • Round 5 – I wanted to over cook another plain one, to see if I could get it to crust up like a cracker bread, so we cooked it for 7 minutes, it did brown quite a bit but it still stayed very soft in the middle.
  • Round 6 – Huz wanted to try a tomato baste on top, so we applied a scant amount of our pizza sauce and baked it for 5 minutes.  It was good, not great, we still craved a bit more tomato flavor.
  • Round 7 – Running out of options… this round became a split round.  Half of the naan with more sauce, and the other half with more sauce and a tiny bit of mozzarella cheese.  Both halfs were delicious, but the half with cheese added that nice extra punch of flavor.
  • Round 8 – Our last attempt at closing in on naan deliciousness and we nailed it, we brushed the bottom with garlic butter, then applied the sauce and cheese like we did in round 7 and it was excellent.  I guess in the end we kind of deviated from the whole Indian food theme and ended up with a blend of cultures.  My Huz appropriately named this rounds bread “Garlic Focaccia Naan Bread.”

Here are a few pictures from rounds 8,7, and 4

NaanBread v2

Does anyone out there have any good naan bread or flat bread recipes?

In fellowship and food – Megan


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