23 March 2014

Tajik Naan

It's time to post a new flatbread recipe because my current favorite is not here. It's similar to the Afghan naan recipe I posted a long time ago (and is still one of the most popular posts on this blog), but this is one is better, even if it takes longer.  You'll want to start a day or two in advance. This is from Beyond the Great Wall. 

1 1/2 cups warm water
1/2 tsp yeast
4-5 cups flour (I always use whole wheat, but you can use white or a mix)
1/2 cup plain yogurt
2 tsp salt

Pour the water into a large bowl and add a pinch of the yeast- just a few granules.  Add two cups of flour and mix well till you have a smooth, thick batter.  Cover and let rest for 4-24 hours.  Uncover and add the rest of the yeast, then add the yogurt and stir, then add 1/2 cup of flour and mix well. Add the salt and slowly add enough flour to make a soft but not sticky dough. Knead well.  I usually use the mixer.  Cover and let rise for 6-12 hours.

Divide the dough into 12 pieces and flatten each into a thick disk on a floured surface. Cover and let rest for 30 minutes to 2 hours.  While they're resting, put a stone in your oven if you have one, or a baking sheet, and preheat the oven to 450.  Allow it to keep heating for at least 10 minutes after the oven has come to temperature so the stone will be hotter.  

Once the stone is very hot, flatten one round of dough into a circle about 6 inches across.  I use my fingers instead of a rolling pin.  Experiment to see if you like the breads a little thicker or thinner. Shape about 4-5, then slap each on the baking stone (carefully).  Bake about 7-10 minutes till the breads are brown on the bottom (the baking time is flexible- you can experiment here too), then pull them out with tongs or a spatula.  Repeat with the remaining dough till they're all baked.

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