|finished naan, ready for devouring!|
Here's how we did it, loosely based on Bette Hagman's Pita Bread recipe found on page 193 of The Gluten-free Gourmet Bakes Bread.
The following makes about 20 individual naan breads - enough for two adults, two teenagers, and a hungry naan-crazed 8 year old boy.
You'll need 1-2 cookie sheets, butter or margarine, waxed paper, and a sheet or two of baker's parchment paper if your cookie sheets are aluminum like mine. Use the butter or margarine to grease the cookie sheets. You will also need a pastry brush, about 1/2 cup of butter/margarine mixed with 1-2 Tbsp. minced or pressed garlic if you want garlic naan, or no garlic if you want plain naan, and a shaker of salt.
Dry ingredients - combine in bowl of heavy-duty mixer using paddle:
6 cups French bread/pizza mix <--I've been making mine without the egg replacer, and just upping the egg content in the wet ingredients - it's working well for us. 1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp. Almond meal or coconut flour
1-1/2 tsp. salt
4-1/2 Tbsp. sugar
In a bowl, combine and set aside to foam:
2-1/1 Tbsp. dry yeast granules
1-1/2 cups warm (not hot) water
2 tsp. sugar
In another bowl, combine to melt shortening/coconut oil:
3/8 cup shortening or virgin coconut oil
3/4 cup hot water
Add eggs, foamed yeast mixture, and melted shortening/coconut oil/water mixture to dry ingredients and blend. Set mixer on high speed and beat for 3-1/2 minutes.
While you're waiting for the naan dough to mix up, tear off a few sheets of waxed paper and grease them, using the butter or margarine. You'll want the waxed paper sheets to be about 20-24" long - big enough for you to lay on 3-4 naans to rise.
Once the dough is thoroughly mixed, grab 2 tsp. of butter/margarine and rub it all over your hands. The dough is very soft and sticky, which makes for a tender finished bread, but it's a mess to work with if your hands aren't adequately greased. I found that I needed to re-grease my hands before I started working with each new piece of dough.
Use a rubber spatula to scoop out a small handful of dough, about the size of a duck egg, and form it into a thick cylinder, about 5-6 inches long. Lay the dough cylinder onto a cookie sheet (or one of the pieces of greased waxed paper, once you fill up your cookie sheets) and gently pat it into a flat, elongated teardrop shape, about 10-12 inches long, and about 5-6 inches at the widest point. Continue forming individual naan breads until all the dough is used up. Allow naan to rise for about an hour.
Use the pastry brush to brush a thin layer of garlic butter over the top of each naan, and then sprinkle a bit of salt over the top of that. Bake naan for 5-7 minutes, watching carefully near the end of the baking period. You want the tops to be golden brown. Use a spatula to remove naan from cookie sheet to a piece of paper towel to cool.
I found that the greased waxed paper worked great for the rising naan - and you should be able to re-use the parchment paper for the whole batch - just (very carefully) flip the waxed paper over and the naan should come away from the waxed paper easily. You might also try picking up each individual naan bread and laying it onto the cookie sheet. Whichever method you use, don't forget to brush on the (garlic) butter and sprinkle the salt!
This naan is best enjoyed immediately (preferably with a big plate of rice & veggies masala) but can also be re-heated using a toaster set to the lowest setting.