Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Gluten-free Naan - easy AND tasty!!!

Waaaay back in January, I posted a recipe for the flour mix we use to make pizza. I have great news, especially if you're a fan of Indian food. This flour mix works REALLY well for making naan, a tender, very tasty leavened flat bread.

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

Wet ingredients:

5 eggs

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.
naan, rising
Preheat oven to 450-500 degrees Fahrenheit.

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.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

May 2011 Art Bead Scene Monthly Challenge

I'm hoping to become a bit more regular at designing pieces for the monthly challenge over at Art Bead Scene. Each month, the ABS editors post an image of a painting or other work of art, and jewelry designers are invited to interpret that image in a piece of jewelry, using art beads.

In reviewing the May inspiration piece, Cache-cache (Hide-and-Seek), 1873, by Berthe Morisot, I realized that I've already got a necklace that echoes the lovely greens and browns in Morisot's painting.

This is a mixed media art charm cluster necklace/eyeglass holder/badge lanyard, featuring a bunch of my lampwork beads and six mixed media art charms.

My co-author, Peg Krzyzewski made the bullet casing/mini-light charm, and I made the others, including the very cool wire-wrapped vintage sheet music bead. (Special thanks to my dear friend Ceu Ratliffe for sharing her awesome stash of vintage sheet music with me!) Other art charms include a faux Asian coin with a tiny green stone dangle, my steampunk-themed art charm in brass with tiny watch parts, my shrink plastic vintage travel-themed charm, and a lucite leaf with one of my swirly green beads as a dangle.

The necklace includes a 1/2-inch split ring with the charm cluster, which enables the wearer to stash a pair of eyeglasses or add a badge for work.

All of the designers entering the challenge post pictures of their work on Flickr's Art Bead Scene page. Please take a few minutes to visit and view the amazing work posted by my colleagues!

You may view more of my work at my ArtFire studio.