usual no-knead bread. I try to get a ton of bread baked and stashed in the chest freezer by mid-May, so that we have homemade bread all summer without the need to heat the house up by baking. Baking is a winter habit in our home. Alas, I was low on the bread flour we buy in 50-pound bags, and I didn't want to buy another one and hold it over the summer because this flour contains the germ of the wheat. Wheat germ contains fat, which goes rancid rather quickly in warm weather. So keeping 50 pounds of the stuff was out of the question with our summers.
Enter this recipe for naan, made with all purpose flour, and able to be grilled on a charcoal or gas grill. This is a fast rising dough, needing only 1 hour in warm weather to be ready for shaping and cooking. I usually give the dough more than that, part of the time in the refrigerator to slow it down and allow flavor to develop. I adapted this recipe from one by Mark Bittman, from his Best Recipes in the World cookbook. Leave it to me to figure I could improve on the best. This recipe makes a dozen flatbreads.
Grilled Onion Naan
1 Tbsp. active dry yeast
1 Tbsp. sugar
2 Tbsp. live culture yogurt
2 Tbsp. milk
1 medium onion, peeled and roughly diced
2 tsp. salt
4 cups all purpose flour (you can substitute a whole grain flour for a small part of this volume)
3/4 cup water
extra flour for kneading
oil for the bowl
Thoroughly combine the yeast, sugar, yogurt and milk in a small bowl. Set this aside.
In the bowl of a food processor, combine the diced onion, flour and salt. Process for about 30 seconds so that the onion is finely diced. Add the egg and process another 15 seconds. With the blade running, add the yogurt mixture through the feeding tube. Then add the water in a moderate stream until a more or less uniform ball of dough forms. You may not need to add all the water. The dough should be fairly sticky but not as liquid as a batter. Add water or flour a tablespoon at a time if the dough is either excessively dry or wet.
Take the dough out and place it on a well floured board. Knead it 8-10 times and form a ball. Place this ball in an oiled bowl with a capacity at least twice the volume of the dough. Cover and place in a draft-free spot for 1-2 hours, or keep in the fridge for 5-6 hours.
These naan go well with just about any grilled meat and are much better than store-bought buns when folded in half for hamburgers. They also compliment BLTs and Indian dishes. Or put some good, soft, thinly sliced cheese on the naan while still on the grill, as soon as the first side is done and you flip them over. We've been making these naan quite often. It's not the same as the multi-grain round loaves we like to slice and toast to eat with our eggs, but it's good fresh bread that doesn't heat up the house. You can also omit the onion if you want a more all purpose bread, but you'll need to add just a bit more water when mixing the dough. They'll also bake up well on a preheated baking stone in a hot oven if you want to make them indoors in wintertime.
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