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Naan Explained

posted Jun 8, 2011, 6:32 AM by Dustin Romero
Naan bread baking on the walls of the tandoor oven

The roots of the word naan come from the Persian language and was likely promulgated by conquering Muslims. Naan, as adopted in India and many of it's neighbors including Pakistan, Afghanistan, Central Asia and other regions, is generally a flat bread baked on the wall of a Tandoor oven.

As naan is usually a bread leavened with yeast the process of making naan includes proofing before flattening the dough and cooking. The time in oven is generally quite short, as Tandoor ovens are very hot (reaching up to 900 degrees), total cooking time usually takes no more than a few minutes. As with other breads milk, yogurt and other dough conditioners can be added to the dough to make it heavier and have a softer crumb (the inside of the bread). Since the bread cooks rapidly and at high heat it has a thin, crisp crust while maintaining a soft interior crumb. This combination of thin crunchy exterior with moist soft interior gives naan the characteristic that distinguishes it above other flat breads.

Kim rolling a piece of naan out

The rolled out naan is then placed on a Gaddi (the Iraqi's call them "pillows"), the cloth ball that is used to apply the bread to the oven.

Naan on the Gaddi

A piece of naan cooking in the oven

Our naan is prepared fresh daily. As we often try new recipes and are constantly refining ours, please ask us if you prefer vegetarian or vegan, as bread doughs often contain egg and dairy products. Naan is delicious fresh, and keeps generally well the next day. We do usually use oil in our dough, which gives the bread a longer shelf life, so warmed up it will still go nicely with any leftover curry you might have.

Thanks for reading.

Cheers!
Dustin
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