View Full Version : naan-tastic

9th Oct 2011, 21:36
earlier this evening we went to the local curry house, all day Sunday buffet for 6.95. I was just tucking into their excellent naan bread when I was reminded just how different it tastes to my own efforts. I make nearly all of our bread and, of late, mostly by hand, and have been on a bit of a crusade to reproduce the taste and texture of any bread we enjoy when eating out. The recipe given in my bread and yeast cook book does not get even close to the naan breads served in curry houses.

I was thinking that I would have to call upon the collected wisdom of Ppruners to get to the answer. Not so. When we had finished our meal we found that there was a lul in the flow of customers and the staff were all standing around looking for something to do. We spoke to one of the waiters who had a good grasp of English and an enthusiasm for food and asked a few questions.

Apparently, self raising flour is used rather than strong white bread flour, an egg is added, vegetable oil not butter, baking powder rather than yeast........... The dough is left to stand for 3 to 4 hours, it doesn't rise but it does go very stretchy, before being rolled out and shaped.

When we asked how it was cooked we got the biggest surprise, it is cooked by being stuck onto the wall of a tandour oven. This is a large clay tub, not unlike the drum on my cement mixer, which stands open end upwards and is heated by half a sackful of BBQ coals poured inside and lit about 4 hours before cooking commences. It gets hotter than our domestic electric oven, the staff didn't know exactly how hot. The shaped dough is just slapped onto the wall of the tandour, actually above the centre line where it faces slightly downwards, for a few minutes before being retrieved using a poker and some long tongs. We were taken into the kitchen and saw all of this happen, the heat from the tandour was fierce when the lid was moved to the side, the dough rose in a random blistery sort of way and it cooked like a pancake on the base.

So now we know. Even got sent home with the naan they cooked as a demo, for free!

Now where am I gonna geta clay oven?


9th Oct 2011, 21:44
Google 'tandoor oven'.

Solid Rust Twotter
9th Oct 2011, 21:50
Do it in a cast iron frying pan with a lid.

9th Oct 2011, 22:16
Brilliant technique - it took me a long time and burned arm to master it. The best ever with a hog roast. The pad is the key to it.

I use a slack dough with yeast to prove, bicarb for those fab bubbles. therefore it needs a long, cool proving (up to 4 hours, possibly more).

I used an adapted chimenea - until a pissed reveller knocked it over a week ago. Arse.

This guy knows his onions!

Naan Bread in the Tandoori Oven - YouTube

Lon More
9th Oct 2011, 22:38
I bought one in Habitat nearly 40 years ago. It's still in its box in the cellar.

Best recipes I had used buttermilk or yogurt.

9th Oct 2011, 22:49
It strikes me that it's a bit like going to the effort of making crisps - why bother?:confused: