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Author Topic: Flour for Naans  (Read 482 times)

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Offline pete

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Flour for Naans
« on: February 05, 2019, 06:54 PM »
There are many different recipes for naan
But which flour gives the best result?
Plain or self raising?
All the takeaways I have seen use self raising but there are many home recipes that use plain
What difference  does it actually make?
Does it affect the gluten?
What do folks think?

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Re: Flour for Naans
« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2019, 07:17 PM »
I'm not a naan faan, Pete (apart from keema naans with lamb dhansak), but given the rave reviews that the "Happy Naan" has received, I would be inclined to use whichever flour its recipe specifies.

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Online livo

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Re: Flour for Naans
« Reply #2 on: February 05, 2019, 08:48 PM »
They will both contain gluten. The amount of potential gluten is indicated by the % protein (gliadin and glutenin) on the product nutritional information table on the packaging.  AP (plain) and SR is usually at or around 10%, while strong bread flour is between 10% and 13%.

Self raising flour is nothing more than a shortcut. It is just plain flour with baking powder (and maybe salt depending on location and brand) added. Baking powder is a leavening agent that gives rise to the dough, either single or dual acting, and if used, bread made this way should not require yeast. Plain flour can be given rise by adding your own baking powder at about 3% from memory, or yeast. It should be unnecessary to use both but some recipes do.

I don't rate naan recipes that use self raising flour with additional baking powder as it is not needed and I can taste BP overload every time. Some people are less sensitive to the taste of excess baking powder.  I'm not one.

Baking powder is usually bicarbonate of soda (Sodium bicarbonate) mixed with cream of tartar (tartaric acid) for chemical rise (single acting or home made) and other salts for heat induced rise (double acting). This can be a salt of aluminium or other.

There are no hard and fast rules for naan regarding which flour to use. Atta, Maida, plain, all purpose, strong bread, or SR baking powder, fresh or instant yeast, egg or not, yogurt, milk, water, butter milk, etc.  It is a matter of personal preference. Find a recipe you like and use it. I have my go to naan recipe now, finally. Actually two.  The SAF naan is very tasty and the full dairy deluxe naan is rich in flavour and texture.

https://www.196flavors.com/india-naan
« Last Edit: February 05, 2019, 09:20 PM by livo »
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Offline pete

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Re: Flour for Naans
« Reply #3 on: February 06, 2019, 10:49 PM »
The SAF naan is very tasty and the full dairy deluxe naan is rich in flavour and texture.
https://www.196flavors.com/india-naan
Thank you
that's a very intelligent and comprehensive answer
Have just  copied that recipe, from the link
will give it a go next time

which yeast do you use?
I use dried normally, fresh is quite hard to get
I've got two types, both made by Allisons
one is Easy Bake, mainly intended for bread machines,I think
The other is just called Dried Active Yeast
that's more the old fashioned stuff

I use a tava for some naans
other times I use the tandoor
But I can't accurately measure the temperature, of the tandoor
It's a little hit and miss
But when you get it right it's absolutely magic
The tava is easy to check the temperature
I've got one of those temperature guns
https://www.google.com/search?q=thermometer+gun&source=lnms&tbm=shop&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiQtKafmKjgAhXIBGMBHVH9B8cQ_AUIDigB&biw=1024&bih=622#spd=456809340215793101
it gets confused on the tandoor though


Offline Secret Santa

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Re: Flour for Naans
« Reply #4 on: February 06, 2019, 11:13 PM »
https://www.196flavors.com/india-naan

Quote
Once the dough has risen, lightly oil hands, punch down the dough and knead.

How much kneading is required?
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Online livo

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Re: Flour for Naans
« Reply #5 on: February 07, 2019, 03:52 AM »
How much kneading is required?
Pete, I have never used fresh yeast as I simply have never been able to source it.  I just use baker's dried active yeast from the supermarket or the stuff they sell in packets at the Indian grocer. I once had SAF branded yeast but I've never been able to detect any difference.

SS, you love asking curly ones don't you? ;)  How long is a piece of string?

I have seen some naan recipes that stipulate not to over-knead the dough. I've seen others that knead very well. I guess it is again something up to the individual and their own preferred texture.  Personally, I prefer to knead the dough fairly well so that there is a good gluten network created. I don't think it requires anything too extensive, as may be the case in a heavy wholemeal / mixed grain bread.

I've not tried the actual recipe in this link although it looks perfectly fine.  I posted the link more so because it is a fairly good article about the origins and variety of naan and went some way towards answering the question of the OP.
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Offline pete

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Re: Flour for Naans
« Reply #6 on: February 07, 2019, 06:50 PM »
that's all good info
Something puzzles me about the "add baking powder"recipes
Incidentally I note that it's not in the recipe, you shared

Why do recipes use baking powder then tell you to leave the dough 24 hours?
Surely all the fizz will have gone?

all Indian takeaways seem to use it, as well as self raising flour
and obviously it's an expense


Offline Secret Santa

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Re: Flour for Naans
« Reply #7 on: February 07, 2019, 08:19 PM »
The resting allows the gluten to form. And most raising agents are double-acting so the actual rise will be when the dough is exposed to heat.
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Offline Secret Santa

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Re: Flour for Naans
« Reply #8 on: February 07, 2019, 08:22 PM »
I've not tried the actual recipe in this link although it looks perfectly fine

Ah, I misunderstood. I thought this was your go to recipe. I think I'll still try it though because I can't recall trying a yeast-raised naan recipe before.
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Online livo

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Re: Flour for Naans
« Reply #9 on: February 07, 2019, 08:40 PM »
I posted at the same time as you SS.  Give the SAF recipe a try as well.  I've tried many and it is really good.  It is my go to recipe. I should have been clearer in my earlier post.

I had the same question Pete. It sort of defies logic. The point is that most commercially available baking powder (and that included in self raising flour) is dual acting. It provides a fizz, as you put it, firstly when moisture is added, but also has a second fizz that only occurs when it is heated. It is different to straight home made baking powder. This is the thing that allows for the 24 hour delay.

The 24 hr delay probably was initially intended to have more to do with flavour development than anything else, but I doubt this even occurs in non-yeast bread as there would be minimal fermentation.  Pizza dough (yeast) is aged for a day to improve flavour.  Some smoothness and homogeneity is achieved as well but this really isn't required for naan which is a fluffy bread anyway.  I think such a long delay may just be a quirk that some have tried and stuck with. It won't hurt but it isn't necessary and I disagree with claims that it is essential.  Watch the traditional self raising flour naan being made. They make dough and form it and cook it. Yeast leavened does require rise time.  The delay is possibly also a result from industry practice of prepping food in quiet times the day before.

 I don't believe it is ever necessary to use baking powder (or yeast) in self raising flour as extra does not provide extra rise. It is a recipe imbalance and a mistake (imho). Self raising flour is a convenience pre-mixed shortcut that is meant to do away with the need to add a leavening agent yourself.

I don't think there would be any economic cost in using SR flour.  Adding extra baking powder is an added unnecessary cost though.
« Last Edit: February 07, 2019, 08:50 PM by livo »
Whiskey is the answer, but what was the question?


 


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