Author Topic: UB's Restaurant Naan Bread Recipe  (Read 7306 times)

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Offline Unclebuck

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UB's Restaurant Naan Bread Recipe
« on: December 11, 2013, 06:48 PM »
UB’s Naan and Pizza Oven

Getting the perfect Naan has been a bit of a obsession for me.  In the early years I settled on using yeast, not baking powder, because the yeast-based naans are really ‘home chef’ friendly.   I mean you can cook them on a medium heat stove, or grill, and the dough will rise/bubble and look well like a Naan should, but they just didn’t taste like the naans I get in a restaurant.  So I was back to using baking powder (BP) in my Naan recipes.  Baking powder dough is easy to control but not so easy to get a edible naan from.  The dough does not necessarily need to be rested but I found anything from 3hrs, at room temperature, has given me my best results.  BP naan recipes work in my tandoori oven.  The downside is that my home-built tandoori oven takes a day, and a forest of wood, to get to a working temperature.  Not practical for just bread making, although novel to use when entertaining.

It was back to the drawing board, or should I say, tava, for me ?!   It’s really hard to get proper BP Naan bread from a domestic oven/grill /hob (to be fair I haven’t tried a gas wok burner hob which I think may fare well).  The Naans mostly end up hard and biscuit-like rather than light/fluffy/crispy pockets and a little chewy.  You’ll have probably read methods of pizza stones, granite plates, blow torchs and the like, switching from hob to grill.  I’ve even see a pizza stone in a Weber-style bbq.  All have made interesting reads and all, I think, I’ve tried.

The penny didn’t really drop until I saw CBM (Mick Crawford) simply flipping his stuck Naan dough into the flames of a powerful gas burner.  I thought, great, that’s it!  So I got myself into the kitchen, armed with a tava and 9kw burner, knocking naans out restaurant style!  Right?  No, but almost.  It didn’t matter how much I was waving the tava around that flame I just couldn’t get the edges of the Naan to cook properly.  I also like to make variations to my bread; mostly garlic and coriander which, when inverted into the flame, burns almost immediately.  No one likes burnt garlic!

What cooks the outer edges and top of a Naan in a tandoori oven?  Contact with the hot stone wall and hot air (of course) – the Indian chef will slap the dough on to the wall of the oven, from what I’ve seen, a few inches to a foot from the opening, and then put the lid on (quite often the chef will leave a little gap).  My gas ring gives out plenty of heat.   I just needed to cocoon the heat so I could cook the bread as evenly as possible.  A new build was on the agenda.  I had an idea of a “Cocoon Naan Oven”.  I was off to the tinkering emporium (garage !).

A steel frame, incorporating a 2.3kw electric ring heater in the roof, with 12-inch tava supports at three levels.  The outer frame is woven with fencing wire then bi-rendered with refractory cement [1] and with an inner layer of fire clay.  At the base of the oven is a 9kw gas ring.   The fire clay was later removed as it didn’t stand up to the task.  It crazed and cracked off in sections.  I re-rendered the inner layer with silicon sand, lime and cement.

[1] Refractory cement mix :  3 parts fine perlite - 2 sharp sand - 2 cement - 0.5 lime.




The build came off better then I hoped for.  Although designed for naan bread making, it actually cooks a blinding pizza, hence my engraving on top.  I reckon I can get a temperature of 500C plus.   I’ve recorded a temperature of 400C, but the test thermocouple started to melt!!   So I pulled it out quickly (the manufacturer of the thermocouple said it would work up to 500C !)


Now if you haven’t already decided to set fire to your computer from my meanderings, I will crack on...

Naan recipe and Method
•500gm self raising flour
•260ml warm milk
•0.5tsp salt
•15gm sugar
•8gm baking powder
•1 small to medium egg at room temperature
Background:  As you can see, from the ingredients, there are no secrets to be seen here.  But, as previously mentioned, the secret to a good naan is the heat source you use and will be the difference between a floppy, uncooked pancake and the restaurant standard
1.Mix your dry ingredients in a mixing bowl
2.Sieve your flour mixture (I’m sure BIR’s probably don’t bother; I find it does works better sieved)
3.Beat your egg and then add to your milk
4.Make a well and add your egg/milk mixture.  Get kneading.  After 5 minutes, of hard work, you should end up with smooth, slightly sticky, dough that will hold its shape when pulled.
5.Kneed your dough into a ball.  Cover the surface with vegetable oil and wrap it in cling film.  Cover with a cloth and rest for 3hrs, in a warm area of your kitchen.  Next to a warm oven is my favourite. BP dough should, in theory, not require any resting, at all, but I do find 3hrs+ rest works best.  The dough doesn’t noticeably change size.  However, the texture does change from firm to aerated.


6.Heat your Tava.  Your gas needs to be high, but not too high or you will burn the underside of your bread.  A little burning is OK, but you don’t want a charcoal biscuit.  A little practice will be needed, depending on your gas ring output.
7.Now divide your dough equally.  Flatten and roll out to your desired shape.
8.Wet the back of your naan with your hand till the surface feels a little slimy.  Oil the front of your naan.  Now place your uncooked naan onto a pillow, wet side up, and slap down on your hot tava, making sure the whole naan is in good contact with the tava plate.  Wait.... see those blisters.  Cook the top of the naan as you see fit.  I just move the naan higher in my naan/pizza oven and close the doors (I keep a little gap in the doors so I can peep in).  You may want to tilt over your gas ring.  That’s OK, just keep on the heat so you get the right colour - golden/brown/black spotting.


Resultant Naan:

 
Just some notes, if I may...
•Use a good brand of self-raising flour (SR) and baking powder.  I can’t tell how much Tesco value SR flour and BP threw a spanner in my results!  It was a head-scratcher.  For a while, I couldn’t work out why the breads were coming out flat.... Grrrr.  I now use McDougalls.  It’s by far the best.  A little more money, but well worth it.Why warm milk and egg?  Best results are from this (it’s surprising how cold your dough will be if cold milk and egg are added).
•And a beaten egg?  Just beat the egg with a fork for a minute.  It adds air to the dough.
•Kneading – knead until you feel that all ingredients are bound together, then stop. Too much kneading will just remove the air (which you are trying to keep) from the dough.

Well that’s it!, l hope this helps you all a little.  I’ll post more pics in due course, of naans and pizzas, for those are interested in pizza making.



All the best :
UncleBuck.


Links: CBM  -  https://twitter.com/CurryBarkingMad
Tava  -  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tava
Perlite  -  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perlite
« Last Edit: December 11, 2013, 07:35 PM by Unclebuck »

Offline Unclebuck

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Re: UB's Restaurant Naan Bread Recipe
« Reply #1 on: December 11, 2013, 07:06 PM »
Phil Thanks for the help, Cheers  :)
« Last Edit: December 11, 2013, 07:32 PM by Unclebuck »


Offline fried

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Re: UB's Restaurant Naan Bread Recipe
« Reply #2 on: December 11, 2013, 07:25 PM »
Looks fantastic. All you have to do now is work out how I can make perfect naan on an induction hob ;).

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Re: UB's Restaurant Naan Bread Recipe (re-post, re-formatted)
« Reply #3 on: December 12, 2013, 03:52 PM »
Some of the formatting got lost in communications between Unclebuck and myself, so with his permission I am submitting the formatted version of his "Naan bread and pizza oven" post.

** Phil.
--------
UB’s Naan and Pizza Oven

Getting the perfect Naan has been a bit of a obsession for me.  In the early years I settled on using yeast, not baking powder, because the yeast-based naans are really ‘home chef’ friendly.   I mean you can cook them on a medium heat stove, or grill, and the dough will rise/bubble and look well like a Naan should, but they just didn’t taste like the naans I get in a restaurant.  So I was back to using baking powder (BP) in my Naan recipes.  Baking powder dough is easy to control but not so easy to get a edible naan from.  The dough does not necessarily need to be rested but I found anything from 3hrs, at room temperature, has given me my best results.  BP naan recipes work in my tandoori oven.  The downside is that my home-built tandoori oven takes a day, and a forest of wood, to get to a working temperature.  Not practical for just bread making, although novel to use when entertaining.

It was back to the drawing board, or should I say, tava, for me ?!   It’s really hard to get proper BP Naan bread from a domestic oven/grill /hob (to be fair I haven’t tried a gas wok burner hob which I think may fare well).  The Naans mostly end up hard and biscuit-like rather than light/fluffy/crispy pockets and a little chewy.  You’ll have probably read methods of pizza stones, granite plates, blow torchs and the like, switching from hob to grill.  I’ve even see a pizza stone in a Weber-style bbq.  All have made interesting reads and all, I think, I’ve tried.

The penny didn’t really drop until I saw CBM (Mick Crawford) simply flipping his stuck Naan dough into the flames of a powerful gas burner.  I thought, great, that’s it!  So I got myself into the kitchen, armed with a tava and 9kw burner, knocking naans out restaurant style!  Right?  No, but almost.  It didn’t matter how much I was waving the tava around that flame I just couldn’t get the edges of the Naan to cook properly.  I also like to make variations to my bread; mostly garlic and coriander which, when inverted into the flame, burns almost immediately.  No one likes burnt garlic!

What cooks the outer edges and top of a Naan in a tandoori oven?  Contact with the hot stone wall and hot air (of course) – the Indian chef will slap the dough on to the wall of the oven, from what I’ve seen, a few inches to a foot from the opening, and then put the lid on (quite often the chef will leave a little gap).  My gas ring gives out plenty of heat.   I just needed to cocoon the heat so I could cook the bread as evenly as possible.  A new build was on the agenda.  I had an idea of a “Cocoon Naan Oven”.  I was off to the tinkering emporium (garage !).

A steel frame, incorporating a 2.3kw electric ring heater in the roof, with 12-inch tava supports at three levels.  The outer frame is woven with fencing wire then bi-rendered with refractory cement [1] and with an inner layer of fire clay.  At the base of the oven is a 9kw gas ring.   The fire clay was later removed as it didn’t stand up to the task.  It crazed and cracked off in sections.  I re-rendered the inner layer with silicon sand, lime and cement.

[1]  Refractory cement mix :  3 parts fine perlite - 2 sharp sand - 2 cement - 0.5 lime.







The build came off better then I hoped for.  Although designed for naan bread making, it actually cooks a blinding pizza, hence my engraving on top.  I reckon I can get a temperature of 500C plus.   I’ve recorded a temperature of 400C, but the test thermocouple started to melt!!   So I pulled it out quickly (the manufacturer of the thermocouple said it would work up to 500C !)



Now if you haven’t already decided to set fire to your computer from my meanderings, I will crack on...

Naan recipe and Method
  • 500gm self raising flour
  • 260ml warm milk
  • 0.5tsp salt
  • 15gm sugar
  • 8gm baking powder
  • 1 small to medium egg at room temperature
Background:  As you can see, from the ingredients, there are no secrets to be seen here.  But, as previously mentioned, the secret to a good naan is the heat source you use and will be the difference between a floppy, uncooked pancake and the restaurant standard
  • Mix your dry ingredients in a mixing bowl
  • Sieve your flour mixture (I’m sure BIR’s probably don’t bother; I find it does works better sieved)
  • Beat your egg and then add to your milk
  • Make a well and add your egg/milk mixture.  Get kneading.  After 5 minutes, of hard work, you should end up with smooth, slightly sticky, dough that will hold its shape when pulled.
  • Kneed your dough into a ball.  Cover the surface with vegetable oil and wrap it in cling film.  Cover with a cloth and rest for 3hrs, in a warm area of your kitchen.  Next to a warm oven is my favourite. BP dough should, in theory, not require any resting, at all, but I do find 3hrs+ rest works best.  The dough doesn’t noticeably change size.  However, the texture does change from firm to aerated.



  • Heat your Tava.  Your gas needs to be high, but not too high or you will burn the underside of your bread.  A little burning is OK, but you don’t want a charcoal biscuit.  A little practice will be needed, depending on your gas ring output.
  • Now divide your dough equally.  Flatten and roll out to your desired shape.
  • Wet the back of your naan with your hand till the surface feels a little slimy.  Oil the front of your naan.  Now place your uncooked naan onto a pillow, wet side up, and slap down on your hot tava, making sure the whole naan is in good contact with the tava plate.  Wait.... see those blisters.  Cook the top of the naan as you see fit.  I just move the naan higher in my naan/pizza oven and close the doors (I keep a little gap in the doors so I can peep in).  You may want to tilt over your gas ring.  That’s OK, just keep on the heat so you get the right colour - golden/brown/black spotting.



Resultant Naan :


 
Just some notes, if I may ...
  • Use a good brand of self-raising flour (SR) and baking powder.  I can’t tell how much Tesco value SR flour and BP threw a spanner in my results!  It was a head-scratcher.  For a while, I couldn’t work out why the breads were coming out flat.... Grrrr.  I now use McDougalls.  It’s by far the best.  A little more money, but well worth it.Why warm milk and egg?  Best results are from this (it’s surprising how cold your dough will be if cold milk and egg are added).
  • And a beaten egg?  Just beat the egg with a fork for a minute.  It adds air to the dough.
  • Kneading – knead until you feel that all ingredients are bound together, then stop. Too much kneading will just remove the air (which you are trying to keep) from the dough.
Well that’s it!, l hope this helps you all a little.  I’ll post more pics in due course, of naans and pizzas, for those are interested in pizza making.



All the best :
UncleBuck.


Links: CBM  -  https://twitter.com/CurryBarkingMad
Tava  -  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tava
Perlite  -  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perlite
« Last Edit: December 12, 2013, 04:17 PM by Phil [Chaa006] »
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Offline kstron

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Re: UB's Restaurant Naan Bread Recipe
« Reply #4 on: February 22, 2014, 07:27 PM »
thats one fine looking naan you got there unclebuck!  :)

do you think i'll be able to recreate this outcome in my brick wfo? max heat with a nice flame rolling over the dome? will the naan be ok cooked directly on the fire brick oven floor?

Offline Unclebuck

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Re: UB's Restaurant Naan Bread Recipe
« Reply #5 on: February 22, 2014, 09:12 PM »
thats one fine looking naan you got there unclebuck!  :)

do you think i'll be able to recreate this outcome in my brick wfo? max heat with a nice flame rolling over the dome? will the naan be ok cooked directly on the fire brick oven floor?
Hi Kstron, yes of course.. yep I would put straight the floor like a pizza. can you post some pic's for us??
All the best UB

Offline Garp

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Re: UB's Restaurant Naan Bread Recipe
« Reply #6 on: February 22, 2014, 10:22 PM »
To be honest mate, I wouldn't waste my time building stuff.

Get a tawa and make H4ppy Naans - so much more like the real thing :)


Offline kstron

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Re: UB's Restaurant Naan Bread Recipe
« Reply #7 on: February 22, 2014, 11:17 PM »
UB - cheers, yea i'll post pics, but it'll be next time i fire the oven up so might not be for a month or so.

garp - not building an wfo specially. the ovens already been built for pizza so i was just hoping i could use for naan and tandoori cooking also! i've not come across the H4ppy naan method yet but i'll have a look and use it when the ovens not fired up, cheers!

Offline ELW

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Re: UB's Restaurant Naan Bread Recipe
« Reply #8 on: February 23, 2014, 12:14 AM »
UB - cheers, yea i'll post pics, but it'll be next time i fire the oven up so might not be for a month or so.

garp - not building an wfo specially. the ovens already been built for pizza so i was just hoping i could use for naan and tandoori cooking also! i've not come across the H4ppy naan method yet but i'll have a look and use it when the ovens not fired up, cheers!
hi kstron, wfo does naan and pizza no worries, unglazed quarry tiles in a domestic oven produces near enough results for both also...
tandoori/tikka without the clay/charcoal?...not managed that yet
cheers
elw

Offline Unclebuck

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Re: UB's Restaurant Naan Bread Recipe
« Reply #9 on: February 23, 2014, 06:41 AM »
UB - cheers, yea i'll post pics, but it'll be next time i fire the oven up so might not be for a month or so.

garp - not building an wfo specially. the ovens already been built for pizza so i was just hoping i could use for naan and tandoori cooking also! i've not come across the H4ppy naan method yet but i'll have a look and use it when the ovens not fired up, cheers!
No probs ill look forward to that, cheers


 

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