Soft Pillowy Naan Bread
A soft, pillowy Indian flatbread that has amazing flavour and is easy to make! From the Cook’s Illustrated Cookbook.
- Combine hot water, yogurt, sugar, and oil in a measuring cup or small bowl. Adding the egg yolk last to ensure it doesn’t start to cook.
- Ensure that the mixture is no warmer than 110 F then add yeast and stir.
- Let mixture sit until yeast blooms and is bubbly on the surface, about 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, combine flour and salt in a large bowl.
- When yeast has bloomed, pour over flour mixture and stir to form a shaggy dough.
- Turn dough out onto counter and knead until smooth, about 6 minutes. The dough will be wet and sticky. Do not add more flour as this will make for a dryer naan. Using wet hands and a bench scraper makes the kneading process easier.
- Form into a ball and put into a lightly greased bowl. Cover and let rise until doubled in size, about 4 hours.
- Transfer dough to a lightly floured surface and divide into 4 equal pieces.
- Shape each piece into a smooth, tight ball.
- Place dough balls on lightly oiled baking sheet, at least 2 inches apart and let rest, covered, for 15 – 20 minutes.
- Transfer 1 ball to a lightly floured counter and sprinkle with flour.
- Using hand and a rolling pin, press and roll the piece into a roughly 9-inch round of even thickness, sprinkling dough and counter with flour as needed to prevent sticking.
- Using fork, poke the entire surface of the round 20-25 times.
- Heat remaining 1 tsp of oil in a 12-inch cast-iron skillet over medium heat until shimmering.
- Wipe oil out of skillet completely with paper towel.
- Mist top of dough lightly with water.
- Place dough in pan, moistened side down; mist top of dough with water and cover.
- Cook until bottom is browned in spots across surface, 2-4 minutes.
- Flip naan, cover, and continue to cook on second side until lightly browned, 2-3 minutes longer.
- Transfer to plate and cover tightly with aluminum foil. Keep warm in oven while repeating the rolling and cooking with remaining dough balls. You may need to reduce the heat of the pan as you go to prevent burning.
Best if served immediately after all naan are cooked.