So it was obvious that we needed to find a dairy free alternative or we had to give up a part of our curry night. I checked the local supermarkets and some of them stocked 'Free From' Garlic and Coriander naan breads, but there ingredients read like a chemistry lesson, take this one from Tesco: -
"Water, Tapioca Starch, Rice Flour, Potato Starch, Rapeseed Oil, Yeast, Psyllium Husk Powder, Dextrose, Stabiliser (Hydroxypropyl Methyl Cellulose), Dried Egg White, Raising Agents (Disodium Diphosphate, Potassium Carbonate), Humectant (Vegetable Glycerine), Garlic Powder (1%), Coriander Leaf, Salt, Preservative (Calcium Propionate), Emulsifiers (Polyglycerol Esters of Fatty Acids, Mono- and Di-Glycerides of Fatty Acids, Calcium Stearoyl-2-Lactylate, Sodium Stearoyl-2-Lactylate), Sugar"Some of the ingredients worried me, something that's been happening a lot since I started looking at what we are actually eating on food packaging! So I decided that the only way to do this, was to make my own. The obvious choice was garlic naan, I'm not a fan of coriander, but if you are you can add some fresh or dried coriander to the recipe.
2 Tsp Allison Easy Bake Yeast
150ml Warm Water
90ml Almond Milk
2 Tsp Sugar
2 Tsp Garlic Granules
1/2 Tsp Onion Powder
2 Tsp Black Onion Seed (aka Kalonji & Nigella Seed)
1 Tsp Salt
460g Strong White Bread Flour
3 Tbsp Sunflower Oil + Extra for Frying the naan
Method - I'd like to say I did this the old fashioned way, mixing and kneading dough like a trooper, but I didn't I cheated although I did end up kneading the dough! I used my breadmaker, putting all the wet ingredients in first, followed by the dry ingredients, selected the pizza dough option which takes 50 minutes to mix and prove and went off to watch TV.
The 50 mins elapsed and my naan bread dough looked nothing like pizza dough, it had only risen up the bread pan by about 1/5 usually its almost to the top, within seconds I slapped my head. I went through the procedure and list of ingredients I added in my head, and realised I'd forgotten to add the yeast, doh! Or no DOUGH as a friend pointed out!
Unperturbed I tipped the naan dough out on to a floured work surface, sprinkled the yeast on and kneaded the yeast in to the dough. I then placed it in a lightly oiled plastic bag and went off to sort out some other things and left the yeast do its thing, 30 minutes later and the dough looked more like it should hurrah! After the dough had risen, I separated it into pieces about the size of a tennis ball, if you want smaller naan's think golf balls, I then rolled them into a rough naan shape.
My mind is already racing with variations for this recipe, and next time I'll try making a version of peshwari (one of my favourite naan flavours) by adding some dessicated coconut, sultanas and ground almonds. I'd most likely reduce the flour content to 400g and add 20g each of coconut, sultanas and ground almonds and see how it goes. Chilli and Mint would also be nice, a finely chopped red chilli and a tablespoon or two of fresh chopped mint mixed in to the dough... I'll also remember to put the yeast in at the correct time lol!
The beauty of this recipe is you can split the dough into small portions and freeze it for another time. Or you can turn all the dough in to cooked naan breads and once they cool, you can store them in zip lock freezer bag, taking them out of the freezer to defrost a couple of hours before you want to serve them and warming them through for 10 minutes on a low oven heat just before serving. Hubby and I were really impressed with the way the naan's came out they were fluffy inside with the classic naan texture and a little crisp, but not too much, on the outside, they made were a perfect accompaniment to our chicken balti :)
N.B. If you're not a fan of garlic, you can make plain naan's, just add 2 1/2 extra teaspoons of flour and omit the onion powder and garlic granules.