Hi, Ray here again.
Last week I was happily eating a chicken kadai with naan bread at my favourite curry house and it occurred to me that I hadn’t tried a naan recipe in a while. In fact, it has been a long while. I tried out the naan bread recipe way back in May of 2008 and wrote the naan bread recipe review to describe the results (it was a big success and scored a stunning taste score of 9.5 out of 10).
So this week saw me scanning the bread recipe category on the Curry Focus website and I decided to try out the Garlic Naan Bread recipe. The recipe looked easy enough but I was unaware of just how comical my baking would be.
I bought a bag of flour when out doing my usual Saturday shop and later on I was attempting to make the garlic naan bread.
My first attempt was an abject failure. I mixed up the dry active yeast, sugar and warm water and then waited for 15 minutes. Nothing happened. There was no froth on the top of the liquid. I checked out the dry active yeast container and immediately saw my problem – the expiry date was 2009.
So I jumped into the car and zapped around to the supermarket to buy some current dry active yeast and then zoomed back home.
My second attempt was even funnier than the first. I mixed up the dry active yeast, sugar and warm water and waited for 15 minutes. And there was lots of froth. The first part had worked. Then I mixed everything with the flour and kneaded the dough. Everything was going great guns. But it wasn’t. As I was putting the dough into a warm place, I noticed that the bowl with the frothy yeast mixture was sitting to the side. I had overlooked putting it in!! I quickly poured it over the dough and tried to knead it in but it didn’t work. The dough was a sticky, wet, mess so out it went with a few old fashioned English words.
My third attempt was better than my second but was hardly a raging success. I mixed everything up OK and set aside the dough for 3 hours. Then I divided up the dough and baked the garlic naan. It didn’t rise. It wasn’t like naan – more like a pizza type of bread. Why didn’t it rise? I looked at the baking powder container and there was the reason – way out of date again. You would have thought that I’d have checked it when I found that the dry active yeast was out of date. But no. The day had gone and so I resolved to try again the next day.
Sunday saw me getting everything together before starting the recipe again. The first thing I noticed was that there were no eggs in the fridge so I wandered along to my local shop and bought some.
My fourth, and final, attempt got underway.
I made the frothy yeast liquid. And I made the dough correctly. Then I split the dough up into 4 pieces and rolled out the garlic naan bread pieces.
When the oven had reached the required temperature, I quickly slopped some oil onto 2 of the pieces and popped them into the oven. I cooked them for 15 minutes and they rose OK. But they didn’t really change colour on the top – they were brown on the bottom but really pale on the top. I popped one of them back into the oven for another 5 minutes but that didn’t make any difference. But they were cooked and tasted great. I had used large garlic cloves so the garlic taste was really strong – yum.
I then put the last 2 garlic naan bread pieces into the oven. I oiled up one of the pieces but left the other one without any oil (I wanted to see if the oil, or lack of it, changed the colour). I pulled out the cooked garlic naan bread after 5 minutes but they were both equally pale. I put some more oil onto the previously oiled one, turned them over and then put them back into the oven for another 5 minutes. This time they were a little coloured when they came out but they were equally browned.
Anyway, the lack of colour definitely did not affect the taste. It still tasted good. I would be happy to serve up this garlic naan bread at a dinner party. The naan rose from 6mm (1/4 inch) up to about 24mm (1 inch) which was great. I raced around getting everyone in the house to try out the garlic naan bread and they all loved it. It received a great average taste score of 8 out of 10. No spices went into the garlic naan bread so there was no spice/heat rating.
I suspect that I could get the garlic naan bread to have a more golden colour if I toyed around with the oven temperature and cooking time. But I’m not that good at baking and could try for weeks before I got things correct. Ovens have different temperatures, despite what the dial reads, and what works in one oven may need adjusting in another. If you have any tips on how I could get the garlic naan bread to be less pale then do let me know by posting a comment.