Recipe from The Hairy Bikers' Great Curries by Si King and Dave Myers published by Weidenfeld & Nicolson (£20, hardback)
- 600g plain flour, plus extra for rolling
- 2 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 2 tbsp caster sugar
- 2 heaped tsp fine sea salt
- 1 tsp nigella seeds (optional)
- 1 medium egg, beaten
- 300ml semi-skimmed milk
- 2 tbsp sunflower oil
- 25g melted ghee or butter, for brushing
Put the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, sugar, salt and nigella needs, if using, in a food processor and blitz them quickly until lightly mixed. Break the egg into a bowl and whisk in the milk and oil.
With the motor running, slowly add the milk mixture to the flour and blend for about 20 seconds or until the dough comes together into a rough ball. It will be very soft and fairly sticky. You can also mix the dough by hand, adding the liquid gradually to the dry ingredients. Remove the blade and turn the dough out on to a well-floured surface. Place a large baking tray in the oven and preheat to its hottest setting. This could be as high as 280°C/Fan 260°/Gas 9, but don’t worry if it’s a bit less.
Break the dough into 6 portions and roll them into balls. Taking 1 ball at a time, roll it out on the floured surface into a tear-drop shape with a slightly pointed end. The dough will need to be no more than 4mm thick or it will be too scone-like when baked.
Pull the oven shelf out a little and place the naan bread quickly, but very carefully, on the baking tray and push the shelf back into the oven. Cook the naan for about 2½ minutes or until it is puffed up and lightly browned in places. Melt the butter or ghee in a small saucepan.
Take the naan out of the oven with tongs and place it on a warmed serving dish or board, then brush it lightly with a little melted butter or ghee. Cover with foil and a clean tea towel to keep warm and continue cooking the other naan breads in the same way. Serve them warm.
For really authentic-looking naan breads, with the blackened patches that you get when they’re cooked in a tandoor, try this tip. Place a large non-stick frying pan over a high heat. As soon as each naan is out of the oven and before brushing it with butter, place it in the pan for 8–10 seconds, until toasted in places, then turn and toast on the other side. Watch your timings carefully as the naan will brown very quickly.