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Great Naan

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  • Great Naan

    I realised that my brick oven gets about as hot as a tandoor, the traditional clay oven of India. So, I have started experimenting with that. I made some tandoori chicken, that was ok and some naan that was fantastic. I fond a recipe for the naan in a Madhur Jafrey book, rolled out the dough and, using an oven mitt, slapped it right on the wall of my beehive as if it were a tandoor. The results were as good as if I had gone to a restaurant with a tandoor! The chicken I was less happy with but I think that was because of the inferior chicken I started with and not the cooking technique.

    Is anyone else experimenting with non western cooking in their ovens?


  • #2
    Re: Great Naan

    I once spent an evening searching youtube for naan videos. They all seem to use a pad to push the naan against the side of the tandoor. The oven mitt is a clever substitution. They also spray or brush the dough with something, perhaps water, to aid it sticking to the side of the oven.

    Here's an example, with an interesting tandoor that has a tilted mouth, and, I would guess, a separate flue. Worth a watch.

    I haven't seen the recipe you talk about. Does it have both yeast and baking powder? That is weird, but it may be the way they get those big puffy bubbles that char.
    My geodesic oven project: part 1, part 2


    • #3
      Re: Great Naan

      Here is the recipe I used for my naan. It is from Madhur Jaffrey's Indian Cooking. She is a great writer and none of her recipes have dissapointed. Handle it as you would any simple bread recipe:

      2/3 C wm milk
      2t sugar
      2t active dry yeast
      3 1/4 all purpose flour
      1/2 t salt
      1 t baking powder (yep, yeast and baking powder)
      2 T veg oil
      2/3 cup yogurt ( I use whole milk yogurt)
      1 lg egg, slighlty beaten

      Combine the wet ingredients and combine the dry ingredients and then mix them together. Turn the dough out, knead (don't over flour the dough, let it stay slightly sticky), form into a ball, oil, cover and raise for an hour. Punch down, knead and divide into 6 balls. Cover the balls you are not using. Roll each ball out into a tear drop shape of a quarter inch thickness at most.

      I draped each of these sheets of dough over my oven mitt and alapped them onto the side of my ovev at least a few inches away from the door. I pressed any parts that hung loose onto the wall with my mitt. I did not have to spray anything but i did keep the dough a little sticky.

      the oven needs to be hot. I had fired it for an hour and then maintained a small fire at the back of my oven to keep the temp up.

      The dough puffed up almost immediately. As soon as any part of the naan started browning, it was done. It is good with garlic, butter and a little chopped cilantro--or with nothing.

      I hope this helps.
      Last edited by parker.larry; 10-30-2007, 01:41 PM. Reason: I'm not finished, I hit the wrong button...


      • #4
        Re: Great Naan

        I'm a big fan of Indian cooking (hey, my wife is English and we eat Indian there all the time), and we've experimented with Indian food in our brick oven. My naan is consistently mediocre and I want to work on that -- so any techniques we can come up with would be great.

        I grilled Tandoori chicken on a Tuscan grill and slow baked vegetable dishes and it has come out pretty good.

        Here are a couple of threads.



        Pizza Ovens
        Outdoor Fireplaces


        • #5
          Re: Great Naan

          Originally posted by parker.larry View Post
          Here is the recipe I used for my naan. It is from Madhur Jaffrey's Indian Cooking. She is a great writer and none of her recipes have dissapointed.
          I agree wholeheartedly! Take any of her recipes in any of her books and you are guaranteed to enjoy a wonderful tasty curry. This book is possibly our favourite of the three we have (here called Indian Cookery, with metric/British measurements) and our most cooked recipe is 'Prawns with Courgettes' (Zucchini). Probably our favourite prawn dish full stop. Perhaps it's listed under 'Shrimp' over there?

          Madhur was here in Adelaide recently for the 'Tasting Australia' event (along with Antonio Carluccio and other notables) and unfortunately her class was booked solid for weeks prior, and I was unable to get my books signed. Bugger!

          Thanks for posting your naan technique - I've always wondered if slapping the dough on the dome wall would work. Can't wait to try it!

          Cheers, Paul.


          • #6
            Re: Great Naan

            I've never tried cooking naan but I did try pita bread last winter, just in a regular oven ... fun, as it separates inside & blows up like a football while it cooks! Fast too! Impressed my kids, both teens, so I imagine it would be an even bigger hit with younger ones.
            Besides that, it's almost impossible (at least here) to buy really fresh pita - the difference between store-bought and home-cooked was night 'n day.



            • #7
              Re: Great Naan


              I agree with the dismal quality of Naan available in Ontario. There is definitely no comparison between them and home made, but, hey, it's the same with WFO bread and pizza.

              I've made both Naan and Pita in my brick oven, but I always just used the brick floor to bake on. Is it simply the shape of the tandoor that requires slapping on the wall? Using the hearth bricks in the conventional way seemed to work just fine.


              Thanks for the formula; I'll give it a try.

              "Made are tools, and born are hands"--William Blake, 1757-1827


              • #8
                Re: Great Naan

                Rather than slapping onto side of dome, could it simply be placed on oven floor?

                How hot is your oven when doing this?



                • #9
                  Re: Great Naan

                  I use the side because I am using the floor to place platters of chiken on and that is where I have room. I am sure the floor would work--that's where my pizza crust goes. I don't measure the temp in my oven but I do know it is hot in there--I can't reach in with my bare hands. I fire the oven for about an hour before I start and keep a small fire going in the back to keep the temp up for this high temp, tandoor style cooking.


                  • #10
                    Re: Great Naan

                    I want to resurect this thread because I am a HUGE fan of Madhur Jaffery and of Indian cooking and when I get my Pompeii build done it will definitely be turning out lots of Indian stuff. Is there anyone else who has made Indian food in their WFO who can share it with us newbies?



                    • #11
                      Re: Great Naan

                      I use a sandwich press to make my naan. It works really well, cooking both sides simultaneously, the dough just puffs up beautifully.
                      Kindled with zeal and fired with passion.


                      • #12
                        Re: Great Naan

                        Originally posted by david s View Post
                        I use a sandwich press to make my naan. It works really well, cooking both sides simultaneously, the dough just puffs up beautifully.
                        oooh, dont ruin the whole fun! We are talking pizza oven here, not a $10 sandwich press...

                        Naan from sandwich press cant be any good!
                        my own Quest for Fire:


                        • #13
                          Re: Great Naan

                          I tried making the Jaffrey dough and then cooked it by slapping it on the floor of my (hot) Primavera 60. Result: best Naan bread I've had outside of one or two restaurants on Devon Avenue in Chicago. I've tried a few other recipes and I recommend this one completely.


                          • #14
                            Re: Great Naan

                            I have tried using pizza dough for naan but it turns out too crunchy. I will try jaffrey's naan recipe. I also have P60


                            • #15
                              Re: Great Naan

                              With lots of research Ive developed this Tandoor oven.
                              The English language was invented by people who couldnt spell.

                              My Build.