Thursday, February 19

Cheesy Garlic Naan Bread

Homemade Indian flatbread stuffed with soft cheese & brushed with garlic butter

Cheesy Garlic Naan Bread

Fresh naan bread is one of my favorite things to order at Indian restaurants. It's a flatbread that's sort of similar to pita bread and can be made plain or stuffed with things like cheese or garlic. It makes a great snack or accompaniment to saucy dishes like chicken tikka masala. This recipe is the first dish I've made from David Lebovitz's My Paris Kitchen, which is funny because it's a French cookbook and this is the only Indian recipe in there. It just goes to show that ethnic food is growing in popularity everywhere, even in a city with such a strong food history. The dough is pretty low-maintenance and quick compared to most homemade breads and requires little active cooking time. After it rests, the breads get rolled out, stuffed with cheese, cooked in a hot pan, and then brushed with garlicky clarified butter. These are absolutely amazing when eaten warm, but leftovers will keep for a couple days and can be reheated in the oven or toaster oven.

Note: This recipe calls for Laughing Cow cheese, which David Lebovitz swears is the cheese of choice at Indian restaurants in Paris. If you can't find it at your grocery store, I think that cream cheese would make a nice substitute.

More Homemade Bread Recipes:
- Buttermilk Rye Bread
- Crusty No-Knead Bread
- Buttermilk Cornbread

Cheesy Garlic Naan Bread:
- 1 3/4 c. all-purpose flour
- 12 wedges Laughing Cow cheese, unwrapped
- 2/3 c. warm water*
- 6 tbsp. clarified butter or ghee, melted
- 1 package (7g) dry active yeast
- 2 tbsp. plain yogurt
- 3/4 tsp. baking powder
- 3/4 tsp. kosher salt
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- pinch of sugar

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted, combine 3/4 c. flour, water, yeast, and sugar. Let sit for thirty minutes and mixture will become frothy.
  • Add in the remaining 1 c. flour, 3 tbsp. clarified butter, yogurt, baking powder, and salt. Using the dough hook attachment, mix the dough on medium speed for five minutes to form a smooth, shiny ball.** 
  • Cover the bowl with a damp paper towel and let sit for 30 minutes. Divide the dough into six equal pieces. 
  • Working one at a time, roll out the dough into a 4" disk on a flour surface. Place two wedges of cheese in the center of the dough and use your fingers to press them down and spread them out a bit. Fold the corners of the dough over the center to a form a square package, then roll out the bread again, this time in about a 6" square.
  • Transfer the breads to a parchment-lined baking sheet and repeat with remaining dough.
  • Heat a cast iron skillet or wok that has a lid over high heat. Working one at a time, brush the pan with some clarified butter and add in the bread. Cook for one minute, or until the bread is bubbling and charred in some spots, then flip and cook for another minute.
  • Combine 1 tbsp. remaining clarified butter with the garlic in a small bowl. Lightly brush over the hot naan.
  • Repeat cooking the remaining naan bread. Stack on a single plate to stay warm, then serve.

Makes six breads
*You want the water to be about body temperature. Too hot and it will kill the yeast.
**If you don't have a mixer, knead the bread by hand for 5 minutes.