Naan present some of the same challenges pizzas do: how to cook both the top and bottom to charred deliciousness in a home oven? It’s a bit of a dilemma given that both types of flat bread are traditionally baked in extremely hot wood or coal ovens (a tandoor in the case of naan, a wood oven in the case of pizza). This technique, that combines a hot oven with the broiler, is my preferred solution. Alternately you can grill naan or fry them in a cast iron skillet, both popular techniques. You’ll need:
11 ounces (2 cups plus two tablespoons) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon instant yeast
a generous pinch of baking powder
1-2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
4 ounces (1/2 cup) milk (room temperature)
4 ounces (1/2 cup) yogurt (room temperature)
1 ounce (2 tablespoons) olive oil
More oil and coarse salt for a topping
In a large bowl or the bowl of a mixer fitted with a paddle (beater) combine all the dry ingredients and stir them to combine. Combine the milk, yogurt and oil in a a small bowl or a measure, and stir them to combine. Add the milk mixture to the flour mixture and turn the machine on to medium-low. Mix until the dough starts to come together, then switch to the dough hook and knead for 4-6 minutes until a soft, smooth and somewhat sticky dough is formed. Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl and let it rise until doubled, 2-3 hours.
When the dough has risen, preheat the oven to 500 degrees Fahrenheit and set a rack in the upper third of the oven. Divide the dough into six portions of equal size. Using a pin, roll the balls out into an oblong shape, about 8 inches long. If you wish you can tug them into the traditional teardrop shape, though it’s not strictly necessary. Transfer as many will fit onto a lightly greased sheet pan and reserve the rest for a second baking.
Brush or drizzle some oil on each naan and sprinkle on some coarse salt. Bake the naan on an upper rack for 12-14 minutes until they puff up nicely. Turn on the broiler and toast the tops of the baked naan until the tops blister and blacken a bit. Repeat with the remaining naan. Serve warm.