Friday, February 28, 2014

Recipe: vegan naan bread

Vegan Naan Bread Recipe
I like Indian food quite a lot and of course, you can't have a curry without naan bread, right? But sadly the supermarkets around here do not sell naan bread that is suitable for vegans. And I have my suspicions that the ones from takeaway places probably aren't vegan either.

So a few weeks ago I thought I'd have a go at making some myself. And you know what? It's soooo easy! You don't need any special equipment and only a few basic ingredients which may already be in your cupboards! Plus, you can make a stack of naan for way less than they cost to buy. Seriously, a batch of 12 homemade naan probably costs around £1. You won't find that in Tesco! ;-)

The naan dough requires a bit of rising time, so make them at a time when you have a couple of hours to spare. Not that you will be giving them your undivided attention to them for two hours. You can read a few chapters in a book while the dough rises. It's a nice weekend activity - and do make extra for the freezer! They're nice with a bowl of chili as well.

Vegan naan recipe

Makes 12 naan - you can make them larger if you like, as long as they will fit in your frying pan. Or make smaller ones for snacking. ;-)

20 grams fresh yeast
250 ml warm water (1 part boiled water, 2 parts cold water)
1 tbsp sugar
3 tbsp soy milk
1 tsp salt
½ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp dried coriander*
375 grams flour

1 tbsp olive oil

Extra flour

Baking paper/parchment
Teflon/non-stick frying pan. 

In a large bowl, dissolve the yeast with the sugar in half the water, then add the rest of the water.
Add 3/4 of the flour, the herbs and salt. 
Mix the dough and add more flour while kneading until the dough is still soft, but not sticky when you touch it lightly. Form the dough into a large ball.

Pour the oil over the dough and roll the dough in the oil until it is covered all over.
Cover the bowl with cling film and leave somewhere warm (near a radiator, for example) to rise for 1 hour or until approximately doubled in size.

Cut a large piece of baking paper and pour a bit of flour onto it. Knead the dough in a bit of the flour, until it is no longer sticky. Divide the dough into 12 pieces, shape them into smooth balls and leave to rise on the baking paper for 20-30 minutes, covered with a damp tea towel.

Flatten a couple of dough balls until they are approx. 15cm/6" in diameter, using the baking paper as your surface**. I find it easiest to start flattening at the centre and then working towards the edges.

Put the frying pan on high heat and let it heat through. You shouldn't need any oil to cook these, but use your judgment.

When the frying pan is hot, put one dough disk in it. When the dough starts to bubble up (it takes about 45-60 seconds), turn it and cook on the other side for about 1 minute. Keep an eye on it, though, all cookers are different, so your naans may require more or less time than that.

Once you've cooked a couple of naans, turn the heat down a bit, so the naans don't burn.
The naan will be blackened in places, this is normal! And adds flavour!

* Or try different herbs or spices. Maybe you fancy extra garlic? Or how about chili naan?

** You can of course just work straight on the work surface, but it's my experience that the dough sticks less to the baking paper so you can use less flour.

Vegan naan recipe

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