Intimidated by the calories and the time-consuming nature of the Sticky Pecan Buns last month, I sat out the last Tuesday with Dorie. I am happy to say that this afternoon I was back in full force and eager to make Oasis Naan. I planned an Indian meal for tonight so that I could serve the naan in lieu of rice – a chicken, onion, and potato curry with Trader Joe’s curry simmer sauce and a can of light coconut milk.
The recipe called for stirring the flour and water (with yeast) in one direction. When trying to blend flour and water, that’s trickier than it sounds. I had hoped to break out my new food processor or take my KA out of the corral for this recipe, but what it called for was brute strength. I managed to get the 3 cups of flour and water blended, only to have it become a sticky mess as I added the rest of the flour cup by cup. I turned it out onto my flour-y countertop and spent the next 10 minutes as instructed (kneading vigorously)!!!
The dough became smooth and elastic as I worked it, and finally I placed the ball in a well-oiled bowl. Covered with plastic wrap, the dough doubled in size over the next two hours. Possessing neither a pizza stone nor quarry tiles, I opted to invert a baking sheet as the recipe suggests, placing it on the oven rack. While waiting for the oven to reach 500 degrees, I prepared the dough for baking. Dividing the dough evenly into eight balls, and with rolling pin in hand, I rolled out 4 dough circles with the help of my daughter Olivia. She particularly enjoyed pricking the naan allover with the fork. I chopped some scallions for adornment and put some cumin in a shaker with a top of wire mesh. Using this, we could just “dust” the naan with cumin and not blacken it!
Our first batch the dough seemed too dense – the circles weren’t thin enough and I had forgotten to wet the center of the circle before pricking it with the fork. We spent a bit more time rolling out our second batch, and the water seemed to thin the dough a bit and made the pricking easier. We skipped the scallions on this batch and just dusted them with salt and cumin. They definitely looked more authentic!
I was surprised by how much the kids liked it – they are both taking it to school for snack tomorrow. I am hoping that our second attempt was better than our first – I will try the second batch tomorrow and see if it was “airier” than the first. I could see snacking with this bread and some hummus. While it is delicious, I don’t know if I’ll make it again. I will be interested to hear about the texture of other bakers’ breads…
If you want to try to make Oasis Naan yourself, visit one of our hosts for the recipe:
Looking forward to Fresh Strawberry Cake in a couple of weeks!