For years, my husband and I have dreamed of having a tandoori oven in the backyard. And dream we still do. But, I have managed to manifest the biggest reason besides tandoori chicken to have one. Naan bread. This is so easy, especially since it uses a basic olive oil dough from Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day. That means no fussing and hoping you get a good rise. It’s a straight up guarantee that if you can dump a bunch of ingredients in a bowl, your dough will rise. Best of all, you can store the dough in the fridge for up to 10 days so this can be an easy add on to a weeknight dinner.
This dough is also perfect for pizza and focaccia bread. It calls for a large amount of yeast compared to most bread recipes. Fear not, you are reading the recipe correctly. For naan, I roll an orange size piece out in the shape of an irregular oval and toss it on the grill. Warm some minced garlic in melted butter or ghee and brush it on the bread as it comes off the grill. This recipe makes a large quantity of dough since it keeps well in the fridge and I’ll make other things with it over the course of the 10 days. But you can half the recipe too.
Olive Oil Dough from Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day
6 cups (32.5 ounces) all purpose unbleached white flour, NOT bread flour
2 3/4 cups warm water
1/4 cups olive oil
1 1/2 T yeast
1 1/2 T kosher salt
1 T sugar
Mix yeast, salt, sugar, water, and olive oil in a large bowl. I use 6 quart Cambro which makes storing it easier but as long as your bowl can accommodate about 5 quarts you’ll be fine. No need to be fussy about waiting for yeast to do anything. Just mix until incorporated.
Add flour and mix also until basically incorporated. The dough will look kind of shaggy. Just make sure there are no big dry pockets of flour. But otherwise shaggy is fine.
Let sit at room temperature loosely covered leaving gaps for air to escape for 2 hours and up to 5 hours. At the end of the 2 hours the dough will have doubled. This one was about 5 quarts but I forgot to take a picture before rolling out. Doh! You can use right away or stick in the fridge with a lid or tightly covered for up to 10 days.
Flour a rolling surface. Sprinkle flour over the surface of the dough and grab an orange sized piece. The dough will be sticky. Continue sprinkling the ball with enough flour to make it easier to work with and flatten into a disc. Start rolling out the dough into an oblong naan shape until 1/4 inch thick. Sprinkle with flour as needed and turn over from time to time as you are rolling it out. If the dough has been refrigerated, I usually roll out and then let it rest for a minute before rolling it out again to get the desired thickness. When it is cold it tends to spring back from rolling until it has warmed up a bit.
Heat a gas grill to high on all burners and close the lid allowing the internal temperature to get to 500 degrees. (You can also do this on a fire grill and I’m sure it would be awesome but I haven’t done that yet so if you do let me know how it goes.) Brush the grates down with olive oil, lay the naan onto the grill and close the cover. Grill for about 3-4 minutes until you have nice dark grill marks on the underside. The bubbles you see forming in this picture are what give the bread that lovely naan look when you flip them to the other side.
Laying the naan down takes a little style to work out. I hold it with two hands and quickly drop it onto the grill. You can see in the left hand bread I got a bit of a fold but that’s ok.
When nice grill marks have formed flip to the other side and close the cover. Cook another 3-4 minutes until the bubbles have nicely browned and dough looks cooked all around. Remove the grill and brush with plain or garlic butter.