Today, I present a recipe for an autolyse naan bread. Autolyse what you say? First time I came across the word, I had just started on my journey on making sourdough bread. That was over a year ago. While my sourdough is still very much a work in progress*, other breads are yielding much better results through the magical process of autolysing dough. Autolyse is the method of leaving dough to rest for 30-60mins after mixing flour and water. This resting period strengthens the gluten strands in dough, allows the flour to absorb more water and yields a nice, soft and chewy dough. Kneading is another technique for working dough to strengthen its gluten strands. Autolyse works for most types of breads. Next time you try and make pizza dough or focaccia, mix the flour and water first and let it sit for 30 mins to 1 hr. It will make a huge difference to the texture of the resulting bread.
This recipe below uses autolyse to “work” the dough, removing the need for kneading. It yields a soft chewy dough that once smothered in garlic butter, makes you forget the diet you are currently on.
*At time of posting, my latest loaf of sourdough has just come out of the oven. And it has achieved heights (oven spring) that no other sourdough has come close to, ever. So now I wait for what is going to seem like the longest hour of my life before I can cut into it.
- 360g plain flour (bread flour is best)
- 1.5 tsp yeast (5g)
- 20ml warm water (44C)
- 1 tsp sugar
- 210ml water
- 5 tbsp yoghurt (90g)
- 1 tsp salt
- 1-2 tbsp oil
- 3 tbsp butter
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- handful of parsley, finely chopped
- Mix flour and 210ml of water together in a large mixing bowl until no dry bits of flour remain. Cover and leave for 30mins.
- After 30 mins, mix yeast, sugar and 20ml warm water in a bowl and mix well. Leave for 10-15mins until yeast is foamy.
- Add yeast mixture, salt, yoghurt and flour mixture together and mix until well combined. Dough should be soft and very sticky. If dough is very wet, add an extra 1-2 tbsp of flour until dough comes together. Cover bowl with a towel.
- Leave to rise in a sunny spot until at least doubled in size (1-1.5hr). If it is winter where you are, try leaving it in a oven with the oven light turned on.
- While waiting for dough to proof, prepare garlic butter by melting butter and adding garlic and parsley and leave to infuse.
- Oil your fingers and the counter where you will be rolling the naan. Remove dough from bowl and divide into 6-7 portions. Roll each portion into a ball, and leave to rest for 10 mins.
- Oil the rolling pin and the top of the dough ball and roll into a teardrop or oval shape (3-4mm thick).
- Heat a cast iron pan until very hot and place dough in pan and cook till brown and blistered (2-3).
- Flip the dough over and cook in cast iron pan for another 2 mins. You can also remove the naan from pan, and cook it directly over an open flame on your gas stove top until brown and bubbly.
- Brush with melted garlic butter and cover with foil until ready to serve. Repeat with remaining dough.