The first June recipe for Tuesdays with Dorie is Oasis Naan. I was lucky enough to be picked to host this recipe, so I’ll be posting the full recipe with step-by-step photos and instructions next week.
The Oasis Naan begins with a batch of Persian Naan dough, and since I had to make the dough anyway, I decided to make some Persian and some Oasis Naan. Check out the Oasis Naan post for the recipe and instructions for making the dough.
After mixing the dough and letting it rise, I got my oven ready. Naan is traditionally baked in a clay oven called a “tandoor”. The best way to replicate this in a home oven is with a baking stone or clay tiles.
I picked up these unglazed clay tiles for about 50 cents each at a French bread baking class I took a few years ago. They are great for baking crusty artisan breads. And because they are individual tiles, they are easy to get in and out of the oven, store, and (if you buy extras like I did) replace if you break one. I set the oven to 500°F and let it preheat while I shaped the naan.
I deflated the dough and divided it into four pieces.
I preshaped each piece into an oval, then let them rest while the oven finished preheating. This allowed the gluten to relax and made them easier to shape.
In the meantime, I prepared a small bowl of water and got out some black sesame seeds.
Once the dough had relaxed a bit and the oven was good and hot, I began shaping the naan. I made one at a time. First, I pressed the dough out with wet fingertips. I dipped my hands in water every few seconds to get the dough good and wet.
Next, I gently lifted the dough over my hands and stretched it out. Finally, I sprinkled the naan liberally with black sesame seeds.
I lifted the naan off the work surface and gently moved it to the oven. It only took about five minutes to bake, since the oven and tiles were so hot.
As you can see, my naan came out kind of funny shaped. I had stretched it too long and had to make it fit on the tiles. Hence, the shmoo-shaped naan. This was fine, as naan is a rustic bread that is served by placing the whole piece in the center of the table and letting everyone tear off hunks to eat.
The naan was delicious. Light, crisp, and just a little bit yeasty. The thinner parts were almost like a cracker, while the thicker sections were soft and pillowy.
I served the Persian naan with butter chicken for a delicious and satisfying dinner.
This recipe was fun to make and wonderful to eat. Definitely a repeat.