Afghan Home-Style Naan

Back to the once-a-week Amazing Race-esque world bread scavenger hunt. This time we go to Herat, Afghanistan for another tasty flatbread. I now own a real pizza stone and a bread peel thanks to my birthday, and this recipe tested them both. What a vast improvement over the Uighur naan from China! This flatbread is savory and soft AND, to counteract the lipid collateral damage incurred over the past week, 100% whole wheat! Now I am hoping my friend who just returned from teaching in India will come over and sample some, offering the critique of her expert naan palate! Welcome home Susan!

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Afghan Home-Style Naan

Flatbreads and Flavors
2 tsp yeast (or use my sourdough starter method)
1/2 c warm water
1 c plain yogurt
1 c boiling water
5-6 c whole wheat flour
2 T oil (safflower or olive are best)
2 tsp salt

Combine the yeast and water in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, combine the boiling water and the yogurt and let cool till it’s just warm about not hot (so you don’t kill the yeast). Add the yogurt to the yeast, then stir in 3 cups of the flour. Stir for 2 minutes in the same direction to develop the gluten, then cover and let sit for at least 30 minutes or longer.
Stir in the oil and salt, then add enough flour to make a nice dough and knead until it’s smooth and elastic, 8-10 minutes. Let rise until doubled, about an hour.
Preheat a baking stone on the lowest rack of the oven to 450. Take all the other oven racks out of the oven. Punch down the dough and divide into 6-8 pieces, depending on how large you want the breads to be. Roll out one round into a circle or oval or rectangle as you like about 1/4-1/2 inch thick. Slash the top of the round with a sharp knife (try not to cut all the way through) and make a pretty sunshine pattern with 1-inch-slashes to keep it from pocketing and slide or slap onto the hot stone. Cook till beginning to brown, about 5-6 minutes. Cool on rack.

5 stars! This bread goes great with chicken tikki masala—one of our favorites around here. An unexpected pleasure from this project was all the designs you can make with the slashes. At first I just did the “sunshine” or “star” the recipe recommended.

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Then I rolled a naan that looked just like the state of Minnesota! So I put a star where Rochester would be:

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Then, I decided to send secret messages to KP through the naan:

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Imagine the potential for naan art! Eating this bread makes me want to reread Kite Runner or A Thousand Secret Suns while wearing long colorful dresses and bangles.

10 thoughts on “Afghan Home-Style Naan

      1. I read it twice…once because I couldn’t stand not knowing the outline….and once to READ it. I put it on my first semester optional reading list under the heading, ‘Understanding the patient’s story’.
        Enjoy.

  1. Thanks for your thoughts on “yellow.” Now I’m thinking it might be your camera and the light. I will read this later; I am being picked on by the house bully and have to remember I’m a Christian. I wrote a newsletter article in which this person was thinly veiled but I was censored, so decided to pass on my contribution this next month.

    1. OOh, Grams, bullying at the Peninsula Regent? This is the stuff of great novels. “Bake This Daily Bread” is happy to air your censored article, for the sake of proper justice!

      1. Am thinking about that gracious invitation; are you sure you don’t have any TPRers on your blog list??? Love you, Grammie

  2. Rach, this looks and sounds delectable! It would be a great privilege to have some with you, and even better to make it with you so I can then share it with others! I’m afraid that naan was hardly ever eaten in the part of India where I was living, but there were several other flat breads that I grew to love, and can talk about with you, perhaps even as future blogging endeavors for you 🙂 XOXOXO P.S. I love the special one you made for KP, awww 🙂

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