If you enjoy baking bread, try Indian naan.
Naan, which means “bread” in Persian, is a flatbread similar to the original, pocketless pita. It is usually leavened with yeast and baked in a tandoor (clay oven). This distinguishes it from roti, which is cooked on an iron griddle called a tava (almost all Indian breads are cooked on a grill or griddle).
Chef Edward Hamann of Sur La Table’s cooking school demonstrates how to make this fragrant flatbread in a conventional oven (on a baking stone or pizza stone—if you don’t already have one, get a round pizza stone to serve both purposes). It bakes quickly, in just three to four minutes.
If you’re a garlic lover, you can sprinkle minced garlic atop the bread before baking.
You can serve naan with any cuisine whatsoever. For an Indian-style snack, add some chutney or raita, seasoned yogurt with cucumbers.
Nigella is a lovely, delicate flower, grown in English cottage gardens since the Elizabethan era. Its triangular black seeds have been dried, roasted and used for flavoring since ancient times.
The flavor of Nigella is similar to cracked pepper; the oil in the seeds has an aroma similar to oregano.
If you can’t find nigella seed, also called kalonji—or don’t want to buy a spice for only one recipe—simply substitute celery seed, cumin seed or black or toasted sesame seed.
Find more of our favorite breads and bread recipes.
See the different types of bread in our bodacious Bread Glossary.
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