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Baking
mar 27, 2020

Weekend Project: Flatbreads (Naan-E-Hendi)

Here’s a great weekend project, and a fun one to make with kids. It can be completed in a couple of hours, including resting time, and teaches the steps and skills of making yeast breads: mixing and kneading, resting and rising, baking and cooling. Watching the breads puff up in the oven is almost as fun as devouring them.
Here are some extra tips to guide you:
1. This recipe calls for instant dry yeast, which is different from “active dry”. If active dry yeast is what you've got in your pantry, modify the amount to 4 teaspoons.
2. Dough mixing can be messy. A plastic bowl scraper easily scrapes dough out of the bowl and off your mixing spoon and hands. A sturdy silicone spatula is a fair substitute. Scrape or rub your hands over your compost bin to remove as much dough as possible. Your sink drain will thank you.
3. Pay attention to the language of the dough. If it takes longer to rise, let it. If it won't allow you to stretch it when shaping the flatbreads, let it rest for a few minutes.
4. 500℉ is extremely hot; make sure your oven is relatively clean before you begin, and exercise caution.
This recipe is adapted from chef Jim Dodge, nationally celebrated baker, cookbook author and James Beard Award winner. Our co-founder Jen was lucky enough to study with him while at Tante Marie's cooking school, and she's been teaching this recipe in her teen classes ever since.
Here are chef Dodge’s wise words to start you off: “you control the dough, the dough doesn’t control you”.
As always, DM or Email us if you have any questions. We’re here to help.
Recipe

Naan-E-Hendi

Author Jen Nurse

Adapted from: Jim Dodge, epic baker, teacher & chef
Yield   12 flatbreads

Ingredients

1¼ cups whole milk, at room temperature

1 tablespoon instant yeast

1 large egg, at room temperature

¾ cup plain whole-milk yogurt, at room temperature

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus ½ cup for kneading

½ teaspoon baking powder

1 tablespoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon olive oil

Directions

Whisk the milk and yeast together in a large bowl (if using a standing mixer, use the mixer bowl). Let sit until the surface looks foamy, usually about 10 minutes.
In a separate small bowl, whisk together the egg, yogurt and melted butter. Add the yogurt mixture to the milk mixture in the big bowl and, using a handheld whisk, stir for 1 minute.
Add 2 cups of the flour, and whisk by hand until fully combined. Switch to a wooden spoon, and stir in the third cup of flour. The dough will be stiff; don’t give up! Add the last cup of flour, the baking powder and the salt, and stir them into the dough. If need be, knead the mixture in the bowl with your hand. It will be messy.
If using a stand mixer, mix with the dough hook attachment for 7-8 minutes on medium-high speed. If mixing by hand, scrape the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead it for 9-12 minutes with lightly floured hands.
Grease the inside of a clean bowl lightly with olive oil. Form the dough into a ball, place it in the bowl, and cover with a barely damp kitchen towel. Let rise in a warm place until about doubled in size, about 30 minutes.
Divide the dough into 12 equal portions. Space them a few inches apart on a lightly floured surface. Cover again with kitchen towels, and let rise again until doubled in size, about 30 minutes.
While the dough rises, heat a pizza stone or 2 sheet pans in the oven to 500℉.
Roll or stretch the dough into very thin round or oval shapes. Bake the breads in small batches, 4-5 at a time, by carefully placing them directly on the hot stone or sheet pans. Bake for 2-3 minutes per side, or until slightly puffed, with a matte surface and lightly golden brown spots.
As you remove them from the oven (pro tip: use metal tongs!), wrap the breads immediately in the towel to keep them warm and prevent them from drying out. Serve as soon as all of the flatbreads have been baked, if you can wait that long.