Saturday, January 29, 2011

Inspiration from...King Kullen?

One day about a year ago I spotted these naan breads (imported from Canada!) at King Kullen and decided to buy a package. They were good, especially when warmed for five minutes in the oven. In fact, I found them slightly addictive, and every so often I'd think of an excuse to cheat on the IGA and drive to the Bridgehampton Commons (in December it was printer ink at Staples, two weeks ago I was in search of white tights for my daughter's Music Man costume) just so I could do my shopping at King Kullen and buy more naan. When I was at B.J.'s in Riverhead last weekend, they were selling the naan by the case, and I considered a bulk purchase. I wasn't embarrassed about the 10-pound bag of Tootsie Rolls, but I didn't want to be seen with so much packaged bread in my shopping cart. "This has got to stop," I told myself. Last night I baked some naan of my own. To achieve the richness and flavor of the Canadian bread, I used some full-fat Greek Yogurt and butter in mine. I also kneaded in some cumin seeds. That's something they haven't thought of in Canada! My bread wasn't quite the same as the King Kullen bread, but it was very good with my Lime and Coconut Lentil Soup. Next time, I am going to brush the bread with melted butter and minced garlic two minutes before it comes out of the oven. Here is the recipe:

Cumin-Seed Naan
Makes 8 breads

1 cup water, room temperature (70 to 75 degrees)
1 teaspoon instant yeast
3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 cup plain yogurt, room temperature
1 large egg, lightly beaten, room temperature
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened and cut into bits

1. Combine the water and yeast in a large mixing bowl. Stir in the flour, cumin seeds, salt, sugar, yogurt, and egg with a rubber spatula until a rough dough forms. Use an electric stand mixer fitted with a dough hook to knead the dough until smooth, about 5 minutes. alternatively, knead by hand on a lightly floured work surface until smooth, 7 to 8 minutes. Knead the butter into the dough until incorporated, another 2 to 3 minutes.
2. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise until doubled, 2 to 3 hours.
3. Place a baking stone on the middle rack of the oven and preheat to 375 degrees.
4. On a lightly floured work surface, divide the dough into 8 portions. Roll each portion into a ball, press with the palm of your hand to flatten, and then pull and stretch each one into a 3-inch by 6-inch oval. Let rest uncovered on the countertop for 15 minutes before transferring to the baking stone, 4 at a time, and baking until light golden, 10 to 12 minutes.


  1. I have never made my own naan but I am going to now. Costco and Sam's sell this brand of naan here and I have to admit that it is pretty good. We usually warm it to go with butter chicken or make pizza out of it.

  2. For me, buying these at a warehouse club would be standing on a slippery slope. Before I knew it, I'd be buying crates of Hostess powdered sugar doughnuts.