Naan is the traditional bread of Afghani Jewry. Not only is this bread eaten before and after Tishah B’Av, it’s a Sabbath bread as well. Don’t expect a big fluffy loaf. This is a flat pita—bread-like, chewier, and more savory. Because it lacks a pocket and it’s too thick to roll, don’t use it to make sandwiches. Rather, naan is a perfect landing pad for dips. If you have a standing mixer, naan takes one minute to put together. Rising and baking time are relatively short, especially on hot days. The following recipe is from The Encyclopedia of Jewish Food, by Gil Marks:
2 teaspoons instant yeast
1 ½ cups tepid water
1 teaspoon sugar or honey
3 tablespoons olive oil
4 cups whole wheat pastry flour (or a blend
of white and whole wheat)
2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons nigella seeds (can substitute
1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine yeast and water. Add sugar and oil. Slowly add flour and salt. Mix on low speed until the mixture forms a ball.
2. Oil the ball (Pour a tablespoon of oil into the bowl and roll your dough ball around until it develops a greasy skin). Cover with a damp cloth and let the dough rise until it’s doubled in bulk.
3. Preheat oven to 475ºF. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
4. Punch down the dough. Cut it into six equal pieces.
5. Using a rolling pin, roll each piece into a
1 ½-inches-thick rectangle. Wet your fingers and press them inside the dough to make grooves. Pour nigella seeds inside the grooves. Let dough rest for 10 minutes. Bake until bottoms of the naan begin to turn golden brown, about 5 to 10 minutes. Naan will freeze well.
Yield: 6 loaves