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Naan in a tandoor oven

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  • Naan in a tandoor oven

    We went to our local Farmer's Market/Craftfair -- Tuesday evenings in downtown Monterey -- and my highlight was an Indian restaurant making naan in two gas-fired tandoor ovens. Very cool.

    They had trays of dough balls that looked remarkably like pizza dough balls. The chefs patted them out to where they looked like a pizza base -- then they stuck them to the side of the tandoor oven. They used a round, padded tool to force the naan against the oven side -- where it would stick and bake for about one minute. A nice char on the side touching the oven, and a golden brown on the other side. The un-stuck them with a wire hook and stacked them up. It was great.

    The tandoor oven was 500ºF+. The oven was a refractory cylinder heated with a propane fire. It could hold about 16 naans at a time. The opening is in the top.

    I've been complaining about my naan (it's not good) for years. I'm going to try sticking it to the walls next time -- though I need to think about building one of those pads that sticks the naan to the oven wall.

    Excellent.
    James
    Last edited by james; 06-25-2008, 09:09 AM.
    Pizza Ovens
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  • #2
    Re: Naan in a tandoor oven

    And you didn't have a camera in your pocket?

    Or the new video cam?
    Sharing life's positives and loving the slow food lane

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    • #3
      Re: Naan in a tandoor oven

      I've had good success just throwing the Naan breads on the hearth and cooking them like baby pizzas.

      If I recall correctly there are some utube videos on guys using that padded mitt thing to wack them on the sides of the tandoori oven.

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      • #4
        Re: Naan in a tandoor oven

        We've learned that the padded thing is called a "bread pad" and you can get one at any Indian grocery, which around here are called, charmingly, "cash and carry". I've been meaning to get one when I get down to Edison the next time.

        I've seen a lot of Naan recipes that have both yeast and baking powder, which is weird to me. The liquid is yogurt, which I understand is a thicker and more aggressively flavored substance in the Indian world than the stuff we get at the supermarket.
        My geodesic oven project: part 1, part 2

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        • #5
          Re: Naan in a tandoor oven

          Here's one of the better videos I've found of a tandoor oven in use:

          YouTube - ROTI


          Wiley

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          • #6
            Re: Naan in a tandoor oven

            that is a great video. it's exactly what i was looking for. i'm thinking of sticking the naan to the surface just inside my brick pizza oven. I think it would be very similar. Has any one else done this ?

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            • #7
              Re: Naan in a tandoor oven

              I know it's not using a tandoori or a WFO, but for a few naans with a curry, we simply make up some pizza dough roll out a dough ball and put it in the sandwich press. Very little fuss and a fantastic result.
              Kindled with zeal and fired with passion.

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              • #8
                Re: Naan in a tandoor oven

                I am a little bit concerned about sticking bread on the wall of my oven. My problem is that I already have hairless knuckles from puttig my hands too close to the door.

                I wonder if a tandoor can be made with firebrick.....I don't see why not, but do you fire the tandoor by putting a propane burner in the bottom of the tandoor (on the inside) or do you fire the tandoor on the outside.....ie is a tandoor a white oven or a black oven.

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                • #9
                  Re: Naan in a tandoor oven

                  I may be asking the obvious here, but do we have the dough recipe for this naan?

                  Does gravity do something mysterious while cooking on the Indian oven that cooking the naan on the WFO floor won't do?

                  Lee B.
                  DFW area, Texas, USA

                  If you are thinking about building a brick oven, my advice is Here.
                  Our One Meter Pompeii Oven album is here.
                  An album showing our Thermal Breaks is Here.

                  I try to learn from my mistakes, and from yours when you give me a heads up.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Naan in a tandoor oven

                    Just Google Naan recipe.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Naan in a tandoor oven

                      Originally posted by GianniFocaccia View Post
                      Just Google Naan recipe.
                      Good idea....This is what I found:
                      from Cooking Light


                      Naan, one of the daily breads of India, is dense and chewy, almost like focaccia but thinner. If you don't have a pizza peel, use the back of a baking sheet to transfer the dough to a hot pizza stone. You can also bake naan on a heavy baking sheet lined with parchment paper.


                      Yield: 8 servings


                      Ingredients
                      • 1 teaspoon dry yeast
                      • 3/4 cup warm water (100° to 110°)
                      • 1/2 cup plain low-fat yogurt
                      • 2 1/4 cups bread flour, divided
                      • 1 cup whole wheat flour
                      • 1 1/4 teaspoons sea salt
                      • 1 tablespoon olive oil
                      • Cooking spray
                      • 4 tablespoons cornmeal, divided
                      Preparation

                      Dissolve yeast in warm water in a large bowl; let stand 5 minutes. Stir in yogurt. Lightly spoon flours into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Add 1/2 cup bread flour and whole wheat flour to yeast mixture; stir with a whisk until smooth. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, 2 hours (batter will be bubbly, lacy, and weblike).
                      Stir in salt and oil. Add 1 1/2 cups bread flour (1/2 cup at a time); stir with a wooden spoon (dough will become very difficult to stir).

                      Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastic (about 10 minutes); add enough of remaining bread flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, to prevent dough from sticking to hands (dough will feel tacky). Place dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray, turning to coat top. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, 2 hours or until doubled in size. (Press 2 fingers into dough. If indentation remains, the dough has risen enough.)

                      Place pizza stone on the bottom rack in oven. Preheat oven to 500°.
                      Punch dough down; turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Cover and let rest 5 minutes.
                      Divide dough into 8 equal portions. Working with 1 portion at a time, (cover remaining dough to keep from drying), stretch each portion into a 6-inch oval. Cover and let rest 5 minutes.
                      Make indentations in top of dough portions using the handle of a wooden spoon or your fingertips; cover and let rise 20 minutes.

                      Place 2 dough portions on the back of a pizza peel dusted with 1 tablespoon cornmeal. Slide onto preheated pizza stone or baking sheet lined with parchment. Bake at 500° for 6 minutes or until lightly browned. Repeat with remaining dough and cornmeal. Serve immediately.

                      I'm going to try this one
                      Last edited by Lburou; 12-12-2010, 12:40 PM.
                      Lee B.
                      DFW area, Texas, USA

                      If you are thinking about building a brick oven, my advice is Here.
                      Our One Meter Pompeii Oven album is here.
                      An album showing our Thermal Breaks is Here.

                      I try to learn from my mistakes, and from yours when you give me a heads up.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Naan in a tandoor oven

                        1 1/2 tsps dry yeast
                        1 cup warm water
                        1 1/2 tsps sugar
                        3 cups all-purpose flour
                        1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
                        6 tbsps butter
                        3 tbsps yoghurt

                        3 teaspoons onion seeds option to sprinkle on top

                        Key to naan is to include lots of butter and yoghurt in it to make sure it has a soft consistency. You could drop the yoghurt and water and replace with 1.5 cups of buttermilk.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Naan in a tandoor oven

                          Originally posted by sacwoodpusher View Post
                          1 1/2 tsps dry yeast
                          1 cup warm water
                          1 1/2 tsps sugar
                          3 cups all-purpose flour
                          1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
                          6 tbsps butter
                          3 tbsps yoghurt

                          3 teaspoons onion seeds option to sprinkle on top

                          Key to naan is to include lots of butter and yoghurt in it to make sure it has a soft consistency. You could drop the yoghurt and water and replace with 1.5 cups of buttermilk.
                          We'll have to try this recipie too. There seems to be a lot of variability in the different ways to make naan
                          Lee B.
                          DFW area, Texas, USA

                          If you are thinking about building a brick oven, my advice is Here.
                          Our One Meter Pompeii Oven album is here.
                          An album showing our Thermal Breaks is Here.

                          I try to learn from my mistakes, and from yours when you give me a heads up.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Naan in a tandoor oven

                            Sounds like you can do Naan in the WFO no problem.
                            Our Facebook Page:http://www.facebook.com/pages/Stoneh...60738907277443

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                            • #15
                              Re: Naan in a tandoor oven

                              Hi all,

                              Just come across this thread and thought it was a great read! I have a tandoor at home and have been making naan bread for a while. There are so many naan dough recipes out there!! It can get a bit confusing.

                              A key ingredient for naan dough is the yoghurt. After talking to a few Indian chefs, I have learnt that the restaurants do not use egg or yeast in their recipes. The egg makes it too expensive, and using yeast simply makes the process too time consuming. The leavening agent used in the dough is a mixture of baking powder and bicarb of soda. Baking powder contains bicarb of soda plus a few extra ingredients to yield a slightly different effect over the bicarb of soda alone.

                              Perhaps the most important tip to cooking great naan is the temperature – if the temperature is too low all the moisture evaporates from the dough as it cooks and you end up with a naan biscuit!! The temperature should be as hot as possible without burning the side of the nann that sticks to the clay pot wall of the tandoor.

                              The temperature required can vary with the dough recipe used, but it will typically be about 300oC.

                              You do not generally measure the temperature of a tandoor precisely. One tends to talk in terms of low, medium and hot. Naan is cooked at the hot end of the scale. After using a tandoor a few times you soon get a feel for this.

                              Once you get the dough consistency right, it will stick easily to the clay pot wall and come off easily when the dough is cooked. If the dough is too dry, the naan dough will simply not stick to the clay pot wall, and if the dough is too wet, it will stick, but you will probably take off a bit of clay when you try and scrape the cooked naan off the clay pot wall.

                              Naan dough is quite a different beast to pizza dough (which I also make to cook pizza in the tandoor – but that's a different story).

                              While this may all sound a bit complicated, it is really not in practice. I think naan is perhaps one of the simplest and most rewarding breads to make. It cooks in under a minute, you can cook multiple naan at a time in the tandoor, and they taste great!!

                              Cheers

                              p.s. I understand that the “pillow” used to help apply the nann dough on to the clay pot wall of the tandoor is traditionally called a “gaddi”.

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