Pepper and Chilli Naan Bread made with Kefir

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Naan is a traditional Indian delicatessen bread. It is cooked in a clay oven or tandoor. Its history dates back to 1300 A.D. to the Imperial Court of India. Traditionally, naan (pronounced NAHN and sometimes spelled “nan”) was leavened by airborne yeasts and baked in a tandoor oven. Slapped on the hot side of the oven, naan puffs, browns and takes on a smoky flavor, all in about 60 seconds. The classic teardrop shape comes from dough being stretched during baking.

To make the perfect Naan Bread one can find many different versions of recipes, lists of ingredients and additional flavours, some uses yoghurt, some does not, some adds egg, some does not…The best solution that a “researcher” baker can do is experimenting and choosing the favourite by taste.

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Ingredients (makes two)

100 ml kefir/natural yoghurt, 1 tsp caster sugar, 10 g fresh yeast,180-200 g self-raising flour, a pinch of Salt,1  tbsp vegetable oil, 1  egg lightly beaten, chopped green pepper (about 1/4) and chopped chilli (one)

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Preparation

Put the milk in a bowl. Add the sugar, and the yeast. Stir to mix. Set aside for 15-20 minutes or until the yeast has dissolved and the mixture is frothy. Sift the flour, salt  into a large bowl. Add the yeast mixture, vegetable oil and the yogurt and egg. Mix and form a ball of dough.  Empty the ball of dough on to a clean surface and knead it for 10 minutes or more, add peppers and chilli and knead again until it is smooth and satiny. Form into a ball. Pour some oil into a large bowl and roll the ball of dough in it. Cover the bowl with a piece of cling film and set aside in a warm, draught-free place for an hour or until the dough has doubled in bulk.

Pre-heat your oven to the highest temperature. Put the heaviest baking tray owned to heat in the oven. Pre-heat the grill.

Punch down the dough and knead it again. Divide into 2 equal balls.  Roll balls into a tear-shaped naan. Remove the hot baking tray from the oven and slap the naan on to it. Put it immediately into the oven for 10 minutes. It should puff up. Now place the baking tray and naan under the grill, about 7.5-10cm away from the heat, for about 30 seconds or until the top of the naan browns slightly. Wrap the naan in a clean tea towel when still hot.

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