Naun

Naun

Wholemeal bread

By
From
The Complete Middle Eastern Cookbook
Makes
8
Photographer
Alan Benson

The breads of Afghanistan are similar to those of neighbouring Iran on one side, and India on the other. Basically two breads are widely eaten: one is the large, flat lawash or parakee baked on the wall of a beehive oven called the tandour; the other is naun, similar to the Punjabi naan in shape. Wholemeal flour is generally used, and the bread is leavened with a fermented starter. As you really have to know how to handle such a starter, it is better to use conventional yeast, though the flavour is not quite the same.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
2 teaspoons dried yeast
450g wholemeal flour
300g plain flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
oil, for shaping

Method

  1. Dissolve the yeast in 60 ml warm water.
  2. Put the flours and salt in a mixing bowl and stir well with a balloon whisk to combine — this is just as effective as a sieve and the flakes from the wholemeal flour are retained. Remove about 150 g of the flour and set aside.
  3. Add 440 ml warm water to the yeast mixture and pour into the centre of the flour. Stir a little flour into the liquid to thicken it slightly, cover the bowl and leave it in a warm place for 10 minutes, or until the liquid is frothy.
  4. Stir in the remaining flour, then beat by hand for 20 minutes, gradually kneading in the reserved flour towards the end of this time. Alternatively, beat the dough for 15 minutes using an electric mixer with a dough hook, gradually adding as much of the reserved flour as the mixture will take.
  5. Cover the bowl and leave the dough in a warm place to rise until it has doubled in size – 30 minutes to 1 hour.
  6. Preheat the oven to 220°C. With oiled hands, divide the dough into eight equal portions, then roll into balls.
  7. Lightly oil your hands and, working on an oiled work surface, press a ball of dough into a tear shape, about 1 cm thick. Place the shaped loaves on baking trays, cover with cloths and leave for 15 minutes.
  8. Dip a forefinger in oil and make three parallel grooves in each loaf, about 2 cm in from the edge, by pressing the side of the finger along the length of the bread. You will end up with ridged, tear-shaped loaves, each with three grooves, the middle groove longer than those on either side.
  9. Bake the loaves on the middle shelf of the oven for 15 minutes, or until the loaves are lightly browned and cooked. Wrap in a cloth as they come out of the oven.
Tags:
The Complete Middle Eastern Cookbook
Tess
Mallos
Middle Eastern
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