One of the challenges that cooking for kids is that you end up eating what they like. I’m pretty lucky in that my kids eat a wide range of meats and vegetables, and they are willing to try anything new that I cook. One category of food, which I haven’t yet gotten them to diversify on is starch. They eat whole wheat and regular pasta, vegetable pasta like whacky mack and both white and brown rice. I have gotten them to eat Israeli cous cous, but only because I tell them it is small pasta. They don’t like lentils, regular cous cous or barley. This has left me in a little bit of a rut and I’m pretty bored with the rice option.
As such, I was thinking about alternatives to rice to go along with the mole pork and I thought about a nice naan bread, a flatbread predominantly served with Persian and Indian food. Originally I was going to see if I could hunt down a good bakery that made it, but then googled a recipe and found out that it wasn’t that difficult to make. I followed this recipe from allrecipes.com with a few minor tweaks.
2 tablespoons warm water
1 teaspoon sugar
1 package active dry yeast (.25 ounce)
1/4 cup warm milk
1/4 cup plain yogurt (I used greek), room temperature
4 tablespoons melted butter
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon poppy seeds
1. Put warm water in a small bowl, add sugar and yeast and stir until dissolved. Set aside for 5-10 minutes or until it foams
2. Blend in the warm milk, yogurt and melted margarine. In a large bowl, mix flour, salt, baking powder and poppy seeds. Pour in the yeast/milk mixture all at once and work it into flour, using your hands. Continue mixing, adding flour and water as needed, until the mixture leaves the sides of the bowl
3. Knead for 6 to 8 minutes or until smooth and elastic. Place in a lightly oiled bowl and turn to coat. Cover with damp cloth and let stand in warm place to rise for about 4 hours or until doubled in size
4. Preheat oven to 500 degrees and set a rack in lower third of the oven. Place a large pizza pan or iron griddle on the rack while preheating
5. Punch dough down and knead briefly. Divide into 8 pieces and shape them into balls. Place them on a lightly oiled plate anad cover with lightly oiled plastic wrap. Let balls of dough rest for 10-15 minutes. Roll out and stretch each ball
6. Bake each piece of naan at 500 degrees for 4 minutes until bread is puffed up and has brown spots, then transfer to wire rack. Wrap finished bread in a towel while baking the remaining loaves
This naan bread was chewy in some places and puffed up and crispy in other places. I didn’t throw them under the broiler as they got the “charcoal dots” that were recommended. It was a nice vessel for the mole pork. We have lots leftover, which I think will go great with hummus and other sauces.