I've dabbled a bit in some basic Indian cooking, but had never attempted naan. Then I saw this recipe from Stef at the Cupcake Project (no, it is not a recipe for naan cupcakes). The basic message was, "if you can make pancakes, you can make naan." I'm actually terrible at pancakes, but I make a decent waffle, and so I decided that naan, too, might be within my reach.
The recipe starts by dissolving yeast and a small amount of sugar in warm milk. After the yeast has had a chance to work its magic, the milk mixture is combined with flour and salt, kneaded, and covered for two hours so it can rise.
And rise it did. I think it actually more than doubled...
Next, the dough is divided into ten balls, which are then rolled out to form the naan. I found it helpful to layer parchment paper between the rolled-out naan to keep them from sticking together before they cooked. (Wax paper would work, too.)
The cooking part of the recipe goes very quickly, and doesn't allow time for much else (like taking photos). One side of the naan is brushed with water before being placed face-down in the pan. While the bottom cooks, and the naan bubbles and puffs, the top side is brushed with water. The naan is then flipped and cooked a little more before being removed from the heat. Basically, the cooking process is a blur of brushing and flipping.
I found that the naan cooked best over medium-high heat. I used a non-stick pan, and although I started off with a little canola oil in my pan, I soon noticed that the naan didn't require a lot of oil to cook. Instead, something seems to be happening with the water and the yeast.
If you've ordered naan in restaurants, you know that it usually comes coated with ghee (clarified butter). The recipe stated that the cooked naan should be brushed with butter, but I skipped that step and served mine plain.
While the dough takes some time to put together, I had much more success with the naan than I have ever had with pancakes.