3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (about 14 ounces), plus additional for dusting
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup plain yogurt, at room temperature
1/2 cup boiling water
1 teaspoon active dry yeast
2 teaspoons sugar
1 large egg
1/4 cup melted unsalted butter, plus additional for brushing
Vegetable as needed
1/2 - 1 teaspoon nigella seeds (kalonji)
In a large bowl mix the flour, salt, and nigella seeds. Set aside.
In another small bowl whisk together the yogurt and boiling water.
Add the yeast, sugar, egg, and melted butter and mix well.
Pour the yogurt mixture onto the flour
and mix just until a soft and sticky dough forms.
Wash and dry your hands.
Place a few tablespoons of vegetable oil in small bowl and keep it next to your
Oil your hands then knead the dough, either in the bowl or on an oiled
surface, until smooth and elastic, oiling your fingers as needed to prevent sticking,
about 10 minutes.
Cover and let stand in a warm place for about 4 hours, or until well risen.
Place a baking stone on the upper middle rack of your oven and preheat to 550
degrees F or its highest temperature. Allow the oven to heat for at least 30 minutes.
Punch down the dough, then knead again for about 1 minute.
Divide the dough into
8 equal portions and set aside on an oiled baking tray loosely covered with plastic
Working with two balls at a time; roll out each into a 6-to 7-inch round, dusting
with flour to prevent sticking. Using your hands, stretch the round into a teardrop
shape 10 to 12 inches long.
Lightly dust a wooden peel or rimless baking sheet with flour.
Carefully transfer the breads one at a time onto the peel, setting them side by side.
Brush the breads lightly with melted butter.
Sprinkle a pinch of nigella seeds over the bread and
press lightly to help them adhere.
Slide the breads off of the peel onto the baking stone and bake for 3 to 5 minutes,
or until they begin to puff and lightly brown in places.
Remove and, if desired, brush with additional melted butter.
Keep the breads in a covered towel lined dish until ready to serve.
As an alternative, the naan can also be baked on baking sheets. Arrange them
in a single layer on lightly oiled baking sheets and bake in the center of the oven.
The cooking time remains the same. You may want to place the breads under the broiler
briefly to help brown the tops.