Want a Flatbread? Bake Sourdough Naan
Below is a piece that ran in the Opinion section of the New York Times on Sunday. I'm attaching the link for anyone who thinks they're too busy to bake sourdough bread. You're not. The piece points out that making sourdough is "intentional," and that the final product, unlike much we do in life, is " tangible, edible and most important, useful." The author also notes that, "bread is real. It nourishes you." Here's the link:
So, with the notion that bread is real and nourishing in mind, I'm offering up a simple sourdough flatbread--or naan--today. It takes little effort and is amazingly good. So good, in fact, that the first batch didn't get photographed. It was a near miss on the second batch. And the recipe makes a lot of flat breads. The breads are great hot off the stove with Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, or Indian food. They're especially great slathered with hummus. I like them for a quick breakfast, toasted, with peanut butter or cheese. The breads also are good with any jam of your choice. I haven't tried it, but I'm sure the breads would be fine for sandwiches, and you could easily top them with pizza toppings and pop them in the oven until they're hot. In other words, the breads are versatile. Unlike many commercial flatbreads, these have taste. They have a definite tang from the sourdough process as well as from yogurt and buttermilk. The breads also are moist and chewy. And addictive. I may have to make another batch soon and climb back on the Stairmaster.
Sourdough Flatbreads/Naan -- Makes 10+
1 cup of sourdough starter/discard
1/2 cup of buttermilk
1/2 cup of plain, non-fat yogurt
1/4 cup of canola oil
2 tablespoons of honey
2 cups of white whole-wheat flour
1 1/2 teaspoons of salt
1 cup of all-purpose flour
In a large bowl, combine the starter/discard, buttermilk, yogurt, canola oil, honey, white whole-wheat flour, and salt and mix everything well for a few minutes. Let the mixture sit, loosely covered, at room temperature for 4-5 hours. Stir in the all-purpose flour, keep stirring/kneading for 3-5 minutes, and recover the bowl. Let the mixture rise for 4-6 more hours. Heat a large, non-stick skillet over medium heat and spritz it with a little olive or canola oil. Break off golf-ball-sized pieces of dough and, with damp hands, roll them into balls. Flatten the balls into pancake-shaped rounds and plop them in the pan. You can probably fit 2-3 pieces of dough in the pan at a time. Let the dough cook for 5-7 minutes--it should be lightly browned on the bottom--and then flip it with a spatula. Let the the breads cook another 3-5 minutes. Remove the breads to a rack to let them cool and repeat the process. You may need to re-spritz the pan with oil before cooking each new batch.