This fluffy, long naan is made in the style of the Afghan naanwais, or breadmakers, in the Bhogal neighborhood of South Delhi, and was adapted from Jeffrey Alford’s book Flatbreads & Flavors. Sometimes called “snowshoe naan,” it’s traditionally made with whole wheat flourand often contains nigella seeds. While typically made in a tandoor, this staple bread can be approximated using a pizza stone in a very hot home oven.
What You Will Need
- Large Bowl
- Wooden Spoon
- Plastic Wrap
- Pizza Stone
- Small Bowl
Makes Four 18-Inch Breads 4 Hours, 30 Minutes
- 1 tsp. active dry yeast
- 2 cups (11 oz.)
- whole wheat flour
- 1 Tbsp. kosher salt
- 3½ cups (17 oz.)
- all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp. canola oil
- 1 tsp. nigella seeds
- In a large bowl, add 2½ cups lukewarm (85–90°F) water. Sprinkle the yeast over the top, then add the whole wheat flour and stir with a wooden spoon until fully incorporated. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm place until puffed and frothy, about 1½ hours.
- Sprinkle the salt over the whole wheat mixture, then add 1 cup all-purpose flour. Stir well with the wooden spoon, then continue adding all-purpose flour in ½-cup increments, stirring until the dough is too stiff to continue (about 1½ cups). Generously dust a clean work surface with all-purpose flour, then turn the dough out onto it. Knead until the dough is smooth and supple, adding more all-purpose flour as needed to keep the dough from sticking to your hands and the surface, about 10 minutes. (You might not need all of the remaining 1 cup flour.)
- Clean out the bowl and lightly coat the inside with the oil. Return the dough to the bowl, cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and set aside to rise in a warm place until the dough has slightly more than doubled in size, about 2 hours.
- Meanwhile, place a pizza stone on the bottom rack of the oven and preheat to 450°F. When the dough has risen, lightly dust your work surface with all-purpose flour, then turn the dough out onto it. Divide into 4 equal pieces, about 11 ounces each. Gently stretch each piece into a flat oval, about 6 inches wide and 4 inches long. Cover the ovals with plastic wrap and set aside to allow the gluten to relax slightly, about 20 minutes.
- Once the oven is preheated, begin shaping the first piece of dough: Place a small bowl of cold water at the edge of your work surface. Dip your fingertips in the water, then make tightly spaced, uniform indentations all over the surface. Stretch into a long oval strip by draping the dough over both hands and gently pulling them apart. The dough should gradually stretch and give until extended into a long oval, about 16–18 inches long. (Don’t worry if a few holes form.) Sprinkle the oval with ¼ teaspoon nigella seeds. Using both hands, transfer to the pizza stone and bake until the top is slightly golden and the bottom is lightly browned, 4–5 minutes. While the bread bakes, shape the second piece of dough, so that when the first loaf comes out of the oven, the next one is ready to go. Repeat with the remaining pieces of dough.
- Transfer each bread to a rack and let cool slightly; serve, or wrap the loaves in a dry cloth to keep warm before serving.
Let’s Try It!