Thursday, January 07, 2010


I ran out of olive oil this week and since I have five foot drifts of snow blowing across the access road, I won't be buying any soon. That's OK. Here's an easy flatbread that works nicely in place of pita. I'm making a tofu-coconut curry for dinner, so actually this might have been an even better choice of bread after all.

Have I mentioned the blizzard outside? The snow has stopped falling, but you still can't see because of the winds blowing it around. I'm going to gather the family around after dinner and read The Blue Hotel to them aloud. If this weather keeps up, I'll have to read them the Gulag Archipelago.

This bread is simple enough to make if you have clarified butter on hand. You can substitute sour cream for the yoghurt as well. The onion seeds are a nice touch, but obviously you can leave them off, or top the naan any way you like. Sure, they would be better made on a grill but as I've already pointed out...oh god, will it never, ever end? I don't typically feel this sick of winter until around February. Well, actually there was that one winter when I lived in Newton, Mass. and the snow just kept falling, and falling and then it would stop and we'd get another storm. It was seemingly endless and the only thing on television was the re-played (over and over) tape of Nancy Kerrigan getting whacked in the knee with a truncheon. The local press were all camped out in her parents driveway in Stoneham and like, for weeks we'd get reports of who was coming and going from their house. Hell, after a few days of listening to her screaming, "why?!" I was thinking...well no, I wouldn't have really wanted to whack her other knee, but still I was getting kind of tired of being trapped in the house with nothing on the telly save that. So what was I talking about? Oh yeah, winter. Damn, I sure have had enough of winter-how about you?

You Will Need:

1 1/2 teaspoons granulated yeast
1 cup warm water
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
3 cups AP flour
1 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons melted and cooled ghee (clarified butter) divided
3 tablespoons yoghurt
3 teaspoons onion seeds (optional)

Dissolve the yeast and sugar in the warm water and let stand until foamy (about ten minutes). Add the flour, salt, 3 tablespoons of the ghee, and the sour cream. Knead until smooth. Place in an oiled bowl and let rise until doubled-about 90 minutes. Punch down and knead a few minutes more.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a pan with foil and oil it lightly.

Divide the dough into 8 pieces and knead each into a ball. Roll each piece out into a teardrop shape. Roll them about 1/4 inch thick as they will snap-back into shape on the pan and become thicker.

Fit as many as you can on the pan without sticking together. Brush lightly with half the remaining ghee and sprinkle with half the seeds. Bake about ten minutes or until they puff and become slightly golden. Remove pan from oven, turn breads and repeat ghee and seeds on other side. Continue baking until golden (about another ten minutes). Serve warm.

Naan is best eaten the day it is made, but can be re-heated wrapped in foil in the oven next day. I wouldn't microwave them.


Jenn said...

It was -40 (celsius, of course) before factoring in the wind chill. Yes. I am very very tired of winter.

Goody said...

I'd have to go look, but I think around-40 is where F. and C. meet.How do you keep your eyeballs from freezing when you step outside?

We're due for -24 F tonight. We just filled the propane tank last week, but still.

I know my grandparents worked outside at their newsstand in this kind of weather in Chicago, and my dad always worked outdoors as well-but i can't take it. I must not have inherited the Ukrainian tolerance to cold gene. My body temperature actually dropped to 96 degrees F. INSIDE last week. INSIDE. Is that nuts or what? I had to go put another layer of pants on. It was about 64 inside-hardly freezing. I made everyone else take their temperatures just to be sure the thermometer was working, and yeah, it was just me. Isn't that odd? Geez, you wouldn't think chronic anemia and losing 1/3 of your body weight would make that much difference in the ability to withstand cold ;)

I remember going to Montreal in January once, and just marveling at how creative people are in devising ways to survive in awful climates. I was so impressed. Then, I saw northern Manitoba and I was like, "Oh, those people in Montreal are such wimps!" It really astounds me that humans can live in such extreme climates.I had a friend who did his fieldwork in the arctic (I think it was Greenland) and would sit around in an igloo in his undershirt because the soapstone lamps would keep it warm enough. He said you adjusted to the cold after a while, but I don't know. He was a skinny little guy. You couldn't get me near either place now-at least not until June.

I'm sending you guys warm thoughts.