04 February 2012

Whole Wheat Naan

Are you on Pinterest? I got on Pinterest a few weeks ago and have been pinning happily since then. One of my boards is titled “Intriguing Recipes” and it's there that I stick the recipes for things I might want to try, if only I can remember that I want to try them. One of my early pins was a recipe for Butter Chicken without the butter from Julie at Dinner with Julie. I love Indian food and Julie's recipes are always solid, so I knew I'd like it. I'd just have to remember to make it.

Butterless Butter Chicken & Whole Wheat Naan

I probably wouldn't have remembered, except that the pin generated some discussion with a friend, first on pinterest and later by email about cooking with chicken thighs. I know some people have a problem with chicken thighs because they're greasy and dark and have a flavor. (And don't tell me it's a weird flavor. It's a chicken flavor and we've all been beaten into blandness by the industrial chicken breast.) My chicken-thigh-averse friend asked if I'd tried the recipe and did I like the recipe and of course then I had to go out and try the recipe because if someone is afraid of chicken thighs then it is my duty to help them.

I have dinner guests on Tuesdays so of course I took an untested recipe (trusting Julie all the time) and fed it to them. But I couldn't just feed them chicken. Man does not live by saucy chicken alone, especially when one of the men in question still has a teenager's metabolism. I added some roasted cauliflower based on this recipe. I did two full heads of cauliflower and it was gone, not a floret left. Obviously I recommend it. I admit to playing fast and loose with the proportions, and I think you can use the temperature and time from the recipe and then coat the cauliflower in whatever suits your mood.

Roasted Cauliflower

I still needed something else, so I decided to make naan bread. The recipes for whole wheat naan that I found were partial whole wheat recipes and I really wanted something 100% whole wheat. I think people are afraid of whole wheat flour and there's no reason to be. So you can thank pinterest for the chicken, and google for the cauliflower, me for the bread and my guests for being willing to eat untested recipes on Tuesday nights.

Whole Wheat Naan

100% Whole Wheat Naan Bread


For the sponge:
1 Tablespoon yeast
1 cup warm water
2 Tablespoons honey
2 cups whole wheat flour

For the mix:
1/4 cup plain yogurt
1 egg, beaten
2 teaspoons salt

For kneading:
an additional 2-2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour

For cooking:
1/4 cup melted butter


Make the sponge: In a large bowl, dissolve the yeast and honey in the warm water. Stir in the flour and beat by hand for 30 seconds. Cover the bowl with a towel and allow to rise for 1 hour or until doubled.

Make the mix: beat together the yogurt, egg and salt. Stir the mix into the risen sponge. Then stir in the remaining flour 1/2 cup at a time. When the dough becomes to stiff to stir, dump it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 20 minutes, adding flour as necessary to prevent sticking.

Grease the mixing bowl and then form the kneaded dough into a ball, place in the mixing bowl and cover.  (If you want to make this recipe ahead, you can stop here and place the dough in the refrigerator until about 2 hours before you are ready to bake.) Allow to rest one hour or until doubled.

Grease a baking sheet. Gently deflate the dough, knead a few times and then begin pinching off golf ball sized pieces of dough and forming them into balls. Place the dough balls on the baking sheet. This recipe will yield about 24 balls. Precision is not necessary. Cover the dough with a damp kitchen towel and allow to rise for about 1 hour.

To bake, heat a griddle or skillet over medium heat. Roll several dough balls into thin disks. Brush the griddle with melted butter and then arrange the bread on the griddle to cook. Cook for 1-2 minutes, then brush the unbaked side with melted butter and flip. Cook the second side for an additional 1-2 minutes. Serve immediately or keep warm in a very low oven until ready to serve.   


  1. Replies
    1. The chicken was very good. I recommend it.

  2. I'm on Pinterest, and I think I just don't get it. Or I have social media overload.

    1. It's social, of course, but I also use it as a pin board for personal use. If I were willing to use the paper I'd just print out all the recipes instead. It's my "Oh, this is interesting. I should remember this." spot.



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