Primal Grill with Steven Raichlen
Season 3 in High Definition
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Primal Grill is filmed at Esplendor Resort in Rio Rico.
Episode: 306 :: Bombay Blast
Indian Naan and Puff Pastry
Method: Tandoor grilling or grateless grilling
Serves: 8 to 10 pieces
2 to 4 hours for making and rising the dough.
Category: Vegetarian
1 envelope active dry yeast (2-1/2 teaspoons)
1 tablespoon sugar
1-1/2 cups warm water
4-1/2 to 5 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus additional for dusting and rolling
2 teaspoons table salt
3 tablespoons plain yogurt
1 tablespoon vegetable oil, plus oil for the bowl
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, or more oil

Combine the yeast, sugar, and 1/4 cup of the water in a small bowl and let stand until foamy, 5 to 10 minutes.

Place 4-1/2 cups flour and the salt in the bowl of a food processor or mixer with a dough hook. With the processor or mixer running, add the yeast mixture, yogurt, and vegetable oil. You're looking for a dough that is soft but not too sticky: add additional flour as needed. Knead the dough until smooth and elastic, 2 to 3 minutes in a processor, 5 to 8 minutes in a mixer, or to 8 minutes by hand.

Place the dough in a lightly oiled mixing bowl, turning it to coat all sides with oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, then a clean kitchen towel, and let rise in a warm, draft-free spot until doubled in bulk, 1 to 1-1/2 hours.

Punch down the dough, roll it into a cylinder, and pinch or cut off 2-inch pieces. Roll them between your palms into smooth balls. You should have 10 to 12 balls. Place the balls on a lightly floured baking sheet and cover with a lightly dampened clean kitchen towel. Let rise again until puffy, about 30 minutes.

Set up your grill for direct grilling and preheat to medium-high. (If you are lucky enough to own a tandoor, set it up according to the manufacturers instructions.)

Rolling, folding, and grilling the dough: In India, this would be done right next to the tandoor. I like to do it at grill side. (I bring a cutting board and rolling pin outside and work next to the grill.) Roll out a dough ball on a lightly floured cutting board to form a flat teardrop-shaped disk about 6 inches in diameter. Using a pastry brush, brush off any excess flour. Using a second pastry brush, brush the top of the bread with melted butter. Starting at the end closest to you, fold the bread up like an accordion-each pleat should be 1 inch long. This will give you a flat strip of dough. Now, starting at 1 end, roll the strip into a roll. When laid flat, it will look spiraled, like a sticky bun).

Finally, using your rolling pin and a little additional flour if necessary, roll out the dough to form another flat disk about 6 inches across. Lightly brush the top with butter. Continue rolling and folding the breads until all the dough is used up. Alternatively, you can simply roll the dough balls into a teardrop shape (the shape of traditional naan), skipping the additional steps of rolling and folding, and cook as directed below.

Set up your grill for direct grilling and brush and oil the grill grate. Arrange the breads, buttered side down, on the grate, a few at a time (don't crowd the grate). (Or slap the breads on the side of the tandoor.) Grill each bread until the bottom is crusty and browned and the top is puffed and blistered, 2 to 4 minutes. Lightly brush the top with a little more butter. Invert the bread and grill the other side until lightly browned, 2 to 4 minutes. (There is no need to do this if cooking in a tandoor. And cooking time will be reduced to a minute or less.) Lightly brush each bread with more butter as it comes off the grill and serve piping hot. Serve whole, or cut each bread into 3 wedges to serve the traditional way. Thanks to the pleating, folding, and rolling, the bread with puff and separate into thin buttery layers.

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