By Tiffany Bader:
This naan bread is quick and simple to prepare, but more importantly, is far superior to anything you will buy in the store. The finished product is light and fluffy and fantastic used as a wrap or just slathered in melted ghee and eaten straight.
Bittercress is a weed I have been fighting in my garden for years and years before I caught my toddler son munching on handfuls of it straight out of the dirt. He said it was great, and after some research, I realized it was edible and delicious and have been giving it the freedom to grow ever since. It’s part of the mustard family, so its delicate leaves are fresh and spicy, have lots of vitamin C, calcium, magnesium and beta carotene. It grows everywhere, on all continents except Antarctica, and is one of the only green things I can still find in my garden throughout most of the winter. Visually, it looks much like other cresses, but grows in a dense basal rosette that can have many stems and eventually develops petite white flowers.
For eating bittercress, I usually treat it like I would cultivated or wild watercress, and add it to salads, sauces like pesto or chimichurri or cooked in soup. My favorite use for it so far though, is to mix it in naan bread dough, to give it a bright, peppery kick.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3 teaspoon white sugar
- 1 teaspoon instant dry yeast
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon nigella seeds (optional)
- 2 tablespoons bittercress, finely minced—you can substitute chickweed, nettles, fresh mint, cilantro or parsley.
- 3 tablespoons plain full-fat yogurt
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 to 3/4 cup warm tap water
Add all of the dry ingredients to a large bowl and stir to combine.
In a separate bowl, stir together all of the wet ingredients and the minced bittercress. Add only 1/2 cup of water to start. The water should be about room temperature. If you place a finger in the water, you should not feel any temperature change—it shouldn’t feel hot or cold to the touch.
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix well. This is a very wet dough, if it’s too dry and shaggy, add the additional 1/2 cup of water. Once it has come together as a solid mass, continue to knead the dough on a flour-dusted countertop.
This dough is not meant to be kneaded as long as other bread doughs. You should knead it until the dough is soft and supple and all ingredients are incorporated. This should only take a couple of minutes.
Place the dough back into your mixing bowl and cover loosely with plastic wrap and a towel and place in a warm area to rise for about 90 minutes to 2 hours. Once the dough has doubled in bulk, you are ready to shape and cook your naan.
Liberally dust your work surface with flour. Scrape the dough from the bowl and shape into six even sized rounds.
Heat a grill, or cast iron pan and cook naan one at a time. It should puff up a bit and start to brown. After about 90 seconds, flip it over and cook another 2 minutes or so. Your cooking surface will be particular to you, so use your judgement. If it’s cooking too quickly or slowly, adjust the heat accordingly.
As each naan cooks, wrap them in a tea towel so they stay warm and soft. Be sure to check out Tiffany’s other delicious recipes for wild game kofta and garlic sauce! They pair perfectly with this delicious naan!