Making naan at home? Make sure you pay attention to these basic components to help them retain their softness
If you think retaining the softness of your homemade naan is impossible, you may be wrong. Turns out you can make fluffy naans at home and also retain their tenderness for a few days after they’re made if you switch up a few basic things. Some key factors during the preparation can determine whether the naan can be stored over a few days. The quality of flour, for instance.
Did you know that for naan, you should only stick to all-purpose or bread flour, as these contain a higher amount of gluten? This results in a softer and more tender naan and they can also hold on to their softness. Here are some other factors which can help your homemade naan stay softer and tender for a few days:
Use The Right Ingredients
Certain dairy products or milk tend to make naans softer and fluffier. Full-fat yoghurt not only adds a tangy flavour but also contributes to the soft texture of naans. The natural fats in yoghurt act as a tenderiser, keeping the dough moist and supple. You can also add milk to the dough to provide it with an extra layer of richness. The proteins and sugars in milk contribute to a softer crumb and a more flavorful naan.
Alternatively, you can also use ghee in the dough which; it has a fat content which helps prevent the naans from becoming dry. Similarly, sugar also helps in moisture retention. It doesn't make the naans overly sweet but helps balance the taste and texture.
Preparation Of The Dough Is Key
When you’re making naan at home, proper kneading is important for developing gluten, which gives structure to the naan. Knead the dough until it becomes elastic and smooth, ensuring a soft and pliable texture. Allowing the dough to rest is essential. This period of rest allows the gluten to relax, making the dough easier to roll and resulting in a more tender naan.
The extended resting time, whether at room temperature or in the refrigerator, enhances both flavour and texture and also helps the naan hold the texture for quite some time so it doesn’t become hard.
How To Cook It?
Cooking naans on a surface with high heat, such as a tandoor, grill, or preheated oven, can help the bread achieve its characteristic puffiness and soft interior. The rapid temperature rise creates steam within the naan, contributing to its softness. Brushing the naans with melted ghee or butter immediately after cooking not only enhances the flavour but also adds a layer of moisture. This can help in maintaining softness, especially as the naans cool.
A common way to store naaans is by wrapping them in a clean, dry cloth or towel once they’re cooked. This method prevents them from drying out while maintaining a pleasant texture and they can be softer for a few days.
If you're not planning to consume the naans immediately, store them in airtight containers. This helps seal in moisture and prevents them from becoming stale. While plastic bags may protect against drying, they can also trap excess moisture, resulting in a soggy texture. Opt for breathable alternatives like cloth or paper.
Room Temperature vs. Refrigeration
If you plan to consume the naans within a day or two, storing them at room temperature in a cloth or airtight container is sufficient. This helps maintain their softness without the need for refrigeration. For longer storage, especially beyond a few days, consider refrigerating or freezing the naans. This prevents them from drying out and extends their shelf life.
Are you reheating your naans right? Reheating naans with steam is an effective method for restoring moisture. Place the naans in a steamer or a covered container with a bit of water, allowing them to heat up gently without drying out. Reheating in an oven or toaster oven is also a quick way to revive the freshness of naans. Preheat the oven and warm the naans for a few minutes until they regain their softness.