Obi non

Thick naan

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Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Medium

  • Makes

    6

Appears in

Lands of the Curry Leaf

Lands of the Curry Leaf

By Peter Kuruvita

Published 2018

  • About

Also known as lepyoshka, obi non is an Afghan flat bread that is shaped like a disc and thicker than naan, and baked in a clay oven called a tandyr. A tandoor or tandyr will obviously impart a better flavour; the next best thing would be to use a coal barbecue and a pizza stone, or even a pizza oven — but a regular oven will also do.

These flat breads are traditionally stamped with patterns such as flowers using special bread stamps, but the important thing is to make an indent in the centre, so they will rise on the outside.

Preparation 20 minutes + 3–4 hours proving
Cooking 5 minutes

Ingredients

  • 500 ml (17 fl oz/2 cups) lukewarm water
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 20 g (¾ oz/6 teaspoons) active dried yeast
  • 2 tablespoons melted ghee, plus extra for greasing
  • 1 kg (2 lb 4 oz) plain (all-purpose) flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt

Method

Place the water, sugar and yeast in a large bowl and set aside for 5–10 minutes, or until frothy. Add the melted ghee and stir through to combine.

Sift the flour into a large bowl and mix the salt through. Make a well in the flour mixture and pour the yeasty water into it. Bring the ingredients together and knead into a dough, adding more water or flour if needed, and turning the dough into itself, until the mixture leaves the side of the bowl and you have a soft, elastic dough. This will take at least 6–10 minutes of firm kneading.

Place in a greased bowl and cover with a damp tea towel. Leave the mixture to prove in a warm place for 3–4 hours, or until doubled in size.

Preheat the oven to 220°C (425°F). Place a large baking tray in the oven to heat up with the oven.

Remove the tea towel, punch the dough down and knead it in the bowl for 2–3 minutes. Divide the dough into six evenly sized portions and roll them into balls.

Flatten each into a round bread about 10 cm (4 inches) wide, 2–3 cm (¾–1¼ inches) thick at the edges, and 5 mm (¼ inch) thick in the centre.

Traditionally, the cook will usually then make a pattern in the centre with a chekish (bread stamp), but I have found that if you just push five fingertips of one hand into the middle, you will imprint each naan with your own unique stamp!

Transfer to the baking tray and bake for 3–5 minutes, or until golden brown.

The naan are nice straight away, but can also be gently reheated for serving. They are quite rustic and chewy.