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The Weird Chick

Naan Pizza Dough

May 20th,2014


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Naan Pizza Dough

Indian food is my favourite food. I absolutely love it. When I was in grades six and seven, I attended a school with a very large population of Middle Eastern students, and along with the customary pizza days, we also had samosa days. That was my very first introduction to foods from that part of the world, and I loved it. I don’t know why I never pursued it further until almost ten years later when I was working at a pizza place in the same plaza as an Indian restaurant. I used to go there to get samosas when I was hungry, since I was sick of the cheap pizzas we made. They had awesome beef samosas. I ended up branching out and trying a few actual meals, including butter chicken and, my favourite, vindaloo, and actually worked there briefly as a bartender a year later. Ever since then, I have been a fiend for Indian cuisine.

My fiancé loves butter chicken. It’s one of his favourite foods. I decided to be the Best Fiancée Ever and combine butter chicken with one of his other favourite foods, pizza. I have a regular pizza dough recipe, but it wasn’t quite right. It’s wasn’t “authentic” enough. So I decided to use naan as the crust. I wanted the texture to be more like a regular pizza crust, but I wanted it to taste like naan. I looked at a few naan recipes, noted the typical ingredients, and began experimenting. I would say that this was a total success. It was crispy and fluffy and had that distinct naan taste. With butter chicken sauce instead of tomato sauce, and cooked chicken breast on top, it was amazingly delicious. So good. I made two 14″ pizzas, expecting to have leftovers, but they were both gone in minutes. It was just me, the boy, and two of my friends.

This recipe is just for the dough. I do not have my own butter chicken recipe. I have used various recipes from the internet before, but on this particular day, I just used a jarred butter chicken sauce from the grocery store. I cooked the chicken breast chunks in various typical Indian spices (cumin and turmeric for example), though you can use a pre-made Indian spice mix (I have done so on many occasions), and added some dried fenugreek leaves. I’ve wanted to add paneer (Indian cottage cheese) cubes so many times, but I’ve only seen them at one grocery store and I never remember to get them.

Naan Pizza Dough

Make any kind of pizza you want with this dough, not just butter chicken! I really want to make a vindaloo pizza, but I haven’t gotten around to it yet (there are some heat-sensitive people in this house). I plan on learning some more cultural flatbread recipes and turning them into interesting pizzas. I have a few ideas written down, I just need to find the time to make them and the money for the ingredients! I love foreign cuisines. Oh man.

The yogurt is what makes the dough. I usually use plain yogurt, but have also used plain Greek yogurt. If you use Greek yogurt, you will need to add more water and milk, maybe even a little olive oil. Greek yogurt is thicker and will result in a much drier dough if you do not add the extra liquid. How much extra? I don’t know; I just eyeball it. Sorry!

Naan Pizza Dough
Serves 6
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
1 hr 25 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
1 hr 25 min
Ingredients
  1. 491g Bread Flour
  2. 49g Warm Water
  3. 147g Warm Milk
  4. 172g Plain Yogurt
  5. 10g Salt
  6. 10g Quick-Rise or Active Dry Yeast
  7. 20g Sugar
Instructions
  1. If you are using Active Dry Yeast, fill a 2-cup measuring cup with 1/4 cups warm water. Hot water will kill your yeast, cold water will not activate it. Add one teaspoon of sugar, and add all your yeast. Mix it together and let it sit until it gets nice and foamy. If you are using Quick Rise Yeast, skip this step.
  2. Place the bowl of your stand mixer on a kitchen scale and add the flour, salt, and sugar. If you are using Quick Rise Yeast, add that as well, and whisk together. Add the water, milk, and yogurt next, and if you used Active Dry Yeast, add the foamy mixture as well. Put the bowl on your mixer, and, with the dough hook attachment, mix and knead until the dough is smooth and pulls away from the sides of the bowl, about 8 minutes or so. Check for a gluten window, and if you get one, great! The dough is ready.
  3. If you used Active Dry Yeast, place the dough into a well-greased bowl, cover, and let it rise somewhere warm until doubled in size, about 45 minutes to an hour. Once risen, remove it from the bowl and cut into two 450g pieces. If you used Quick Rise, let it rest for ten minutes, then remove it from the bowl and cut it into two 450g pieces. Roll your two 450g pieces into round dough balls, place them on a large covered baking sheet, and let them rise for another 45-60 minutes, until doubled in size. If you over-proof them, it's okay. The softer they are, the easier they are to stretch.
  4. Take your dough balls and roll them in olive oil and then in cornmeal or semolina. I used semolina this time, but usually use cornmeal. On a flat surface, hand-stretch the dough to size, or use a rolling pin. If you use a rolling pin, they will be much denser and flatter than the ones I made and will not look like the pictures. To hand-stretch, place your non-dominant hand on the edge of the dough as an anchor, and with your dominant hand, stretch the dough up and away, while turning the dough around with your anchor hand. If you're anchoring with your left hand, work clockwise. If you are anchoring with your right hand, work counter-clockwise. If this is confusing (which I'm sure it is), look up a video on how to hand-stretch a pizza. There are a few methods. I will try to make a video myself at some point!
  5. Preheat your oven to 500°F. I like to bake the crust alone a bit before topping it, because I find it cooks better. I have a bad oven, though. I use a pizza screen, which is basically just a mesh circle (I got mine at a restaurant supply store that is open to the public), but you can use a pizza pan or a pizza stone (on the lowest oven rack) if you want. My pizza stone sucked so much; I have had much more luck with the screen. Place the stretched dough on the screen, pan, or onto a pizza peel if you are using a stone, and place in the oven on the lowest rack. Bake for about two minutes, and then remove from the oven. Remove with a pizza peel.
  6. Top it however you like (I used butter chicken sauce and cubed chicken breast), and then put it back into the oven, baking until golden brown and crispy, about eight minutes or so. If you like your pizza lightly done, take it out earlier; if you like it well done, leave it in for another minute or two. Cook it to your desired level of doneness, basically.
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Naan Pizza Dough
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