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Naan and Pide experiments on steel

calikingcaliking Posts: 4,996
Set aside the the morning today to play around with the Tuff Guy steel doohickey I had fabbed. The goal was to try out making naan on the egg, then I remembered that I had some lamb in the freezer. Was feeling to lazy to do an Indian/Tandoori style cook, so I settled on trying to make pide for the first time.

Pide are essentially Turkish pizzas. The dough is similar. I tried them for the first time when we moved to Houston a few years back, and love the ones at Istanbul Grill in Rice Village.

I tried 2 dough experiments. 
One: overnight fermentation, no yeast, yogurt for leavening agent, no baking powder, milk instead of water. Many naan recipes do not include yeast, but use baking powder instead. I skipped the baking powder, because I wanted to try and make an "old school" recipe. I don't think naan makers in Southwest Asia had yeast, and even in India today, yeast is essentially a part of European/Western style baking. Naan recipes on the interwebs are usually extrapolated from pizza dough recipes, and that irks me a little.

Two: Made a second batch of dough this morning, included a little yeast and a little baking powder, yogurt, and milk. Mixed it all up and let it rise for a few hours.

Made up the lamb mix for the pide using, ground lamb, onions, cumin, some turkish kabab spice mix that a friend gave me a long time ago, green chiles, tomatoes, garlic, salt.
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Fired up the large egg, grid raised direct with the large Tuff Guy on it, griddle side up, so it was raised 2" up into the dome. When the dome temp hit 600ish, the steel was 650ish. Threw the first naan on, from the overnight, non yeast dough. About 2 minutes and it burned on the bottom, without cooking fully on the top = fail.
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Closed the bottom vent and let the operation cool down a bit. When the steel temp was about 500ish, I tried another naan with the overnight dough. Results were slightly better. I flipped it after about a minute to cook the other side. It did not taste like a naan, more like a parantha. Yogurt alone may not be enough for leavening was my conclusion.
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On to the next round, with the yeast dough. Results were satisfatcory - the naan was thin, puffy at the edges, but kinda eggy. Had to flip it after a minute to cook the other side. I consider this defeat, because naans shouldn't need to be flipped. In a tandoor, the naan is parallel to the column of heat,  one side cooks from the wall of the tandoor, and heat from the coals cooks the other side. This will be hard to replicate in an egg, since the naan is horizontal, in between the coals and the dome. There may be a way around this, but that is another set of eggperiments I have in mind, which involves messing with a clay pot. More on that later.
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Now for the pide! Used the yeast dough. First one was an egg and cheese pide. I only had string mozz in the refrigerator, but it was pretty good. Worth trying again some time. The meat one was also quite good. Had to broil them  indoors to brown and cook the top though. 
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I was left with some of the overnight non-yeast dough, so I figured to go for broke and make some kind of meat pocket. In the egg for about 2 ins, then under the broiler for about 2 mins. They did puff up nicely though.  I'm sure it has a Turkish or other name, I just don't know what it is. Have not tasted these yet, so I'll have to let y'all know later. Will likely be eaten for breakfat during the week. 
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Conclusions: Tandoor beats the egg for naans ( so far). Need to play around with the dough recipe some more, but I think there is hope. Yogurt alone is not sufficient for leavening, so a little yeast is necessary. 
  
All in all, I had a fun day, egging by the pool, and eating the results of my eggsperiments. Life could be a lot worse ! :)

#1 LBGE December 2012 • #2 SBGE February  2013 • #3 Mini May 2013
A happy BGE family in Houston, TX.

Comments

  • ddeggerddegger Posts: 244
    Sounds like a great day - pide looks awesome!
  • ScottborasjrScottborasjr Posts: 1,916
    Looks like a good day to me, I really need to start playing with making my own breads and doughs.
    I raise my kids, cook and golf.  When work gets in the way I'm pissed, I'm pissed off 48 weeks a year.
    Inbetween Iowa and Colorado, not close to anything remotely entertaining outside of football season. 
  • travisstricktravisstrick Posts: 4,123
    I made some naan on my xl a few days ago.

    Plate setter with adj rig on top and a thick stone as high as I could get it. The lump was as hot as I could go (1,000 or so)

    It turned out perfect.
    Be careful, man! I've got a beverage here.
  • Solson005Solson005 Posts: 1,841
    It all looks great! I have never attempted naan and would love to try sometime. Looks like the tuff guy was a success and I look forward to many more posts using it! 
    Large & Small BGE, CGW Two-Tier Swing Rack for BOTH EGGS, Spider for the Wok, eggCARTen & and Cedar Pergola my Eggs call home in Edmond, OK. 
  • calikingcaliking Posts: 4,996
    @travisstrick: Mind if I pimp you about your setup? How high above gasket/felt line was your stone? Did the top brown nicely, or did you have to flip the naan  to cook both sides? Was the DFMT on?

    Getting it high in the dome is probably key. The steel behaves better at 500ish, so I may revert to a stone. 

    #1 LBGE December 2012 • #2 SBGE February  2013 • #3 Mini May 2013
    A happy BGE family in Houston, TX.
  • Solson005Solson005 Posts: 1,841
    edited May 2013
    I like @Little Steven method in a thread from 2011 Naan on the Egg with two platesetters. 
    Large & Small BGE, CGW Two-Tier Swing Rack for BOTH EGGS, Spider for the Wok, eggCARTen & and Cedar Pergola my Eggs call home in Edmond, OK. 
  • calikingcaliking Posts: 4,996
    @Solson005: thanks for that link, I bookmarked it. How high is a plate setter? I don't have one, so I can't measure it myself. That method too requires flipping the naan, which I am trying to avoid. I'm probably shooting for what the OP  in that thread was aiming for - thinner naans. Many of the recipes I've seen produce thicker, more bready naans which are more similar to the Central Asian or Middle Eastern versions.  

    The Tuff Guy seems to work well. I have yet to try the other applications that it is capable of - platesetter mode, griddle mode, tandoor cover, etc.

    #1 LBGE December 2012 • #2 SBGE February  2013 • #3 Mini May 2013
    A happy BGE family in Houston, TX.
  • Solson005Solson005 Posts: 1,841
    edited May 2013
    I will get some measurements for you so you can adjust the tuff guy accordingly. 

    By the way love seeing your pool peering out through the pictures 
    B-)
    Large & Small BGE, CGW Two-Tier Swing Rack for BOTH EGGS, Spider for the Wok, eggCARTen & and Cedar Pergola my Eggs call home in Edmond, OK. 
  • Black_BadgerBlack_Badger Posts: 775
    Dude, @caliking, every time I see one of your posts I realize there are about a million more things I need to cook on the Egg. Very good looking cook!

    Cheers -
    B_B
    Badger at heart, living in SoCal

    Carlsbad, CA
  • calikingcaliking Posts: 4,996
    @Black_Badger: thanks. Today was mostly business i.e. I ended up egging something, but it was somewhat of an afterthought. But that's the best part - you get to eat the results of the eggsperiment!

    @Solson005: Like I've said before, cooking outside is better and cheaper than therapy! The water is more taunting than peering. Sparkling water, beautiful day, but still too chilly to jump in. Soon though... 

    #1 LBGE December 2012 • #2 SBGE February  2013 • #3 Mini May 2013
    A happy BGE family in Houston, TX.
  • CanuggheadCanugghead Posts: 3,583
    edited May 2013
    @Caliking, looking forward to your 'vertical' naan eggsperiment, stick it or hang it inside a flower pot placed inside the egg?
    Vaughan, ON, Canada

  • ChubbsChubbs Posts: 3,588
    Looks great Cali. I make my own naan too but I usually make mine in batches on a skillet inside then reheat on the egg when I cook the meat to give it a little smokiness. Maybe I will try on the egg
    Columbia, SC --- LBGE 2011 -- MINI BGE 2013
  • ChubbsChubbs Posts: 3,588
    What if you have a hot stone in an AR one setting above another stone. Maybe the bottom stone will cook the bottom and the heat from the top stone will cook the top??
    Columbia, SC --- LBGE 2011 -- MINI BGE 2013
  • Little StevenLittle Steven Posts: 26,030
    caliking said:
    @Solson005: thanks for that link, I bookmarked it. How high is a plate setter? I don't have one, so I can't measure it myself. That method too requires flipping the naan, which I am trying to avoid. I'm probably shooting for what the OP  in that thread was aiming for - thinner naans. Many of the recipes I've seen produce thicker, more bready naans which are more similar to the Central Asian or Middle Eastern versions.  

    The Tuff Guy seems to work well. I have yet to try the other applications that it is capable of - platesetter mode, griddle mode, tandoor cover, etc.

    caliking,

    The two platesetters were high enough that I had to orient them away from the thermo or they collided.

     

    Steve

    Steve 

    Caledon, ON

     

  • Little StevenLittle Steven Posts: 26,030

    Here is the dough recipe if you need it

    4 cups White Flour (Maida)
    1/2 tsp Baking powder
    1 tsp Salt
    1/4 cup Milk
    1/4 cup plain youghurt
    1 tbsp Sugar
    1 Egg
    4 tbsp Ghee

    Sift the flour, salt and baking powder into a bowl and make a well in the middle.
    Mix the sugar, milk, youghurt, eggs 2tbsp of ghee in a bowl.
    Pour this into the center of the flour and knead adding water if necessary to form soft dough.
    Add the remaining ghee, knead again, then cover with damp cloth and allow the dough to stand for 15 minutes. Knead the dough again and cover and leave for 2-3 hours.
    Get the egg to nuke temps half an hour before
    Divide the dough into 8 balls and allow rest for 3-4 minutes.
    Shape each ball of dough with the palms to make an oval shape.
    Toss on the hot platesetter until browning on the bottom, brush with ghee and flip
    Cook til bottom is brown/black brush with ghee and pull.
    Wrap in foil til all breads are done.

    Steve 

    Caledon, ON

     

  • travisstricktravisstrick Posts: 4,123
    edited May 2013
    My second and highest stone was way up there. I'll get a pic when I get home. I didn't use a daisy wheel.

    No flipping needed.
    Be careful, man! I've got a beverage here.
  • Little StevenLittle Steven Posts: 26,030

    Travis,

    That was before Tom even made the adjustable rig. Haven't made it since

    Steve 

    Caledon, ON

     

  • calikingcaliking Posts: 4,996
    @Canugghead: a couple of options I have thought of are: 
    -stick the naans right on the inside of the dome
    -cut the bottom off of a clay pot and then cut a wide longitudinal wedge out. Invert and place in the egg to make a tandoor of sorts. Stick the naan to the clay pot, so that one side of it sees the fire.
    - raise the grid to gasket level. Two bricks on the grid. Stone on the bricks. Place the naan on the stone, then flip it so that one side sees the fire. 

    I'm open to other suggestions. 

    @Chubbs: I had not thought of that way,  bit it would be worth try. I might place the steel on top since it may radiate more heat than a stone. Ideally, I would like one side of the naan to see the fire, and to not have to move hot objects around during the cook. I'll add your suggestion to the list. Thanks :)

    @Little Steven: Thanks for the recipe. I see that you use a non-yeast recipe, and that it has more sugar than I'm used to seeing. Does yoghurt need more sugar to feed the live cultures? That may be why my non-yeast dough did not rise much. I'll give it another chance.

    @travisstrick: would love to see your setup, especially if it did not require flipping the naan. I must not have had the naan high enough in the dome. 

    #1 LBGE December 2012 • #2 SBGE February  2013 • #3 Mini May 2013
    A happy BGE family in Houston, TX.
  • travisstricktravisstrick Posts: 4,123
    Here is the setup I used. Plate setter legs up and an adj rig on top with a stone on top of that. I measured from the top stone to the upper lip of the egg opening, the distance is the same as the plastic part of the lighter. Maybe 5 inches from stone to outside of the egg so It is pretty high up. imageimageimage
    Be careful, man! I've got a beverage here.
  • travisstricktravisstrick Posts: 4,123
    Here is an iPhone pic of the bread with some squash curry. image
    Be careful, man! I've got a beverage here.
  • ChubbsChubbs Posts: 3,588
    Yeah, I am thinking something like Travis' setup, only put the steel on top of the AR, and remove the indirect piece underneath. That way the fire will take care of bottom and maybe a hotass piece of steel will take care of top...  :))
    Columbia, SC --- LBGE 2011 -- MINI BGE 2013
  • GadflyGadfly Posts: 112

    If I may, I like to make a small correction regarding this comment:

    " I don't think naan makers in Southwest Asia had yeast, and even in India today, yeast is essentially a part of European/Western style baking."

    They may not have yeast but they use a little bit leftover dough from previous day/week instead and I believe that would do exactly what yeast does.

    My wife used to make yogurt and she would use some leftover yogurt (sour and at the edge of going green!) instead of yeast.

  • calikingcaliking Posts: 4,996
    edited May 2013
    @travisstrick: thanks for the pics. i will try and adapt a similar setup for my large egg. And that plate looks delicious, BTW. I love squash.

    @Chubbs: thanks for the tip. I'll play around with the setup to see what can work. That steel does get freakin hot!

    @Gadfly: you are absolutely right. I was maybe not clear in what I was trying to say. What I meant was that other agents i.e. yogurt are used as a leavening agent, instead of yeast. The concept of leavening by fermentation has been known in that part of the world for a long time. If you are familiar with bhatura (as in chhole bhatura), that dough is also leavened with yogurt traditionally, but in Western kitchens it is easier to use yeast.

    My mom used to make yogurt at home and it was the best! I did too for a while, but the quality of store yogurt improved somewhat, so I stopped. 

    #1 LBGE December 2012 • #2 SBGE February  2013 • #3 Mini May 2013
    A happy BGE family in Houston, TX.
  • GriffinGriffin Posts: 5,988
    ^:)^ My hat off to you, Sir!! Whta a cool cook even if it didn't come out the way you wanted. You'll get there, of that I am sure. Wish I knew more about food like that. I am ignorant when it comes to cuisine from that part of the world.

    Richardson, Texas

    Griffin's Grub or you can find me on Facebook

     

  • calikingcaliking Posts: 4,996
    edited May 2013
    @Griffin: that's a great compliment - I've seen your cooks! I know just enough, about many things, to be dangerous. :)

    #1 LBGE December 2012 • #2 SBGE February  2013 • #3 Mini May 2013
    A happy BGE family in Houston, TX.
  • How did I miss this cook?! I am so intrigued and will be tuning in to your future experiments.... I just need to remember to check the forum a little more often!
  • calikingcaliking Posts: 4,996
    @Girl_on_Grill: i'm going to wait a bit to see how the first round of Baking Steel cooks go, now that people have them. I think the next time i will include yeast doughs that have cold-fermented for 1 day and 3-4 days as well. Also, I think the steel needs a stone underneath it to keep the bottom from cooking so much faster than the top. 

    #1 LBGE December 2012 • #2 SBGE February  2013 • #3 Mini May 2013
    A happy BGE family in Houston, TX.
  • Girl_on_GrillGirl_on_Grill Posts: 68
    edited May 2013
    What about the sand wok/heat sink method? http://eggheadforum.com/discussion/1150605/wok-sand/p1 I tried this for a baguette cook and was really happy with the results. The thing about yeast is the taste really comes through & the objective is to use as little as possible and let time and temp do the job.... I wonder if your traditional naan recipe can be tweaked to longer, colder rest and no yeast? I love, Love, LOVE the idea of sticking the naan to the inside of the dome, but the clay pot idea has merit & engineering brownie points as well. Keep me posted!
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