The alphabet X is always the toughest in any A-Z series. I was looking for any bread, but came with zero results. Then I searched for the breads in Chinese cuisine and I got lucky. Xinjiang is China’s far west region and the cuisine is Uyghur. As it is located in the Central Asia, it is so near to Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. It is the home for Turkic-speaking Islamic Uyghur people and the cuisine is wonderful. This is one of the oasis towns on the ancient silk road. I saw so many videos on the street food available in Xinjiang and this bread is one of the popular ones. The nang bing or the naan bread is a leavened flat bread baked in tandoor ovens. They vary in size. You get small bagel like bread to breads which resemble huge platters. The decorative patterns are made with a special tool made with nails and once baked they are so beautiful. They come in varieties too. Some are made plain whereas some are topped with sesame seeds. Some have onions as the topping. There are also sweet version of the bread but I couldn’t find a recipe for that. So I made the simpler sesame studded bread.
Replicating a tandoor oven in a home oven is tough. The bread takes a long time to bake in oven as the temperature is low when compared to tandoor. Also the top is golden whereas the ones baked in tandoor have a deep brown which is actually so lovely. The making of the dough is so much like the other yeast based dough recipes, so it is quite easy. I watched so many videos on shaping the bread to understand their technique. They use a special tool, but as I couldn’t get that I used my cookie decorating tool to make the impressions. Though I am not 100% satisfied, my daughter loved it. This was the last bread I made for this month and now I am happy.
Makes 1 Bread
All Purpose Flour / Maida – 1 1/2 cups
Salt – 3/4 tsp
Sugar – 2 tbs
Instant Yeast – 1 tsp
Butter – 1 tbs
Yogurt / Curd – 2 tbs
Water – 1/4 cup
Sesame Seeds For Topping
In a bowl mix together flour, sugar, salt and instant yeast.
Add in butter and yogurt and mix well.
Add water to make a soft dough. If needed add a tsp to tablespoon of water extra.
Cover and let the dough rest for 10 minutes.
Knead the dough for a minute or two and cover and set aside until double in volume.
Preheat oven to 250°C.
Punch the dough down, shape it into a ball.
Now press it with your fingers to make a large disc which is thicker on the edges and thinner in the middle.
Using a cookie press or bottom of the cup, make designs in the centre of the dic. You can also use a fork to do that.
Apply milk wash and sprinkle sesame seeds on top.
Gently slide the shaped bread into the hot tray in the oven.
Bake for 10 – 15 minutes or until golden.
Serve it hot out of oven or at room temperature.