Nigella seeds are typically found in Indian and Middle Eastern cuisines. It is no surprise then that we find them in bread such as Naan. They have a hard crunchy texture and a light earthy flavor. This flavor can be described as having notes of oregano, onion, and black pepper. In addition to this tastiness that Nigella seeds provide us, they are also known to have several health benefits.
For this recipe, it is only fitting that we incorporate these traditional seeds into a traditional bread. Naan is believed to originated in Persian areas where it would commonly be rolled into an oval shape, baked, and eaten in the morning. You can sign me up for breakfast naan any day!
To spruce this naan up even more, we utilize the diverse flavors of a seasoning called Za'atar. While you can buy Za'atar already made, it is just as easy to blend it yourself. It uses a rare spice called sumac and blends it with more common spices such as sesame seeds and black pepper. Note that when we sprinkle it over the naan here, a little goes a long way. If you add a small amount and want more, by all means, add some more but I highly suggest starting with a pinch per naan! Follow the recipe below to experience a whole new kind of naan bread.
- 1 teaspoon nigella seed
- 2 teaspoons dry yeast
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 4 cups flour
- 1 egg
- 1 cup plain yogurt
- 1 cup milk
- 1 tablespoon ghee (melted)
- 1 tablespoon za'atar
- 1/2 cup olive oil (more or less as needed)
Preheat oven to 375 F.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the yeast, nigella seeds, and baking powder. Stir until well mixed. Add in the flour and repeat mixing until all ingredients are well combined.
Set aside and warm the cup of milk in a small saucepan until lukewarm only. It should be close to room temperature. It is not important to be exact, just so long as the milk is not specifically hot or cold.
Then, in a separate small mixing bowl place the egg, yogurt, milk, and melted ghee. Once combined, pour into the spice and flour mixture.
Mix together until a ball of dough forms. Knead the dough until it is elastic enough to build loaves with. Separate the dough into 8 equal parts.
Create oval shaped with the dough and flatten until about 1/2 inch thick.
Place 2-3 on a baking sheet at a time. Place in the oven for 15 minutes on the middle rack. If the top does not appear brown at this time, place the baking sheet on the top rack for 2 minutes.
Remove from the oven and drizzle lightly with olive oil. Sprinkle a pinch of Za'atar on each loaf and place in a bread basket to keep warm. Repeat the cooking process with the additional uncooked loaves.
Once all loaves are cooked serve with fresh hummus or Taziki.