Holiday Recipe: Festive Naan Pizza ~ Red, White and Green

Get into the Holiday Spirit with this gorgeous, and quite healthy appetizer. Make ahead, and heat with colorful toppings before serving. Naan dough is quite easy to make and roll – have fun with it!

Simple Naan Dough makes the perfect Holiday Appetizer. Credit: Karen Sheer

Simple Naan Dough makes the perfect Holiday Appetizer. Credit: Karen Sheer

The Holiday season is upon us – Serve your guests this creative, delicious pizza for Christmas, New Year’s Eve, or New Year’s Day

Naan Bread is simple to make at home ~ Yogurt enriches partial whole grain dough which comes together in minutes. Step by step directions for a crispy exterior and a soft chew inside – a bread base for all of your creative toppings.

The colorful Naan Pizza ready to go into the oven. Credit: Karen Sheer

The colorful Naan Pizza ready to go into the oven. Credit: Karen Sheer

Making dough at home by hand is addictive! And – quite simple. The whole process I find quite relaxing and therapeutic. As you lay the dough to rest in a bowl, covered, it will gradually expand – and develop its flavor, texture and structure. This naan dough contains yogurt (lactose-free yogurt available at health food stores) which keeps the dough moist with a chewy texture inside. The dough is then portioned into 6 pieces, shaped into discs, and rolled into oblong free-form shapes.

This method uses a cast iron skillet to “blacken” the dough – this gives it a distinct flavor before topping. The dough will “bubble-up” (gorgeous!), cook on both sides in the skillet, then simple add to a baking pan with colorful toppings in stripes. Make ahead to this point, and bake in the oven when you company is good and hungry.

Below, a recipe for 6 oval Naan Pizza Doughs. The topping directions are for 2 oval pizzas, each 4″ wide x 8″ long. Use all if you desire, and adjust for the toppings.
This is actually a simple recipe. I am being very descriptive to assure you the best success! You will get the hang of this with some experience… enjoy!

The dough portioned into six balls, quite easy once you get the hang of it. Credit: Karen Sheer

The dough portioned into six balls, quite easy once you get the hang of it. Credit: Karen Sheer

The cooked Naan, ready to top. Skillet blackened and beautifully puffed. Credit: Karen Sheer

The cooked Naan, ready to top. Skillet blackened and beautifully puffed. Credit: Karen Sheer

Ingredients for the toppings... Festive! Red, White and Green. Credit: Karen Sheer

Ingredients for the toppings… Festive! Red, White and Green. Credit: Karen Sheer

Ready to Serve - Yum! And quite healthy. Credit: Karen Sheer

Ready to Serve – Yum! And quite healthy. Credit: Karen Sheer

Karen’s Festive Naan Pizza ~ Red, White & Green Appetizer

  Ingredients:

  • ½ cup very warm water
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon natural cane sugar
  • 1 ½ tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon minced fresh garlic, (optional, but love it)
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  •  cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 ⅓ cups white bread flour
  • 4 tablespoons plain greek yogurt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons ghee or extra virgin olive oil

Method:

In a measuring cup, add the very warm water, yeast and sugar. Mix very well with a fork to dissolve. Set aside until foamy and risen, about 10 – 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, add the oil, garlic and sea salt. Mix to combine. When the yeast is ready, add to the bowl.

Add the yogurt, both flours and the baking soda. Stir with a fork until the dough just comes together.

Put the dough on a cleaned floured surface and knead for 5 minutes until smooth and elastic. This means – a round dough ball with no cracks.

Place the dough into an oiled bowl (I clean the one I made the dough in) – swirl to coat, cover with plastic wrap, and leave to rise in a draft free, warm place for 1 – 1 1/2 hours until doubled in size.

Place the dough on a floured work surface. Cut into 6 equal pie size portions. Shape each portion into rounds, leave to rest on a large plate, tossed with flour (see blog photo).

When ready to cook: heat a seasoned cast iron skillet, brushed with a small amount of neutral oil, to medium – high heat.

To cook Naan Bread:
Flour a work surface (just a little bit) and roll 2 pieces of dough into a thin oval 4″ X 8″.
When the pan is hot, sprinkle a little water on top of the dough, (keeps it crispy) and add the 2 doughs to the pan – watered side down.Take a look after 1 minute, should start to bubble all over (gorgeous!) and just darken on the bottom. If too dark, reduce the heat a bit. Turn over with tongs, reduce heat to medium-low and cook the second side until lightly browned and not yet cooked through. Do not over cook, should be a little soft and chewy inside. Remove to a rimmed baking sheet.

Roll remaining dough when the first batch cooks (for more pizzas), or place well floured balls in a ziplock bag in the refrigerator until the next day (bring to room temperature before cooking.) These also freeze beautifully.

Brush the Naan immediately with ghee or extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt.

To make Naan Bread “Pizza” with Festive toppings for the Holidays:  Recipe to top 2 Naan PizzasTop with rows of goat cheese (smoothing it), tomato sauce and pesto in stripes – 2 stripes each on each Naan.
Top one “white” stripe with pears, the other with pine nuts.
Top one “red” stripe with roasted red pepper, the other with sun dried tomatoes.
Top one “green” stripe with zucchini*, the other with broccoli* (I used all zucchini)
* Steam or sauté to soften.The Naan Pizzas can be set aside, and cooked with toppings later, up to 2 hours or refrigerate.When ready to eat, place in a warm 350 degree oven until cheese melts, and the Naan is bubbly, about 5 -10 minutes.
Cut each into 5 slices and enjoy!

Ingredients for the Festive Toppings: Directions for 2 Naan Pizzas

White:  4 tablespoons creamy goat cheese, room temperature
4 tablespoons pears (peel skins, slice thinly)
2 tablespoon pine nuts
Red:   4 tablespoons tomato sauce
4 tablespoons roasted peppers (thinly sliced)
4 tablespoons sun dried tomatoes (thinly sliced)
Green:   4 tablespoons pesto sauce
4 tablespoons zucchini (sliced thinly, semi-circles)
4 tablespoons broccoli florets (cut small)

Repeat with remaining dough to make all 6 Naan Pizzas if desired.

This recipe may not be reproduced without the permission of the author, Karen Sheer.


 

Karen SheerKaren Sheer lives and cooks in Greenwich. She is a professional chef, writer, caterer, photographer and food consultant specializing in original recipes. Her blog is “A Zest For Life”– Karen’s Obsession with Food and Style.Each recipe is inventive, original and well tested. Karen’s recipes are written to give you the feeling she is in the kitchen with you coaching step by step. Health and wellness are her passions. Karen’s recipes promote fresh, local ingredients which lead to a healthier lifestyle!

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