General Question

nebule's avatar

Why do we sprinkle water over naan bread before we put it in the oven?

Asked by nebule (16436points) April 19th, 2009

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6 Answers

Harp's avatar

This allows for better expansion in the oven. As soon as the exterior dries, the loaf becomes encased in an inflexible shell and can no longer develop. You eventually do want the crust to form, but only after the loaf has expanded. Sprinkling with water allows some extra time for this expansion.

The extra moisture on the surface also helps the starch of the flour to gelatinize, which improves both the texture and the color of the surface

skfinkel's avatar

If you put water on a stale loaf of bread and stick it in the oven, it also freshens it up.

Darwin's avatar

If you are heating up store-bought naan, the water helps it stay soft and flexible, instead of becoming hard and crispy.

Harp's avatar

@Darwin I had assumed that she was talking about baking naan from scratch, but I bet your interpretation is right.

Darwin's avatar

@Harp – The only reason it popped into my head was that I almost bought some store-bought naan today. For some reason my husband doesn’t want to go to our local Indian/Middle Eastern cafe any longer so periodically I get a sudden craving, but not one strong enough for me to make it from scratch.

nebule's avatar

Yes – I was talking about store bought Naan…(but all very interesting!) thank you all…I shall never neglect the sprinkling ever again xxx

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