Bake

Margherita Naan Pizza

February 28, 2019
Photo by Jenny Huang
Author Notes

From Nik Sharma's 'Season': I like to pair dishes, like a Margherita pizza, with bold, unconventional flavors, like coriander and nigella seeds. Using cracked coriander seeds, rather than ground, enhances the flavor of the chili flakes. Nigella seeds pair well with tomatoes. A little sprinkle over this fresh tomato-topped pizza gives the tomatoes a fragrant, nutty flavor. You can also use olive oil instead of ghee if you prefer. —Nik Sharma

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Margherita Naan Pizza
  • Prep time 4 hours 30 minutes
  • Cook time 10 minutes
  • Makes 2 individual pizzas
Ingredients
  • Margherita Naan Pizza
  • Dough of 1 recipe Naan (see below)
  • 2 teaspoons all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling out the pizza
  • 2 teaspoons coriander seeds
  • 2 teaspoons nigella seeds
  • 2 teaspoons dried red chili flakes
  • 2 teaspoons cornmeal or semolina
  • 1 cup [185 g] cherry tomatoes, halved crosswise
  • 1 cup [160 g] grape tomatoes, halved lengthwise
  • 1 cup [80 g] shredded mozzarella
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
  • 1 tablespoon flaky sea salt, such as Maldon
  • Naan
  • 1/2 cup [120 ml] whole milk, heated to 105 to 115°F [41 to 46°C]
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons plain full-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
  • 2 cups [280 g] all-purpose flour or whole-wheat pastry flour, plus more for rolling out the naans
In This Recipe
Directions
  1. Margherita Naan Pizza
  2. Place a baking steel or pizza stone on a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 500°F [260°C] for 30 minutes. Divide the dough into two equal parts and shape into balls. Cover one ball with a kitchen towel. On a clean, lightly floured work surface, roll the remaining ball into a circle 1/8 in [4 mm] thick and 12 in [30 cm] in diameter. Cover loosely with a kitchen towel. Repeat with the second ball of dough.
  3. Crack the coriander lightly with a mortar and pestle, add the nigella seeds and chili flakes, and set aside.
  4. Prepare one pizza at a time: Flip over a baking sheet, wrong-side up, and place a sheet of parchment paper on the baking sheet. Sprinkle 1 tsp of the flour and 1 tsp of the cornmeal on the parchment to coat evenly. Place a rolled-out circle of dough on top of the paper and drizzle with a little melted ghee. Spread out half of the tomatoes over the dough. Sprinkle with half the mozzarella and 1 Tbsp of the spices in the mortar. Slide the circle of dough onto the preheated baking steel, discard the parchment paper, and shut the oven door. Lower the heat to 425°F [220°C] and bake until the edges of the crust start to turn golden, 10 to 12 minutes. Garnish with half the chopped chives and flaky salt, and drizzle with a little extra ghee. Repeat with the remaining circle of dough and serve the pizzas hot.
  5. Additional notes: Get a baking stone or baking steel sheet to get a fantastic crust with the nice char. For the last 2 minutes, set the broiler on to get a nice blistered char to recreate that fire oven finish. Otherwise, this recipe can be used on a grill or smoker. I usually line the base of the grates with foil or use a baking stone or steel and then proceed as usual.
  1. Naan
  2. Using a fork, whisk the milk, egg, yogurt, butter, sugar, and salt in a small bowl. Sprinkle with the yeast and let sit for 5 minutes. The mixture should be bubbly on the surface.
  3. Put the flour in a large bowl or mound on a clean work surface and make a well in the center. Pour the yeast mixture into the middle of the well. Using clean hands or a large wooden spoon, gradually mix the flour from the inside wall of the well into the liquid to form a sticky dough. Knead well for 4 to 5 minutes.
  4. Fold the dough by grabbing it from the underside and stretching it and folding it back over itself. Rotate a quarter of a turn and repeat three or four times. Brush a large bowl with a little oil and put the dough in the bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise in a dark, warm place until doubled in size, about 4 hours.
  5. Proceed with above recipe for Margherita Naan Pizza.

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Nik Sharma is the writer, photographer, and recipe developer behind A Brown Table, an award-winning blog that has garnered best-ofs from Saveur, Better Homes & Gardens, and the International Association of Culinary Professions. His weekly column, A Brown Kitchen, appears in the San Francisco Chronicle and has written for Saveur, Taste, Food52, Eater, among others. His first cookbook, Season: Big Flavors, Beautiful Food was released on October 2018. He was also featured in America, the Great Cookbook. Nik lives in Oakland, California.