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Wild Garlic Naan Bread recipe  March 2018.

Wild Garlic infused home made Naan Bread recipeWild Garlic infused home made Naan Bread recipeWhilst out on an otherwise unglamorous trip to the local recycling centre I decided to make a quick stop to explore the woodland I knew so well as a child, in which an impossibly thick carpet of wild garlic and bluebells spreads across the landscape every year. I figured there just had to be something worth gathering by now… I hoped? I squinted at the darker clouds trundling overhead and for a moment considered going home and staying in, but the lure of spring and fond memories already had a hook in my imagination. Even if there was nothing there it would be good to just be treading the earth, and if I got wet I got wet! (spoiler - I got wet!)

Young Wild Garlic leaves across the woodland floor, MarchYoung Wild Garlic leaves across the woodland floor, March

I was not disappointed. My heart soared as my eyes adjusted to reveal the familiar swathes of fresh green growth as far as I could see! Later in the season the unmistakeable heady scent of garlic will be thick in the air, almost unbearably so, carrying on the breeze far across the fields to the East. Traversing the woodland floor off of the pathway without stepping on and crushing the valuable plants leads one to a log and stump hopping game akin to ‘the floor is lava’. Still early in the season for now there was enough space between the growth to tip toe, and I got to work picking a decent handful of the young leaves, sniffing each one with satisfaction as I went – the only way to be sure that you’ve not picked anything sinister by accident. I’d decide what to do with them later...

 

To learn more about Wild Garlic and how to safely identify it check out the main post here> It's a versatile plant to work with so we have plenty of recipes and info already!

 

I wanted to do something a little different with my first pick of the year, we’ll be having so many salads with it as the season progresses, and we were in need of some sandwich bread so Wild Garlic Naan bread it was to be! If you've read our original post on Wild Garlic you'll know I've tried it in Bannock Bread before but it can be a bit tough on the jaw and I wanted something pillowy soft and yeasty this time around, see below for the recipe: (of course you could sub the chopped garlic leaves for a crushed clove of cultivated garlic if you're just after a regular garlic naan, but where's the fun in that?)

 

Ingredients:

300g bread flour

1 tsp salt

1.5 tsp yeast + optional pinch of sugar

150ml warm water

5 tbsp natural yogurt (or sub some of the water for milk)

2 tbsp melted butter/ghee/coconut oil

1 handful of chopped wild garlic leaves

 

Method

1. Add the yeast to the water with the sugar of using and allow it to froth whilst you gather the other ingredients.

2. Mix the flour and salt in a bowl and bring to a dough with the melted butter, yogurt and water+yeast.

3. Chop leaves finely and add to dough, I added poppy seeds too. Traditional nigella seeds give a lovely onion flavour to the bread but I figured they would overpower the wild garlic in this version - later in the season you could include the seeds of the garlic if you can get to them at the right timing (though it excites me more to think that they’ll create yet more wild garlic plants if left to do their thing!).

4. Cover the bowl with a plate/damp towel/cling film and leave to rise in a warm place for 30 mins to an hour until roughly doubled in size.

5. Knead the dough on a floured work surface/chopping board for a minute or two (or in the bowl itself if you need to!) and divide into 4-6 pieces, depending on how big a piece you want each. We went with just 4 since they were destined to be lunch not a side, and we’re greedy… Pull or press each piece of dough into shape (traditionally tear shaped) around 1 cm thick, the yeast will continue to work to puff them up further as they wait their turn to cook so the finished bread will be thicker.

7. Dry fry each piece in a moderately hot pan until browning (approx 1 minute), flip and repeat on the other side. Keep the bread warm whilst you cook the rest and are ready to serve.

 

Spread with butter whilst still hot as a delicious side to a home made curry or stew. Alternately allow them to cool, slice carefully in half and insert your sandwich filling of choice (we have to say that the sliced steak we put in ours was pretty badass!).

 The dairy content makes for a lovely moist soft bread texture just like our Soft Rolls (find them in the oven recipes section)The dairy content makes for a lovely moist soft bread texture just like our Soft Rolls (find them in the oven recipes section)

 

The flavour of Wild Garlic leaves is not as strong as a clove of the cultivated garlic we’re used to and chopped into bread it imparts subtle notes of onion – perfect sandwich bread for sliced beef, egg or chicken mayo. I even took it a step further and fried a chunk of the leftover bread in my Netherton Foundry iron pan with some cherry tomatoes and egg for a cheeky half fry-up! 

 Netherton Foundry iron camping / glamping pan with folding handle

Note: Wild Garlic loves rich earth and ancient woodland, take care when gathering to be sure that a. you are in fact allowed to be gathering anything at all in that location and b. that you don’t trample any important species whilst you do so.

 

Since making these, as usual I’ve been thinking of more ways to adapt the recipe - I bet subbing the melted butter/oil for pesto would really pack a punch! What do you reckon? Let us know what you’d do/have done with the recipe in the comments below, we’d love to hear from you!


Sarah is an artist and writer with a lifetime interest in camping and survival techniques.

Living the #vanlife since before it was a hashtag and touring on two wheels with her husband Ryan, they have a wealth of camping and motorcycling knowledge to share, and know a thing or two about packing light! read more


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