We experiment with three different mixes to satisfy our particularly peculiar cravings!
We find ourselves at Japan’s budget-friendly Italian restaurant chain Saizeriya a lot. Not only is it so affordable that it’s actually hard to spend a lot of money there, their food is also really good for a cheap restaurant, good enough that some people wouldn’t really sniff too hard if you take them there on a date (so long as you aren’t making it known that you’re taking them there because it’s cheap).
One of our favorite things to eat at Saizeriya actually isn’t one of their main dishes, but their focaccia, which they offer as a side dish. It’s seriously good, chewy and soft with a hint of salt and a light sweetness that complement each other perfectly.
In fact, we were munching on it at lunch one day when we noticed that the texture of the dough is actually sort of like naan, another type of bread we dearly love. This go us thinking: could we combine the things we love about these two different types of bread by cooking store-bought naan mix in a focaccia style?
So we decided to buy three different naan mixtures from three different brands, Mujirushi Ryohin (a.k.a. Muji), Kaldi, and House Foods Group, to see if we could make our own super tasty Saizeriya-inspired naan/focaccia hybrid. We cooked each naan mix according to the package directions, using the same ingredients and methods, but with two changes: first, since Saizeriya’s focaccia has an olive oil flavor to it, we wanted to add olive oil to each mix. Second, instead of cooking it on the stove, we used a 1,030-watt toaster oven to bake our naan-focaccia.
The first mix we tried was Muji’s Handmade Nahn.
This was the result!
Hmmm. Although the flavor had a nice, gentle sweetness to it, it had a more crunchy texture than it should, and didn’t have quite the chewiness we were craving.
Next we tried House Foods Group’s Curry Partner Naan Mix.
We followed the exact same steps as we did with the Muji naan mix, except that in step 3, we let the dough sit at room temperature for five minutes instead of 10.
Here’s how it came out!
On the first bite of this fresh-baked naan-focaccia from House Foods, it had just the mixture of sweet and salty notes we were looking for. But it didn’t quite hit the mark on texture, and rather than being soft and chewy, this dough ended up being slightly too airy.
Finally, we tried Kaldi’s Nahn Mix.
Once again, we took the same steps in cooking, except in step 3 we let the dough sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.
Here’s what we pulled out of the oven.
Ooh! This one had exactly that same faint sweetness and saltiness we were going for, with just the right hint of olive oil. The texture was right where we wanted it too.
As the finest batch of naan-focaccia out of the three, we decided to add cinnamon sugar to it…
…and it turned into a deliciously fragrant and decadent dessert. Long after the last bite, the flavor still lingered on our lips, and in our memories too, where we’re keeping this idea stashed away for future cheat days.
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