Small Batch

Homemade Naan

By • October 4, 2013 • 50 Comments

It's always more fun to DIY. Every week, we'll spare you a trip to the grocery store and show you how to make small batches of great foods at home.

Today: Carey Nershi from Reclaiming Provincial has mastered the art of making naan at home, and she wants to show us how.

Homemade Naan on Food52

Many aspects of Middle Eastern and Asian cuisine have long intimidated me when it comes to preparing them at home. My eyes glaze over as I read recipes with seemingly endless lists of spices. And although I tell myself that one shopping trip is all that’s needed to set my pantry on the right track, I often wind up slinking out of the store with a jar of korma sauce or curry paste instead. But I hold my head a bit higher when I remind myself that the meal will have a redeeming quality: one helluva batch of homemade naan.

Homemade Naan on Food52

This naan is wonderfully easy to make, and the results are delicious. It can be made in the oven, baked on a pizza stone or in a cast iron skillet, but I prefer making it on the stovetop. It still cooks up beautifully and it doesn’t require opening a hot oven every minute. You can also add in a number of ingredients as well, either by incorporating them into the dough or by sprinkling them on right before baking. Fresh herbs and cheeses are best incorporated into the dough, but I think things like onion and garlic develop the best flavor as toppings that will come in direct contact with the hot skillet, even if it means losing a little to the pan.

More: Is sandwich bread more your style? Carey's got a recipe for that, too.

This recipe makes a lot of naan, but can also easily be halved for a small family dinner. Alternatively, you can always divide the dough into pieces and freeze what won’t be used right away for later. Just let them thaw, and then roll out and cook. Also, feel free to adjust the flour to use 100% all-purpose, or swap in a cup of whole wheat.

Homemade Naan on Food52

Homemade Naan

Makes 16 

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon active dry yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 cup lukewarm water
3/4 cup warm milk
1 cup plain yogurt
Melted butter or ghee (for brushing)
Optional toppings or add-ins: garlic, onion, herbs, cheese

Combine yeast, sugar, and warm water and let sit for 5 to 10 minutes, or until foamy. In the meantime, combine flours, baking powder, and baking soda in a bowl. Make a well in the center.

Homemade Naan on Food52

Stir milk and yogurt together. Once the yeast mixture is foamy, stir it into the yogurt and milk. Pour into the well of the dry ingredients.

Homemade Naan on Food52

Stir with a wooden spoon to combine, then knead dough until smooth. Place dough in a well-oiled bowl, cover with a tea towel or plastic wrap, and let rise for about an hour, or until doubled in size.

Homemade Naan on Food52

When dough is ready, punch down and turn out on a well-floured surface.

Homemade Naan on Food52 

Divide in half, then divide each half into eight pieces of equal size.

Homemade Naan on Food52

Roll each piece out into a thin oval approximately 6 inches long and 1/8 inch thick. Heat a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat on the stovetop.

Homemade Naan on Food52

Once the pan is hot, brush each side of the naan with melted butter or ghee. (If adding toppings, add them to the second side when you brush it with butter, gently pressing them into the dough.)

Homemade Naan on Food52

Place dough into your skillet. (If you’ve added toppings, place it topping side-up.) Let cook for around 1 minute, or until dough puffs and bubbles form on top. 

Homemade Naan on Food52

Flip and let cook for another minute. Repeat with remaining pieces of dough. Pat yourself on the back, and enjoy.

See the full recipe (and save and print it) here.

Photos by Carey Nershi.

Jump to Comments (50)

Tags: small batch, naan, homemade, indian, flatbread, how-to & diy

Comments (50)

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Stringio

6 months ago Eunice Beatrice Braga

Thank you for this! Naan is just one of my favorite things to snack on--had no idea they were this easy to make. :)

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7 months ago Tushar

I love this recipe - we made similar Peshwari Naan:

http://www.youtube.com...

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8 months ago liz

We made these last weekend and the naan was great! At a friend's cabin with no baking soda or baking powder, so we added one egg instead.

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11 months ago stephanieRD

Friends and I decided to have an Indian themed dinner with saag and tikka masala. Of course, I was in charge of making the naan so it was SO perfect that this small batch recipe just happened to be featured! Made it with nonfat yogurt and nonfat milk and it still turned out great! I don't even have a cast iron- just resorted to use my nonstick calphalon and it still turned out awesome.

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11 months ago the totally not-foolish pucko

Yay! Good thing those calphalons have nice thick bottoms- you couldn't do that with a cheapo grocery store nonstick pan, that's for sure.

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11 months ago baker

There seems to be two sites for comments. Odd. Did you mean whole milk and full fat yogurt?

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11 months ago Carey Nershi

Yes, both whole milk and full fat yogurt.

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11 months ago baker

Could you do this on the grill outside with a cast iron pan?

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11 months ago Carey Nershi

Yes, I think that would work wonderfully.

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11 months ago scotrotsios

Can you use instant yeast (I have a lot of Saf)? What changes would need to be made to the recipe?

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11 months ago Carey Nershi

Yup! Use the same amount, but keep an eye on the dough as it rises. Instant yeast takes off a bit quicker, so it may take less than an hour for the dough to double in size.

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11 months ago Barb Raber

Can olive oil be used to brush on the naan?

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11 months ago Carey Nershi

Yup! Olive oil works as well.

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11 months ago Sally Debono

This is a question: do you think the dough could be made on the "dough" setting in a bread machine?

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11 months ago Carey Nershi

Hmmmm. I'm not versed in the use of bread machines, so I can't say for sure myself. I did a little reading online and it seems that other people have had success with making naan dough in a machine, so it seems like it could work.

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11 months ago Sally Debono

I'll let you know after I try. I've been fairly successful with ciabatta dough.

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11 months ago stitchinfox

Wonder if you could use gluten free flour for this?

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11 months ago the totally not-foolish pucko

Actually it would be ideal since it's a flatbread.

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11 months ago stitchinfox

I am going to try this! I would love to have something like this from time to time. I do miss bread and some time fall off the wagon and always regret it. Maybe with this I would not be so tempted..

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11 months ago the totally not-foolish pucko

Yeast and baking powder? I thought naan was unleavened?

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11 months ago the totally not-foolish pucko

Oopsie. Wiki says it *is* leavened. >>PIZZA!!!<<

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11 months ago Carey Nershi

Yup! :) (I've seen some recipes that only use baking powder/soda and no yeast. I kind of like a little bit of yeasty flavor though.)

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11 months ago the totally not-foolish pucko

What i don't get is the soda- what does a chemical leavener add to the mix, especially considering you let it hang out for an hour.

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11 months ago Carey Nershi

I was curious about that too when I first started making a version of this recipe, so I did a little bit of research. Apparently acidic ingredients (such as yogurt) can hinder the growth of yeast, so the baking soda acts as a neutralizer. (On the other hand, I've seen plenty of recipes that don't use yeast, as well as a recipes that only use yeast, and they all seem to turn out fine.)

Stringio

11 months ago Jessica Smith White

We love naan at our house & this would be way cheaper than buying it. That being said I am always looking for ways to cut sugar out of our diet. Is the sugar in this recipe necessary or is it just for flavor?

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11 months ago Carey Nershi

It does add a teeny bit of sweetness, but I think you could cut it out without any problem. :)

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11 months ago Jill C.

I can't wait to try this recipe. Can you clarify the skillet portion for me...I'm thinking the skillet is pre-heated on high so its very hot, right? Is the bread cooked on high or do you turn down? And one more question...the pan is dry, correct? Thx.

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11 months ago Carey Nershi

Yes! I leave my skillet over medium-high heat the entire time. (But you can always turn it down a tad if it seems to be burning the dough.) And yes -- dry pan. (The butter on the naan keeps it from sticking.)

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11 months ago vlucky

I don't have a cast iron skillet. What else can I use?

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11 months ago the totally not-foolish pucko

They're like ten bucks at most hardware stores, Target, Walmart, and even big groceries, even less at garage sales.

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11 months ago Carey Nershi

If you have a pizza stone, that's a great alternative. (Just preheat the stone in the oven to 450°, then bake the naan for about a minute on each side.) If not, I'm not quite sure how other pans would work as alternatives. The dough would likely stick to stainless steel, and things like non-stick don't heat as evenly or cook as well. If you're looking to make these asap, you could try the latter and see how it goes. (Although I've always been rather wary of non-stick, especially when it has been exposed to medium/high-ish temperatures for a prolonged amount of time and it starts to give off that weird "non-stick" smell.) Personally, I would also advocate for the purchase of a cast iron pan. They are reasonably priced, cook food beautifully, and will last forever when they're properly cared for. There really is no substitute.

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11 months ago vlucky

Thank you! I have pizza stones but love the stove top/cast iron idea.

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11 months ago Fairmount_market

Thanks for the detailed instructions. I've had good success cooking naan in the oven. I place a cast iron griddle under the broiler until its very hot and then cook the naan on the hot griddle for about a minute on each side. I can't wait to try this recipe for the dough.

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11 months ago Carey Nershi

Yes! I love the skillet-made-super-hot-via-oven trick. I use the same method to sear meat — works like a charm. :)

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11 months ago Jennywren

Yes! The cast iron griddle is a great idea. And mine is large enough for to make two at a time. I'm glad you shared this. Thanks.

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11 months ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

I'm intrigued by how/when you put on the minced onion and garlic (shown in the photos as ingredients, but not actually used). Can you provide more information on that? Thank you! ;o)

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11 months ago Carey Nershi

I add the garlic/onion bits after I've brushed the naan with butter. (I only add them to one side and gently press them into the dough. Then I place the dough in the skillet topping side-up so the dough gets an even better hold on them as it expands and cooks.) My fault — the notes about the toppings lie mostly in the pre-recipe blurb, and I neglected to snap photos after I added them to the dough. :)

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11 months ago Cindy Clark

I've recently been a server at 2 Indian weddings and I loved the foods (we were provided with the leftovers). I'm looking forward to making naan, enjoying it at my leisure and sharing with my friends.

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11 months ago Shalini

That's beautiful, the naan and the whole process of making it. Another project I have to do!! I can just taste the chewy bread slathered in butter.

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11 months ago Hannah Nickerson

What beautiful photos!

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11 months ago Carey Nershi

Thank you, Hannah!

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11 months ago Valentina Solfrini

:O I'm so happy this was posted! I LOVE Naan! I bought some indian spices yesterday, this is begging to be made! Thanks!

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11 months ago Carey Nershi

Woo! Perfect timing. :)