Homemade Naan

By • September 26, 2013 • 47 Comments


1,216 Save

Author Notes: This naan is wonderfully easy to make, and the results are delicious. It can be made on a pizza stone or in a cast iron skillet on the stove top. I’ve found that I prefer the latter, as it still cooks up beautifully and it doesn’t require opening a hot oven every minute. You can also add your choice of flavorful ingredients to it as well, either by incorporating them into the dough or 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.

This recipe makes a bit 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 as per the recipe. Also, feel free to adjust the flour to use 100% all-purpose, or swap out an additional cup of the AP for whole wheat.
Carey Nershi

Makes 16 naan

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup water (room temp or slightly above)
  • 3/4 cups whole milk (room temp or slightly above)
  • 1 cup plain yogurt (not Greek)
  • Melted butter or ghee (for brushing)
  • Optional toppings or add-ins: garlic, onion, herbs, cheese
  1. Combine yeast, sugar, and lukewarm 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. When dough is ready, punch down and turn out on a well-floured surface. Divide in half, then divide each half into eight pieces of equal size. Roll each piece out into a thin oval approximately 6 inches long and 1/8 inch thick. Heat a cast iron skill over medium-high heat on the stove top.
  5. Once pan is hot, brush each side of the naan with melted butter/ghee. (If adding toppings like onion/garlic/spice, add them to the second side you brush with butter and gently press them into the dough.)
  6. Place dough into your skillet. (If you’ve adding toppings, place it topping side-up.) Let cook for around 1 minute, or until dough puffs and bubbles form on top. Flip and let cook for another minute. Repeat with remaining pieces of dough.

Comments (47) Questions (1)

Default-small
Default-small
Default-small

23 days ago Mary

Hi! I was a science major in college and I have used various brands of baking powder from both the US and Europe. Baking soda is indeed sodium bicarbonate, sold by the brand name Arm and Hammer in the US and as Natron in Germany. Sodium bicarbonate reacts with an acid to produce carbon dioxide gas as one product. The gas leavens the baked good. If your recipe does not include an acid like buttermilk or vinegar, you need to generate one with a powder that produces an acid on contact with water. You can use tartaric acid (sold in the spice section of US supermarkets as cream of tartar) combined with sodium bicarbonate as a homemade baking powder. Baking with Julia has a recipe. Other baking powders use sodium acid pyrophosphate (Dr Oetker) or monocalcium phosphate (Rumford). All of the above are single acting powders, meaning that they react once on contact with water. You need to put your batter into the oven immediately. Brands containing sodium aluminum sulfate are popular in the US because they react a second time in the oven when heated. They are thus more idiot proof, as the user does not have to rush to get them into the oven or on to the griddle. However, aluminum containing powders can impart a metallic taste to your batter. It has never been proven that aluminum containing baking powders cause Alzheimer's. But since they don't taste as good as the single acting powders, why bother with them. If you read this site, you are probably a good enough baker to manage to bake or griddle your food in an efficient manner.

Default-small

23 days ago Donna C.

I make naan on my gas BBQ, it is best to have everything you need close at hand, including a clean dish to remove the naan on to after being cooked and set of tongs to flip with and a can of PAM to spray the grill with after each naan has been removed. Pre-heat the grill to about 375 to 400 degrees, be sure that the grill is brushed clean and wiped off with paper towel, then spray the grill with PAM, quickly place the naan on the grill then lower the lid DO NOT WALK AWAY!! You have maybe 45 seconds or a little more, peek into the grill so as not to let the hot air out, if it has puffed up and appears to be brown on the bottom it is then time to flip. Once it has been flipped watch very carefully. Remove from heat and place on a sheet of aluminium foil brushing each naan lightly with melted butter (ghee) or butter with finely grated fresh garlic. Any unbuttered naan can be reheated in the toaster, but if it has been buttered the naan can cause a flare up, safest way to reheat is wrapped in foil and warmed in the oven. This is a very quick way to make naan, but you have got to be attentive and constantly be checking. Guaranteed this method will produce a few burnt offerings, but you will get the hang of it very quickly, and your neighbours will be drooling when they get a whiff of hot naan fresh off the BBQ!! Will try this recipe next time.

Default-small

23 days ago steve

Hi. Great recipe, thanks. But we've had to guess a little.
We've never worked out the 'American' English terms:
baking soda
and
baking powder
There are many conflicting translations on the 'net. We believe baking soda to be sodium bicarbonate and baking powder to be sodium bicarbonate which has been neutralised to form sodium tartrate. The latter we believe in 'English' English to be cream of tartar. Any advance on that?!

Default-small

2 months ago Joanne Trepanier

How can I make Naan in the oven? I do not have a cast iron skillet....

Default-small

2 months ago Greg LaFrance

Pizza stone in the oven?

Default-small

2 months ago Green Rider

I have been looking for a good naan recipe for a long time. None were as good as this one! It is just perfect. I used Greek yogurt but thinned it as recommended. I made them twice, once in the oven and once on a cast iron skillet. For a large crowd the oven is more efficient but for a smaller dinner group I prefer the skillet. Thanks for sharing it.

Default-small

2 months ago knitnbead

I have and electric stove with electric burners and cannot use a cast-iron pan. Do you have any alternatives. Would love to try this.

Default-small

2 months ago JanetRoss

How long can any leftover dough be kept in the refrigerator? Does it freeze well?

Default-small

3 months ago Pam

Could someone tell me if this can be mixed and kneaded in a bread machine? Arthritis makes kneading dough very painful. Thank you for your help, the recipe sounds wonderful

Icon10

3 months ago EatsMeetsWest

As an Indian, I wholeheartedly approve of this recipe. It brings me back to my childhood, when naans were a treat and we got to eat them straight off the hot 'ta-waa' (slightly curved roti/naan/chapati griddle). It was then brushed lovingly with ghee, some chopped garlic and coriander leaves (I think), and was simply served along with the meal for the night. Definitely makes you realize how blessed you are.

Lil_piggy

6 months ago DanaYares

There is no salt in this recipe...

Untitled-1

6 months ago Carey Nershi

Nope, no salt. I find the baking soda lends enough of a salty flavor for my tastes, but you could add 1/4 tsp of salt if you think you'd like more.

Me

6 months ago rmullins

Baking soda, Baking powder AND yeast? Are all three really necessary?

Untitled-1

6 months ago Carey Nershi

The primary function of the baking soda here is to neutralize the acid in the yogurt, which can inhibit the yeast. I have, on the other hand, seen a number of naan recipes that do not utilize yeast, but I personally prefer it in this one.

Me

6 months ago rmullins

That doesn't make any sense. Baking soda when mixed with an acid (yogurt) will produce bubbles effectively leavening the dough, and causing a 'rise' on baking. However, Baking Powder contains tartaric acid and baking soda both, so you have a leavening agent all in one product instead of relying on the 'acid-base' reaction in using JUST baking soda. So the two would seem to be redundant.

Additionally here the author uses yet a THIRD leavening with the 'yeast', this I assume is because the previous two leavening agents don't do a good enough job to get real lift for the finished naan?

Untitled-1

6 months ago Carey Nershi

I understand what you mean re: the redundancy of baking soda and baking powder, but I don't think that's the case. The basic properties of baking soda are stronger than that of baking powder, and it's usually suggested that one substitute three times the amount of baking powder for baking soda. This isn't ideal in many cases (including this one), however, as that much baking powder can create an unpleasant bitter taste.

When I first began making and tinkering with this recipe, I did a bit of research online about why all three leaveners would be used, as I didn't quite understand it myself. From what I gleaned from various posts and message boards, I came to understand it as follows: (1) The yeast ensures a somewhat fluffy bread (and also imparts a pleasant yeasty taste). (2) The baking soda functions to neutralize the acid in the yogurt and allows the yeast to develop as it should during the rise time. (3) The double-acting properties of the baking powder (one occurring at room temp and the other when the dough is heated) give the bread an extra chemical leavener boost as it cooks, which is very helpful due to the short amount of time it spends on the stove top.

Again, as I said, this is just what I've inferred from things I've read — I'm certainly not a food science expert.

Me

6 months ago rmullins

Ahhhh! I see now. Thanks for humoring me on this. I am just now really starting to learn stuff after several years of 'following' recipes. Your reply is very valuable. Thanks a ton!

Default-small

6 months ago Cheryl wood

Hurray for your recipe, Carey! Having lived in Kosovo for 3+ years, and living just down the street from the bakery where the naan was made, I have been fondly reminiscing about this wonderful bread, wishing that I could re-create it back home. Thanks to you, this is now possible!

Stringio

6 months ago Peggy Miles

I want to do this on my stone in the oven...please tell me a temperature and length of tome to bake; thanks.

Imgp0485

6 months ago abunnybabe

I used greek yogurt, just added about 3 extra tablespoons of milk. I found that somewhere on the web.

Default-small

6 months ago Cathleen

Thanks!

Default-small

6 months ago Cathleen

What will happen if we use greek yoghurt? Would it be ok to just thin it with water?

Default-small

6 months ago Alev Esmer

Does it not need to have salt?

Default-small

6 months ago Cathleen

I'm curious about this too, I usually put at least a little salt in all my breads. I may try it both ways just to see if I can taste the difference.

Default-small

6 months ago Sena

I've made this twice already since last Sunday. I'm vegan, so I used coconut "yogurt" and almond milk rather than their dairy counterparts, and they came out perfect! I appreciate that they were so easy and fast to make in a cast iron skillet. I used one to like pita bread and made my hubby a turkey and cheese sandwich....all of his coworkers were jealous! I made tonight's batch with butter flavored olive oil instead of melted butter, and it was fantastic! Thank you for such a great recipe!

Untitled-1

6 months ago Carey Nershi

I'm glad you enjoyed it! And I'm so happy to hear it works out well with vegan substitutions. :)

Imgp0485

6 months ago abunnybabe

Made this last night with butternutsquash with miso and coconut soup, that was one awesom dinner! The naan bread was fantastic! You could be a little more clear in your instructions as stated below, whole milk? yes. and the yogurt, not greek yogurt, and the temperature of the milk, for people like me who don't bake bread. :) I almost threw the whole thing out because it was so sticky and I didn't know what to do. Thank goodness for Google! Just add more flour! Anyway, they came out SUPER DELICIOUS for a first timer!

Untitled-1

6 months ago Carey Nershi

Duly noted re: the clarity — recipe amended. :) I'm so happy they turned out well in the end!

Default-small

6 months ago baker

Do you mean whole milk? I know it makes a difference.

Untitled-1

6 months ago Carey Nershi

Yes, whole milk. Sorry about that — recipe amended. :)

217971_10152100737030223_882150144_n

6 months ago hb

I just made this and it was amazing! We had it with our curry chicken for supper. Once again you have come through with a bang on recipe.

Untitled-1

6 months ago Carey Nershi

So glad you enjoyed it! :)