Homemade Naan

September 26, 2013

Test Kitchen-Approved

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
Prep time: 1 hrs 10 min
Cook time: 32 min

Ingredients

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup water (room temp or slightly above)
  • 3/4 cup 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
In This Recipe

Directions

  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.

More Great Recipes:
Bread|Indian|Milk/Cream|Cast Iron|Appetizer|Side

Reviews (61) Questions (1)

61 Reviews

MF S. March 13, 2016
I made this yesterday - the hubs is a naan junkie and raved about it! Only thing I did was add 1 tsp. salt. Definitely going to be making this regularly. I love that it makes a big batch - I'm going to wrap them individually and freeze them - we'll have fresh naan for a couple weeks.
 
Macy P. February 17, 2016
If baking on a pizza stone in the oven, what temp should the oven be set to and how long should I bake? Thanks!
 
Joana January 10, 2016
how can i store the batter? and for how long?<br />
 
Taylor May 23, 2017
it shouldnt be a batter, it should be a dough.
 
Benny March 6, 2015
Thanks for the recipe, just turned out my first batch (of many more to come). They are really good... its taking all of my will power not to eat the entire batch myself right now.
 
susan August 16, 2014
I just made up this recipe and noticed it didn't have salt as an ingredient so i added some. I only made 1/2 a recipe so I added 1/2 tsp salt. If there is anything I don't like about the results i will post.
 
Laurie August 14, 2014
Stunning photos too!
 
Laurie August 14, 2014
Wonderful recipe/technique. They turned out beautifully but definitely needed salt. I would add a 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon in the future.
 
ori July 18, 2014
made this for the first time today with DAL - amazing!!<br />the only thing i would change is to add salt to the dry mix...<br />
 
Mary March 26, 2014
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.
 
Donna C. March 26, 2014
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.
 
steve March 26, 2014
Hi. Great recipe, thanks. But we've had to guess a little. <br />We've never worked out the 'American' English terms:<br />baking soda<br />and<br />baking powder<br />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?!
 
Sissy A. July 22, 2014
Cream or Tartar and Baking Powder are different. Baking Powder is cornstarch, monocalcium phosphate, and sodium bicarbonate. Baking Soda is indeed simply sodium bicarbonate. Cream of Tartar is Potassium Bitartrate.
 
Joanne T. February 5, 2014
How can I make Naan in the oven? I do not have a cast iron skillet....
 
Greg L. February 8, 2014
Pizza stone in the oven?
 
Green R. February 5, 2014
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.
 
knitnbead February 5, 2014
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.
 
Ashley C. April 24, 2014
If your stove top burners are the coil kind, you have no problems at all with a cast iron skillet. If they are instead the sealed-in-glass variety, you have to be a little more careful, but it still works. [This is what I have, for now. It came with the kitchen.]<br />Just place the skillet straight down on the burner, and if you need to adjust the placement, raise it straight up (i.e. don't slide it around, or pull it off its burner horizontally, or the fussy glass surface with be scratched). Same deal with the glass topped convection burners.
 
Ashley C. April 24, 2014
If your stove top burners are the coil kind, you have no problems at all with a cast iron skillet. If they are instead the sealed-in-glass variety, you have to be a little more careful, but it still works. [This is what I have, for now. It came with the kitchen.]<br />Just place the skillet straight down on the burner, and if you need to adjust the placement, raise it straight up (i.e. don't slide it around, or pull it off its burner horizontally, or the fussy glass surface with be scratched). Same deal with the glass topped convection burners.
 
JanetRoss February 5, 2014
How long can any leftover dough be kept in the refrigerator? Does it freeze well?
 
Pam January 26, 2014
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<br />
 
EatsMeetsWest January 19, 2014
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.
 
DanaYares October 25, 2013
There is no salt in this recipe...
 
Author Comment
Carey N. October 25, 2013
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.
 
rmullins October 24, 2013
Baking soda, Baking powder AND yeast? Are all three really necessary?
 
Author Comment
Carey N. October 25, 2013
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.
 
rmullins October 25, 2013
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. <br /><br />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?
 
Author Comment
Carey N. October 25, 2013
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.<br /><br />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.<br /><br />Again, as I said, this is just what I've inferred from things I've read — I'm certainly not a food science expert.
 
rmullins October 25, 2013
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!
 
beejay45 September 17, 2015
None of my Indian acquaintances use any leavening agent. Their naan is quite similar to pita. This may be a regional thing (in India), but I was surprised to see the three things, too. Curious.
 
Sami March 14, 2016
I know your comment was posted 6 months ago, but just wanted to say I think that the "naan" you are thinking of is actually Indian roti, which does not use leavening
 
Cheryl W. October 20, 2013
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!