If you have ever been to India or eaten in an Indian restaurant, then you undoubtedly tried the variety of naan bread they offer. It is an essential part of any good Indian dish, and absolutely excellent for dipping in the sauce, as well as spooning up the remaining sauce/rice from the plate.
I’ve never been to India, although on my bucket list, but I’ve visited plenty of superb Indian restaurants. I always order naan bread with any dish I order. My favorite is the stuffed naans.
Naan bread is soft, fluffy and can be used not just for Indian dishes.
With the forced social distancing and remote working, what better opportunity to challenge my cooking and baking skills.
I’ve always wanted to try to make naan bread but feared that it was too complicated. I doubted my abilities and worried that it would turn out more like crispy chapati bread.
The below recipe will share my experience and approach, and hopefully, you will be able to create your own naan bread and impress the family.
It will set you back roughly two hours, so don’t attempt to make naan bread just before dinner time. I made mine the day before and simply heated them up gently in the oven 10 minutes before dinner.
This recipe should yield about 8 fluffy naan bread, about 6-8 inches in diameter.
You could serve this with my Dal Makhani 🙂
Please note, I do not add salt to most of my recipes and I have replaced regular yogurt with almond yogurt. If you do want to add salt, then no more than a sprinkle should be needed.
Raid your cupboards for these ingredients and let’s get baking
- 1 bag of dry active yeast
- 1 tablespoon of sugar
- 1/2 cup of lukewarm water
- 2-3 cups of white flour
- 1/4 cup of vegetable or olive oil
- 1/3 cup plain almond yogurt
- 1 large egg
Time to test your naan making skills. Let’s bake these suckers!
Important note – The key with using dry yeast is that you need to activate it to achieve the best result, If you simply use it as a regular ingredient and do not activate it, then the bread will not rise.
- Take out a small bowl and mix yeast, sugar and the lukewarm water. The dry yeast needs to be pretty much dissolved in the water.
- Let the mixture sit for 5-10 minutes, or until you see the surface is frothy. That’s your indication that the yeast is activated.
- Gently whisk in the oil, yogurt, and egg, until it looks like a smooth little sauce.
- In a bigger bowl, pour in 1 cup of the flour and slowly mix in the yeast mixture.
- Continue to add flour to the mixture until you have a nice dough that does not stick to your spoon or spatula. I would estimate 1 – 1.5 cups of flour to get to that level.
- Once at the not-sticky level, knead the dough by hand on the table with a little flour.
- You should end up with a smooth, soft and not sticky doughball. Too much flour will make your naan dry and not spongy.
- Put the dough back in the very lightly floured bowl, cover it with cling film and a towel, and set it to rise in a warm place.
- It should rise for roughly an hour or until it has doubled in size.
- Once it has risen to the desired size, remove it from the bowl and knock the air out of the dough
- Then cut it into 8 equal-size pieces, and roll each piece into a small balls
TIP – I use my cast iron tortilla flattening device (see picture insert below)
- If you have a large cast-iron skillet, then it is time to bring it out and put it on medium heat – 4-5, on a standard cooktop.
- Roll or press one dough ball at a time, to the desired size (diameter), and about 1/4 inch in thickness
- Place the dough pattie on the warm skillet
- Each dough pattie needs to “bake” for a few minutes on each side until the bottom is golden and the surface has little bubbles
- Flip it the naan and “bake” it for a few more minutes
- Repeat for each dough pattie.
- Keep them warm on a plate under a small kitchen towel
TIP – just before serving the naan with your dish, brush each naan with melted butter. This should ideally be done when the bread is a little war, and let it soak into the naan.