Naan Bread

Did I tell you I love bread? I did? Well that’s good because I do! I am a total breadaholic and I honestly can’t imagine my life without it. Whether we’re talking regular baked loaves, buns, bagels or flat breads, I love them all. When I shop for groceries I can spend ages in the bread aisle (and the cheese aisle, and the clothes aisle, shhh…) but nothing beats the taste and aroma of a home baked loaf of bread. Indian flat breads are one of the easiest breads to make, whilst I love a good Chapatti and Puri with my curries, there’s something so wonderful about naan bread. This naan bread is soft, fluffy and perfect for dunking into gravy and best of all, it’s super easy to make.

Traditionally naans are baked in a clay tandoor oven; they’re placed directly on the inside wall of the oven and the high heat cooks and bubbles the naans surface, which results in the beautiful charred characteristic of naan bread. However, most of us don’t have a tandoor oven at our disposal, so it’s good to know that we can recreate a similar effect on our stove tops. This recipe isn’t complicated, just an easy foolproof method that should work for gas and electric stove tops.

There are many different ways to make naan bread, most of them involve some sort of leavening/raising agent such as yeast or baking powder, if not both. In this recipe we’ll be using baking powder instead of yeast; the baking powder acts faster and reacts to the heat better once on the stove top. I may share a recipe using yeast in the near future.

It’s also typical to add yoghurt to the mix, this is what gives this bread its unique and distinct fluffy texture, although it is possible to make them without the addition of yoghurt. Using natural yoghurt is best but you can also use Greek yoghurt to make them, I use whatever I have to hand.

Lots of people like to add extra flavour to their naans and adding seeds is one way of doing this. Seeds such as cumin and Nigella (Kalonji) are popular choices, these are quite strong in terms of taste and are better suited to adding to the dough otherwise the seeds can be quite bitter. I enjoy adding seeds to the tops of my naans, more for aesthetic purposes than for taste, and I’ll be showing you how to do this using poppy and sesame seeds.

You can eat these naans totally plain but adding butter, a garlic and coriander one at that, makes them even better and best of all its easy to do. I do hope that this recipe helps you replicate naans from your local takeaway/restaurant easily and shows you just how simple the whole process is!

Serves 6

You will need: for Naan Bread

4 cups plain flour (570g)
1 tsp sugar
1.5 tsp salt
1.5 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp melted butter (1 tbsp for dough + 1 tbsp for spreading on naans)
8 tbsp natural yoghurt (Greek yoghurt also works)
180 – 200ml water (add a little at a time)
oil to coat

Optional:

2 cloves of garlic
fresh coriander
1 egg whisked with 1 tbsp milk (for sprinkling seeds)
seeds of your choice; poppy, sesame, Kalonji (Nigella seeds), cumin etc.
Naan Bread

Start by measuring 4 cups of plain flour in a large bowl, to this add 1 tsp of sugar….

Naan Bread

….1.5 tsp of salt and 1.5 tsp of baking powder.

IF you are using strong tasting seeds like cumin or kalonji (Nigella seeds) it is best to add them to the actual dough at this stage, add 1/2 – 1 tsp of your choice of seeds. I am using poppy/sesame seeds for decoration purposes only, so will add them to the top of the naans rather than to the dough, but you can always add them at this stage too if you prefer.

Lightly whisk to disperse the ingredients evenly throughout the flour.

Next add 1 tbsp of melted butter….

Naan Bread

….followed by 8 tbsp of natural yoghurt and mix with your hands, do not add any water at this point.

Once you can feel the yoghurt and butter have been absorbed, slowly start to add water, 50ml at a time.

Keep mixing the ingredients and adding water slowly until you begin to see it all come together to form a ball of dough.

I used approximately 190ml on this occasion but this will vary between 180 – 200ml depending on how runny your yoghurt/butter is, so add slowly and stop when you see the dough has formed.

Naan Bread

Place the formed ball of dough onto your counter and knead thoroughly for 5 minutes by hand.

If you find the dough sticks to the counter, lightly dust with a little flour.

Once the dough is smooth and elastic, oil the mixing bowl….

Naan Bread

….and place the dough inside, coat thoroughly and cover with a tea towel. Leave to rest for at least 1 hour.

The dough will not rise but it is important to let it rest as this helps the structure of the naans and will make them less chewy and more fluffy.

Next prepare the coriander garlic butter spread; you can always opt to spread plain melted butter over your naans or leave them plain. Finely chop some fresh coriander and peel 2 cloves of garlic.

Naan Bread

Using the side of your knife, crush the cloves of garlic and then use the tip to mash it further till it looks like a paste (top left and right photo).

Add the crushed garlic to the remaining 1 tbsp of melted butter along with the chopped coriander. Mix and leave to one side till needed.

Naan Bread

Once the dough has rested, divide the dough into smaller pieces.

I divided the dough into 8 pieces using my dough scraper, this makes 8 large naans. If you want smaller naans you can divide the dough into 10 or 12 pieces.

Once divided, roll the smaller pieces into round balls, leave covered in the bowl with a tea towel whilst you roll them out and cook them.

Naan Bread

Flour your work surface and roll the dough ball out using a rolling pin. Shape the naans in a round, oval or tear drop shape, it’s entirely your choice.

I use a diagonal motion to shape them into ovals, this helps to elongate the naan and widen them at the same time. Turn over and repeat the same process.

You may also roll from top to bottom and side to side, there is no right or wrong way.

Heat a flat pan to cook your naans on, make sure it is HOT before adding the naan, there is no need to apply any fat to the pan.

Naan Bread

Place the naan onto the hot paan and cook over a medium high flame till you can see the naan begins to puff up.

Once the underside is cooked, turn and repeat the process.

Remove the cooked naan from the pan and apply a little melted butter over the top using a spoon, so that you don’t leave the garlic at the bottom (this is what happens if you use a brush).

Naan Bread

Sprinkle more coriander over the top of the naan if you should wish to do so. Leave covered with a cloth while you cook the rest of the naans.

To add seeds to the tops of the naans, whisk together 1 egg with 1 tbsp of milk.

Using a brush apply this egg wash to your naan and sprinkle your chosen seeds over the top. Alternatively add your chosen seeds on the top of your naan and roll using a rolling pin to push the seeds into the naan.

Naan Bread

Cook through as before.

Naan Bread

Serve your naans with a delicious Curry such as my Butter Chicken, or why not use the naans as the base of a pizza? Add your favourite tomato sauce and some toppings for a delicious pizza!

5.0 from 4 reviews
Naan Bread
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 4 cups plain flour (570g)
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1.5 tsp salt
  • 1.5 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tbsp melted butter (1 tbsp for dough + 1 tbsp for spreading on naans)
  • 8 tbsp natural yoghurt (Greek yoghurt also works)
  • 180 - 200ml water (add a little at a time)
  • oil to coat
Optional:
  • 1 egg whisked with 1 tbsp milk (for sprinkling seeds)
  • seeds of your choice poppy, sesame, Kalonji (Nigella seeds), cumin etc.
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • fresh coriander
Method
  1. Start by measuring 4 cups of plain flour in a large bowl, to this add 1 tsp of sugar....
  2. tsp of salt and 1.5 tsp of baking powder.
  3. IF you are using strong tasting seeds like cumin or kalonji (Nigella seeds) it is best to add them to the actual dough at this stage, add ½ - 1 tsp of your choice of seeds. I am using poppy/sesame seeds for decoration purposes only, so will add them to the top of the naans rather than to the dough, but you can always add them at this stage too if you prefer.
  4. Lightly whisk to disperse the ingredients evenly throughout the flour.
  5. Next add 1 tbsp of melted butter....
  6. followed by 8 tbsp of natural yoghurt and mix with your hands, do not add any water at this point.
  7. Once you can feel the yoghurt and butter have been absorbed, slowly start to add water, 50ml at a time.
  8. Keep mixing the ingredients and adding water slowly until you begin to see it all come together to form a ball of dough.
  9. I used approximately 190ml on this occasion but this will vary between 180 - 200ml depending on how runny your yoghurt/butter is, so add slowly and stop when you see the dough has formed.
  10. Place the formed ball of dough onto your counter and knead thoroughly for 5 minutes by hand.
  11. If you find the dough sticks to the counter, lightly dust with a little flour.
  12. Once the dough is smooth and elastic, oil the mixing bowl....
  13. and place the dough inside, coat thoroughly and cover with a tea towel. Leave to rest for at least 1 hour.
  14. The dough will not rise but it is important to let it rest as this helps the structure of the naans and will make them less chewy and more fluffy.
  15. Next prepare the coriander garlic butter spread; you can always opt to spread plain melted butter over your naans or leave them plain. Finely chop some fresh coriander and peel 2 cloves of garlic.
  16. Using the side of your knife, crush the cloves of garlic and then use the tip to mash it further till it looks like a paste (top left and right photo).
  17. Add the crushed garlic to the remaining 1 tbsp of melted butter along with the chopped coriander. Mix and leave to one side till needed.
  18. Once the dough has rested, divide the dough into smaller pieces.
  19. I divided the dough into 8 pieces using my dough scraper, this makes 8 large naans. If you want smaller naans you can divide the dough into 10 or 12 pieces.
  20. Once divided, roll the smaller pieces into round balls, leave covered in the bowl with a tea towel whilst you roll them out and cook them.
  21. Flour your work surface and roll the dough ball out using a rolling pin. Shape the naans in a round, oval or tear drop shape, it's entirely your choice.
  22. I use a diagonal motion to shape them into ovals, this helps to elongate the naan and widen them at the same time. Turn over and repeat the same process.
  23. You may also roll from top to bottom and side to side, there is no right or wrong way.
  24. Heat a flat pan to cook your naans on, make sure it is HOT before adding the naan, there is no need to apply any fat to the pan.
  25. Place the naan onto the hot paan and cook over a medium high flame till you can see the naan begins to puff up.
  26. Once the underside is cooked, turn and repeat the process.
  27. Remove the cooked naan from the pan and apply a little melted butter over the top using a spoon, so that you don't leave the garlic at the bottom (this is what happens if you use a brush).
  28. Sprinkle more coriander over the top of the naan if you should wish to do so. Leave covered with a cloth while you cook the rest of the naans.
  29. To add seeds to the tops of the naans, whisk together 1 egg with 1 tbsp of milk.
  30. Using a brush apply this egg wash to your naan and sprinkle your chosen seeds over the top. Alternatively add your chosen seeds on the top of your naan and roll using a rolling pin to push the seeds into the naan.
  31. Cook through as before.
  32. Serve your naans with a delicious curry such as my Butter Chicken, or why not use the naans as the base of a pizza? Add your favourite tomato sauce and some toppings for a delicious pizza!

If you like the recipe please share with friends and family, also follow me on Facebook and Instagram. Questions? Leave a comment below or message me on Facebook.

 

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Comments 9

  1. Tayyaba Irfan
    Reply

    I tried this for dinner yesterday, but the naan came out stiff once cooked, and pale white
    Not sure what I did wrong and I think I might have rolled them out too thin ?

    29 December, 2017
    • afelia’s kitchen
      Reply

      Not sure why your naans didn’t turn out the way they should have….did you allow the dough to rest for more than 1 hour? I think you may have answered the problem yourself, you may have rolled the dough out too thin, the naans should be at least 3 – 4mm in thickness. Also what kind of utensil did you use to cook the naans?

      30 December, 2017
  2. Z
    Reply

    Can any leftover dough be kept in the fridge ? If so, how long for and how long would I need to take out before cooking the naans?

    29 December, 2017
    • afelia’s kitchen
      Reply

      I wouldn’t recommend keeping the dough in the fridge, it’s not something I usually do so I have no idea how it would affect the dough. If you don’t plan to make as many naans, halve the recipe, they are best eaten freshly made. x

      30 December, 2017
  3. Shilpi Rashid
    Reply

    I love naan been waiting for you to put this up after watching your story on instagram! Thankyou so much!

    24 December, 2017
  4. Rox
    Reply

    I do enjoy many of your recepies. But unfortunately, this wasnt what I expected it to be.
    I tried my best to follow your recepie properly but it was flat and more like a pitta bread rather than a fluffy naan. This website is also already automatically selecting the amount of stars to 5, sorry Af id give this 2/3*s.

    24 December, 2017
  5. Sharmin
    Reply

    Awesome! I am going to definitely try this… i love naan!! Thanks so much for sharing the recipe 🙂

    24 December, 2017
  6. Rahbia Ahmed
    Reply

    I tried this recipe out last night for dinner and it was so lovely! So easy to follow and the naans tasted amazing! The whole family enjoyed them.

    24 December, 2017
  7. Sheuli Nessa
    Reply

    Love how concise and easy to follow this recipe looks. Excited to try this out will leave a msg once I do. Thank you once again 😘😘😘

    23 December, 2017

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