Tuesday, September 18, 2018

My Favorite Naan


Naan is one of my very favorite breads. It is good with something exotic like dal or chicken tikka masala. But it is just as good plain or with peanut butter.

If you want to go fancy, you can work garlic, rosemary, basil, tarragon, dill, or parsley into the dough. And people will basically think you're the bread goddess of the universe.

Or, well, like I said keep it simple. Or add jam or honey. It's hard to go wrong with jam or honey. It's just amazing no matter what you do.

I have two go-to naan recipes. They're both completely amazing. The first is my absolute favorite. The second is a very very close second and it does not require the rise time the yeast naan does, which makes it mightily convenient some days.

You'll find both recipes below. (Quick naan is pictured above, but they both look basically the same.)

adapted from mybakingaddiction.com
makes about 15
Prep time: 15-20 minutes
Cook time: 20-30 minutes

Rise time: 45-60 minutes
Cost: $.80 (that's about $.06/piece)
(yeast: .05, sugar: .05, milk: .03, egg: .10, whole wheat flour: .36, white flour: .21)

Note: You're going for about 4-4 1/2 C total flour. I usually like to work in some whole wheat flour. I wouldn't add more than 2 C of whole wheat, but hey, if you're a hundred percent kind of person, go for it, and let me know how it turns out. Generally, I use more like 1/2-1 C whole wheat flour in my naan. 

1 Tbsp active dry yeast
1 C warm water
1/4 C white sugar
3 Tbsp milk
1 egg, beaten
2 tsp salt
1 C whole wheat flour
3 1/2 C all-purpose flour

In large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Stir in sugar, milk, egg, salt, and 1-2 C flour. Add another cup flour and then add flour y 1/2 cups until you can't mix it with a spoon anymore. Turn it out onto the counter to knead, add extra flour as it becomes necessary. Remember that you want to keep your ball of dough nice and supple--not sticky, but not a hard ball of dough either. (Although naan is much more forgiving of mistakes than a loaf of bread or rolls; that's one of the things to love about it.)

Let rise an hour or until it's doubled in size.

Punch it down. Note: At this point, if you'd like to get fancy, you can knead in minced garlic, rosemary, or any other herbs you'd like to fancify your bread.

Pinch off pieces of dough about the size of golf bass. Roll into balls and let these rise for about 20 more minutes. (Note: If you're pressed for time, you can skimp on this rising time and still get great bread.)

Heat cast iron skillet (or another skillet that can get hot; the grill would work too if you're skilled in that area). I heat to a bit above medium-medium high. Lightly oil skillet.

Roll out dough as thin as you can and as circular as possible. Place dough on skillet. You can brush it with butter for a special treat, but I usually don't. Cook 1-2 minutes on first side until it starts to get little puffy air pockets. It'll look like this:

(If by any chance it doesn't look like this, don't despair. It will probably still be fine. Check your heat and make sure it's not too low.)

Flip it and cook on other side for another minute or until lightly browned. And then keep going.

Quick Naan
adapted from The Good Loaf
makes 12-15 6-7-inch naan
Prep time: 5 minutes
Rest time: 30 minutes (it can be shortened; oh yes, it can)
Cook time: 20-30 minutes
Cost: $1.00
whole wheat flour: .20, flour: .30, yogurt .50

1 C whole wheat flour
3 C all-purpose flour
1/4 C sugar
3/4 tsp baking powder
3/4 C plain yogurt (I used full-fat, but any will do)
3/4-1 1/4 C water

Combine flours, sugar, baking powder.

Add yogurt and 1/2 C water. Mix. Add more water as necessary to get your dough to come together into a nice ball of dough. It will feel dense and just a tiny bit tacky, but it won't stick to your fingers at all.

Let it sit for 30 minutes, or less if you're pressed for time.

Roll it into 2-inch balls. Heat skillet (I used cast iron skillet) to medium high while you roll the dough balls as flat as possible with rolling pin. Add a little oil to skillet. Cook one at a time on medium high heat. When one side is golden browned, flip. Cook briefly on other side; it will probably bubble puff in a few areas and should only need 30-90 seconds.

Remove to plate and continue the process.


  1. Jean can I make these vegan? what about 100% whole wheat? By the way, I changed my profile from momo to upinthenight (don't know how or why). love, Martha (Jeanie as you know me)

    1. You can make it 100% whole wheat, but for me it's too heavy and flat. I'm not sure how to make it vegan. I know they have vegan yogurt substitutes, but I'm not sure how well they would work.



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