One of my resolutions for New Year was to make more homemade bread. I couldn’t think of a better place to begin than with one of my favorites: fluffy naan.
To be honest, naan has always intimidated me a bit. It is so delicious that I assumed it must be complicated. Luckily, I stumbled upon Prerna’s recipe for Homemade Naan and can say that is has single-handedly changed my life. Long gone are the days that I have to run to the store and purchase naan to satisfy a craving. Now I can make it at home!
Not only that, but I can’t believe how simple it really is. I promise it is even easier than it looks.
I followed Prerna’s recipe exactly, and loved it so much that I also made a second batch with whole wheat pastry flour. It came out great too! Now my only problem is that I can’t stop eating naan with loads of butter. Send help!
Here’s everything you need for the dough: milk, plain yogurt, baking soda, baking powder, sugar, salt, olive oil and either whole wheat pastry flour or all-purpose flour. You probably have all the ingredients in your kitchen! In fact, I think you should head on in there right now and whip some up.
Begin by combining all of your dry ingredients—the flour, baking soda, baking powder, sugar and salt—into a bowl. Mix them up well.
In a separate bowl, warm the milk (I used the microwave and heated mine for about 25 seconds) with the plain yogurt. I let my yogurt sit out for about 15–20 minutes just to take the chill off. It may look a little funky, but just follow the rules. Prerna knows her stuff.
Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and slowly add half of the yogurt and milk mixture. Right here is where I fell in love with Prerna’s recipe because of her honest instructions: she does not believe that there is one exact liquid measurement to mix with one exact flour measurement to form the perfect dough. I believe the same! While that theory may take a bit of practice and getting used to, it is nearly foolproof when it comes to this naan. After adding half of the mixture, gradually add a bit more until the dough comes together. I ended up using the entire milk and yogurt mixture with the all-purpose flour. However, I only used about 3/4 of the mixture when using the whole wheat pastry flour.
Mix the dough with a spoon until it comes together. Use a bit of oil to grease your hands and form the dough into a ball. No kneading at this stage!
Now it’s time to let the dough work its magic. Cover it with a damp cloth and let it sit for at least 2 hours. In this time, go do something fun like bake cookies or walk the dog. I took this moment to scrub my kitchen floor, which is very out of character for me. I hope I’m not falling ill.
After the two hours have passed, dust your work space with flour and knead the dough for 2-3 minutes. It should be soft and pliable. Form it into a circle. I actually scored my dough to make it easier to get uniform pieces.
Separate the dough into eight pieces. Sprinkle some flour on your workspace again and flatten each piece of dough. It should still be slightly thick and somewhat elongated.
The time has come to season your naan! You want to season one side with your flavor of choice; I chose garlic and a bit of smoked paprika. But there is a world of possibilities out there. Get creative! In the meantime, brush the opposite side with water.
Heat a skillet on medium heat. I used my dandy, trust old cast iron. I couldn’t live without it. Place your dough water-side down in the skillet. It will stick. Cook the naan for about 30-60 seconds. You know it’s time to flip it when you can see the dough bubbling. If it is still sticking, give it another 15 seconds and try again. Gently lift it up with kitchen tongs.
This is where you have two options. You can flip the naan in the skillet and cook the other side just like you did the first. I did this with a handful of my dough and each came out beautifully.
Prerna’s recipe calls for heating the other side of the naan over an open flame to achieve an authentic naan look and taste. I was hesitant at first, but I lit my burner next to my cast iron skillet and got to work.
I absolutely loved this result!
I used kitchen tongs and held the naan over the flame for about 30 seconds, rotating it constantly. The timing worked perfectly since the other naan was toasting in the skillet, and it became natural to get into a routine: move naan from the skillet to the flame, place the next naan in the skillet, rotate the naan over the open flame, then set aside on a plate to cool. Repeat!
I highly recommend this option for those of you with a gas stove. Just be careful! Make sure there is nothing flammable nearby (such as towels or napkins) and give your full attention to the naan.
And remember, the other option of completing the naan in the skillet yields an excellent result as well.
I ended up with a tall, fluffy stack of regular and whole wheat naan. I hope there is naan in Heaven.
Regardless of how you choose to flavor your naan, I recommend brushing it with tons of melted butter. Why would you do anything else?
Of course, you also have the option of making naan pizzas (a favorite in our house) or peanut butter and jelly naan or even dessert naan. Naan topped with peanut butter, honey, bananas and chocolate chips? Sign me up!
I promise you won’t ever want to buy store-bought naan again. Enjoy!
Thanks to Prerna for her fabulous recipe and for helping me step out of my comfort zone in the kitchen. She made my first naan experience quite enjoyable and extremely delicious. Check out her wonderful blog, Indian Simmer, which is chock full of beautiful photography and mouth watering recipes.
Naan is one of the most popular Indian breads. It is a flat bread made with fermented dough, traditionally cooked in a clay oven called tandoor.
- 2 cups All Purpose Flour Or Wheat Flour
- ¾ teaspoons Baking Powder
- ½ teaspoons Baking Soda
- ½ teaspoons Sugar
- ¼ teaspoons Salt
- ½ cups Warm Milk
- ½ cups Yogurt
- ½ Tablespoons Oil, As Needed
- Additional Optional Herbs And Seasonings To Flavor The Naan (See Note)
Note: The ingredient list includes the ingredients for the dough. You can flavor your naan with all kinds of herbs. I made cumin naan, garlic naan, butter naan, and some topped with cilantro.
Mix all the dry ingredients together and make a well of flour.
Mix milk and yogurt together and pour half of it into the well and slowly combine it together.
I don’t think there’s an exact amount of liquid that should be added to the exact amount of flour to make a perfect dough. So what I do is continue adding liquid slowly and combining it all together slowly until a soft dough is made. The dough should be soft enough for you to be able to dig your finger into it without applying any pressure. If dough sticks to your hand too much, then use little bit of oil on your hands and then punch into the dough.
Cover with a damp cloth and let it sit in a warm place for at least 2 hours.
After a few hours, dust your working board, take out the dough and knead it for about 2-3 minutes. Divide the dough into smaller balls (in this case you should get about 8 balls to make naans).
Dust the board again and flatten the balls to make bread that is a little thick and elongated.
Now sprinkle one side of the bread with your desired flavor. I made cumin, minced garlic, chopped cilantro and some simple butter naans.
Brush the other side with water.
Heat a thick-bottomed skillet or a wok or any heavy-bottomed pan with a lid. Once it is nicely hot, place the naan wet side down (it will stick) and cover it with a lid.
Let it cook for about 30 seconds or until you see bubbles on it. Now cook the other side of the naan over a direct flame on the burner with the help of tongs. When you see some charred brown spots then you know that the naan is done.
Smother a good amount of butter on your naans and when you taste them, you’ll know what a peaceful life means!
Jessica Merchant is a personal trainer turned food writer and blogger. Her blog, How Sweet Eats, is where she proclaims her love for all things sweet, all things bacon, and everything else in between. She works her magic in her Pittsburgh kitchen, which she shares with her husband of 2 years.
Comments are closed for this recipe.
Abby on 5.28.2011
The link isn’t working…..want to make this sooo bad!
Susan A. Lee on 5.11.2011
Can i use regular whole wheat flour (not pastry flour)? Thanks for this recipe. I’m a recent subscriber and loving your recipes and your homeschooling blog. Great photos, great humor and passion.
Shauna D on 2.28.2011
I’ve been looking for a naan recipe and this one is perfect! Thank you thank you thank you!
scienceteachercooks on 2.27.2011
Thank you so much!!! I live 60+ miles from an Indian restaurant or grocery store that sells naan. Can’t wait to try this!!!
yeni on 2.22.2011
Ooh, some aloo naan would be great right now! I think I’ll try this recipe soon and stuff it with spiced mashed potato, or some paneer. Yum! Thanks for the step-by-step Jessica!
RhodeyGirl on 2.22.2011
In Jordan they make a similar bread except it is very very very thin. They cook it on a round hot stone and it is seriously to die for… chewy, soft, delicate, heavenly.
Your naan looks so similar to our Jordanian bread.. now I miss Jordan!
Anyway, I’m sending this link to PB so hopefully he (the bread maker in the fam) will make it for me!
Theresa on 2.21.2011
We always would cook homemade bread on the gas stove top. There is really nothing like that taste. Delicious.
claireg12 on 2.21.2011
I LOVE Naan!! I buy it all the time at the store! Thanks for this step by step!
Linda on 2.21.2011
I made the naan and did not have good results. It tasted good but just did not look like what you made. So I replaced my baking powder and will buy different yogurt and make them again with all purpose flour. I hope for better results next time. I made the butter chicken featured here and it was a very tasty quick meal with requests to make the naan and chicken again.
Ann from Montana on 2.21.2011
I don’t have a gas oven and cooked both sides in my cast iron skillet – then quick with the butter and garlic and the flavor was wonderful! Thank you for the step-by-step AND the original.
I will probably try finishing them on my gas grill next time to get the char.
Kristen, if you see this, would you mind posting your GF tweaks?
HowSweetEats on 2.21.2011
If you don’t have an open flame – Prerna suggested using the broiler in the oven! She said it comes out just as great.
Kristen on 2.21.2011
Thank you so much for posting the recipe. I tweaked it a bit to make it gluten-free and it was AMAZING. Thank you for bringing back my favorite part of Indian food (before I had to stop eating wheat).
The Church Cook (Kay Heritage) on 2.20.2011
Great step-by-step photos Jessica. It’s not so intimidating to try now.
Sheila Johnson on 2.20.2011
Heaven Help Me!
jmk on 2.20.2011
Delicious ! We just ate too much ! Mine were garlic, butter and sea salt. Killer good.
karen Wyman on 2.20.2011
Naan is tasty for sure, but I cant believe you didn’t mentioned eating it with your recipe for hummus that follows. Very tasty together! I like to reheat my naan in the toaster so it is warm when I dip into the hummus. Also, if your craving naan but not in the mood to cook Trader Joes carries a pretty good one in their fresh bread section.
Marla Meridith on 2.20.2011
Love the Prerna’s blog – these naan look great. Gotta try that grilling over the stove top.
Amy at TheSceneFromMe on 2.19.2011
Hmm, I couldn’t do this with my electric stovetop. What is the alternative?
wildoates on 2.19.2011
We made a batch this afternoon and it turned out very tasty. Our original intention was to bring it to a party this evening, but we ate most of it as soon as it was done, so we’re stopping by the store on our way to the party to get some pita chips.
We did find we needed a hotter pan, but otherwise it worked great!
Jess on 2.19.2011
next time i make chana masala, i’m definitely making this naan. looks so pillowy and chewy.
Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) on 2.19.2011
Jessica, wonderful work! And I love that you just heated it right over a true open flame. You’re a daredevil
Sharon on 2.19.2011
I tried the recipe. They were delicious and easy to make. Thanks for sharing. I didn’t have yogurt on hand and substituted with warmed sour cream.
April G. on 2.19.2011
I have an even easier recipe that requires fewer ingredients and no rising, and I figured out how to make it in the oven! It’s so tasty, and amazingly simple.
HappyWhenNotHungry on 2.19.2011
I’ve always wanted to try making my own Naan. This looks delicious! Thanks for sharing!
Katrina on 2.19.2011
This does look easy! Awesome idea!
Anne on 2.18.2011
Made them tonight with chana masala. Great recipe they are so good.
Jennifer M. on 2.18.2011
I lurve naan, so I will definitely be trying this. Butter chicken and naan in my near future? very yes.
paulaclark on 2.18.2011
I made these today, since I looked at Naan in the grocery store and really didn’t think it was worth that price! This recipe is so good. I used my iron skillet and just flipped them in there. I didn’t try to hold them over the flame because hubby was resting and I was trying not to set off the smoke alarm. I’m thrilled to be able to make my own Naan now.
EQ on 2.18.2011
OH, I’ve had “Indian Tacos”, native indians from the reservation here. Each year in October we have an apple festival, ladies make 1000 apple pies, you can buy a piece of pie or a whole one. They will be gone in a day and half. But me, naaaaaaaaah I head for the TeePee and my Indian tacos. They have the little balls of dough out where you can see them, when you order they are cooked right there in front of you. Next comes the meat, cheese, gooey melting in the hot meat, next chopped scallions, lettuce and slivers of cabbage, and chopped tomatoes, then you add the “Hot stuff” of choice. Grab hand full of napkins, you will need them… and enjoy……… it is heaven.
Love the pink utensils, and the new mixer, my kitchen accent colors.
Love you’r site……. Totally.
Brittany on 2.18.2011
Oh.My.God. I moved to a small town 9 months ago and I often CRAVE indian food (which is impossible to find in a 300 mile radius). Oftentimes I really just want naan. I don’t have yogurt in my fridge or I really would make this RIGHT.NOW.
Jessica @ How Sweet It Is on 2.18.2011
April – I think you could do the grill!
Eda – did you oil your hands? Mine was sticky too at first, but one it sat for 2 hours and I floured my surface, it was perfect.
Kimby on 2.18.2011
The only thing better on this would be ghee — worth the effort. I liked your pink mixing bowl & measuring cups, too!
BethofMtLebanon on 2.18.2011
Just made these Gluten Free!!, not bad. I just need to play with my flour mix . As per Shauna’s directions (www.glutenfreegirl.com) I just switched out the 2 cups of wheat flour for 280 grams of my gluten free flour mix . I also used Greek yogurt and it was fine. Next time I will use less milk/or more flour, and roll them thinner. My last three were great, the first five didn’t look so good. They all tasted fine. They were lovely with dark chocolate peanut spread (perhaps that is way every one ate them?).
Leah on 2.18.2011
In a pinch, you can use heavy cream instead of yogurt. Turned out just the same for me.
Patty on 2.18.2011
Eda on 2.18.2011
Hi, I just did it today and I liked it, but I think I have done something wrong..
Is it supposed to be REALLY sticky by the time you have to knead it?
Mine was too moist or something I guess, I think I put too much of the milk/yogurt misture.
MOV on 2.18.2011
My college boyfriend worked in an Indian restaurant, and I was spoiled with amazing naan bread. And we loved to joke back and forth,
“What kind of bread is it?”
“It’s not bread?”
“It is, but it’s naan bread.”
“Huh. Non-bread. It sure tastes like bread though.”
Anyhow, I am glad to have the recipe and I will give it a try!
Always an inspiration.
eq4bits on 2.18.2011
If, like me, you don’t have a gas stove you can always pull out your ‘kitchen torch’
Kim in MD on 2.18.2011
I didn’t know making naan was so easy! Great tutorial, Jessica!!! I can’t wait to make this recipe!
crystalscozykitchen on 2.18.2011
I love Naan! I have yet to make it myself though. I’m going to have to try it soon.
Kelly Lilley on 2.18.2011
Wow! Wow! Wow! I can’t wait to make this and I love the idea of making pizzas with the naan. My husband loves to make bread too so I am forwarding this now. He’ll love it!! Thank you Jess!!
Linda in Alaska on 2.18.2011
I love this. I can’t wait to e-mail my friend in India after I make this with my grandkids today. Thanks for sharing. I love the iron skillet I use them all the time.
Karen S. on 2.18.2011
I was just thinking about trying naan – I am making saag paneer Sunday! And I see that Gian’Iggle salt there!
Diane on 2.18.2011
Naan sure looks like something I’d like. I’ll definitely try it….
ohjalapeno on 2.18.2011
We love naan around here and the closest place to get it is over 50 miles away and it is expensive. yeehaw! now I can make it at home! thank you thank you!
[email protected] on 2.18.2011
Oh wow, I’m stoked! I’m so glad you liked the recipe and excited beyond belief that you shared here! Thanks SO much! I can’t stop smiling
laura @ alittlebarefoot on 2.18.2011
yum! definitely have to try this.
ahnkadragon on 2.18.2011
No fair I don’t have a gas stove! I’ve made Naan before and it i sso yummy. The stove trick makes it look better than mine though=(
EatLiveRun on 2.18.2011
yum! I adore homemade naan but last time I made it, I almost set my apartment on fire (true story). This looks fabulous!
KyCat on 2.18.2011
Thank you sooooooooooo much!! My boys will be so thankful! We LOVE naan and I didn’t think it was even possible to do at home. Must try.