This article “How to Make Naan Bread At Home”, is packed with hints and tips for making the best naan bread ever.
Making naan bread at home doesn’t need to be complicated. This homemade naan recipe is so easy to make, you’ll never want to buy it again. It’s soft, puffy and dotted with dark golden specks just like the ones you get at Indian restaurants.
How To Make Naan Bread At Home
This recipe for Indian bread is so simple to make, all you need to do is combine the ingredients into a stand mixer bowl and let the machine do the kneading.
The dough is then allowed to rest until it has doubled in size. Then divided into 12 even sized balls, rolled into rounds and cooked in a cast iron skillet.
How To Make Naan Bread At Home Without A Mixer
This is a great alternative if you don’t have a mixer. The bread turns out a little denser when compared to the kneaded bread but, I don’t mind either method.
This is a very wet dough, and the dough can be treated as a no-knead recipe.
Place the all the ingredients into a very large mixing bowl, use a wooden spoon and mix very well. Tightly cover the bowl with plastic food wrap, place in a warm area and allow to double in size. Then finish by shaping and cooking the bread as outlined in the recipe.
How to Make Naan Bread At Home – Tips and Ideas
Why Use A Cast Iron Skillet?
The characteristic golden specks that are dotted over the bread is traditional made in a tandoor oven.
What is a tandoor?
A tandoor oven is essentially a clay oven that is fired by charcoal or wood and can reach temperatures as high as 480°C. It is used to cook and bake many different foods. When used to make naan bread, the dough is slapped to the inside of the clay, the high heat inside the oven makes the dough puff, expand and giving it the distinctive blistered look.
To achieve this at home the easiest and most convenient way is to use a cast iron skillet. Using a cast iron skillet is not only quicker than making naan bread in the oven, it looks closer to ones that are made in a tandoor.
The reason I like using a cast iron skillet is that it is thicker and better at retaining heat than the average skillet, making it easier to control the temperature.
How To Make Naan Bread At Home In The Oven?
Naan bread can be made in the oven, and it can be cooked exactly the same way I do pita bread. I pre-heat my oven to around 200°C, and place three rolled out pieces of dough onto an up-turned cake rack and then place into the hot oven to bake.
I use a cake rack so that hot air will circulate around the bread giving it an even heat all around. The dough will puff and rise in places and will color only slightly with very few if any golden specks.
Be careful not to leave the bread in the oven for too long, otherwise you could end up with crispy naan bread instead. – which, by the way is delicious when brushed with melted butter and garlic powder.
This homemade naan recipe is so easy to make, you’ll never want to buy it again. It’s soft, puffy and dotted with dark golden specks just like the ones you get at Indian restaurants. Totally delicious!
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How To Make Soft Naan?
From personal experience, to make soft naan bread there are a number of things that need to be considered:
1. The Type Of Flour
It is important to use plain flour (all purpose flour) and not bakers’ flour for naan. Bakers flour (or bread flour) has more protein and gluten which gives bread structure and firmness. Whereas, plain flour is lower in protein and gluten and when used in bread making will produce a softer bread.
2. The Yeast
Yeast helps the bread rise, so it’s important to ensure that the yeast you use is live and active. If you have any doubts about the freshness the yeast, you can proof the yeast. If you don’t know how to proof yeast, follow the steps outlined on my How To Use Instant Yeast page.
3. Kneading The Dough
Don’t over knead the dough, you just want it to come together just to the point where it starts looking smooth and lump free. If you are using a stand mixer as suggested in this recipe, knead for about 3 – 5 minutes and no more. If you’ve never kneaded dough in a stand mixer before, you might like to read Tips For Kneading Dough In A Mixer.
4. The Moisture Content In The Dough
The dough needs to be wet and sticky. This dough is sticky and very soft and wet, the high moisture content helps make is soft.
Give the dough plenty of time to rise and double in size.
6. How It’s Cooked
As mentioned earlier naan bread can be cooked in either a cast iron skillet or the oven. Cooking in a cast iron skillet is the best way make a soft naan bread because of the high heat and quick cooking time as opposed to baking in the oven which is slower and longer and can cause the bread to dry out.
7. How It Is Stored After Cooking
Another way to keep naan bread soft and warm, is to stack the naan while still hot and wrap it up in a clean tea towel. The steam that is trapped will help keep the naan soft.
FAQ – How To Make Naan Bread At Home
Can You Freeze Fresh Naan Bread?
Yes, it can be frozen, allow the bread to cool completely then wrap tightly in plastic food wrap, place into a freezer bag and seal tightly, don’t forget to label and date it before freezing. It can be frozen for up to six months.
How Do You Keep Naan Bread Fresh?
I find freezing bread is the best way to keep it fresh. Freeze any left-over naan the same day it has been made. When you need the naan, leave it out to defrost, then wrap tightly in alfoil and place in a warm oven to heat.
If you prefer, the naan can be warmed in the microwave oven. For each naan, heat in cycles of 10 seconds until it is warmed – being careful not over heat. Overheating will make the bread dry out and become hard.
Is Naan Bread Healthy?
Yes, naan bread is healthy. My recipe is easy to make and only 105 calories per serve when eaten plain.
How Is Naan Bread Served?
Naan is traditionally served as a side dish to Indian main meals and can be used as a wrap to a variety of savory fillings.
It can also be used as a pizza base. Can be cut into small pieces, baked crispy for a healthy base for a number of snack type toppings or dips.
The bread can also be eaten plain or, hot spread with melted butter and dusted with garlic powder.
What Goes Good With Naan?
Naan is typically torn into small pieces and used to scoop up food so, any boneless meaty curry, vegetable or lentil style dish will be good with naan. Basically any dish that has a thick gravy style sauce would be ideal, for example: Rogan Josh, chicken tikka masala, sweet and sour Balti Chicken, Balti chicken, mixed vegetable curry and masala chana.
How to Make Naan Bread At Home – Easy Step By Step Guide
Step 1. Naan bread ingredients
- 2 teaspoon dry active yeast (make sure it is fresh and active)
- 375 grams lukewarm water
- 600 grams plain flour
- 2 teaspoon sugar
- 2 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- 4 tablespoons canola oil
- 5 level tablespoons natural yogurt (store bought or homemade)
Place all the ingredients into a stand mixer bowl. Using the dough hook knead on low speed (I use speed 1) for 30 seconds then scrape down the sides of the bowl, then knead for 5 minutes on speed 2.
NOTE: The dough should be wet and stick to the sides of the bowl (see picture below). The slightly higher moisture content in the dough will give you a soft and fluffy bread when cooked.
Climate and the flour can affect how your dough will turn out so;
- If your dough happens to be a little drier and doesn’t stick as much to the bowl, this is fine too, just as long as it is sticky. When cooked the bread will be soft but not as soft as the wetter dough above.
- If it looks extremely dry add a tablespoon of water at a time as it mixes until you get the correct consistency. If it is too wet add a tablespoon of flour to the dough until you get the correct consistency.
The image below shows you how different the dough can turn out. The doughs where made on different days, about a week apart, the one on the right is wetter than the one on the left.
Step 2. Prove The Dough
Leave the dough in the bowl scrape the sides clean and shape the dough into a ball, tightly cover the bowl with plastic food wrap and allow to double in size.
Step 3. Knock Back The Dough
Use a scraper to knock back the dough, by scraping down the sides of the bowl and folding the dough in on itself several times before scraping the dough to the a lightly floured bench top.
Step 4. Divide and Shape
Use kitchen scales to weigh and divide the dough into 12 even sized balls, about 87 grams each. Roll out and gently pull each ball into 18 cm rounds – being a soft dough it will stretch a little more as you transfer it from the bench to the skillet.
Make sure that the dough is of an even thickness and not rolled out too thin. It needs to be about 3-5mm thick, otherwise is won’t puff and be soft.
Please note: The cast iron skillet I use is about 20cm in diameter and this works out perfect for that size. If your skillet is smaller, consider making the dough balls a little smaller to accommodate the size of the skillet and required thickness of the rolled-out dough.
When working with the dough and find it sticky, lightly dust both the dough and your hands with flour. – this will make it easier to work with.
Step 5. Cooking the Naan
You want to get the skillet nice and hot before placing the first naan in. When you are ready to cook the naan, turn down the heat to medium and add the first naan, make sure you dust of any excess flour before you do so.
You should see it almost instantly start to bubble and start to puff up, when this happens turn the bread over and cook the other side. You may have to adjust the heat from time to time to prevent burning.
Wipe the skillet clean every so often, as any excess flour in the skillet will burn and discolour the naan. – I use an old damp folded tea towel to wipe the skillet clean.
Tip: Avoid burning yourself and, hold the damp tea towel with tongs when wiping the hot pan.
Stack the naan on top of each other once they are cooked and keep wrapped in a clean tea towel until ready to eat.
More Delicious Flat-bread Recipes To Try
Now you know how to make naan bread at home! Make these easy curry recipes to go with your naan bread? Try these:
This simple chickpea curry from My Pure Plants, is an easy one-pot dish that’s quick to make. You can have it on the table in 30 minutes making it great for those busy days.
Dum Aloo from my friends at Your Veg Recipe is a popular North Indian curry made with baby potatoes, cooked in a thick creamy onion and tomato gravy, that’s just waiting to be mopped up with a fresh piece of homemade naan bread.
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How To Make Naan Bread At Home
- 2 teaspoon dry active yeast
- 375 grams (1 1/2 cups) water
- 600 grams (1.3 lb) plain flour / all-purpose
- 2 teaspoon sugar
- 2 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- 4 tablespoons canola oil
- 5 tablespoons natural yogurt
- Place all the ingredients into a stand mixer bowl. Using the dough hook knead on low speed for 30 seconds the scrape down the sides of the bowl, then knead for up to 5 minutes.
- Leave the dough in the bowl, scrape the sides clean and shape the dough into a ball, tightly cover the bowl with plastic food wrap and allow to double in size.
- Scrape the dough from the mixing bowl onto a lightly floured surface and divide into 12 even size balls. Use a rolling pin to roll out each ball into 18 cm (7 inch) rounds. To stop the dough from sticking to the bench and rolling pin,keep the dough dusted on the top and bottom with flour.Make sure that the dough is of an even thickness and not rolled out too thin. It needs to be about 3-5 mm (0.12 – 0.19 inch) thick,otherwise is won’t puff up properly. Roll out about 3- 4 flat breads then start cooking. While one flat bread is cooking, roll out another while keeping an eye on the one in the pan.
- You want to get the skillet nice and hot before placing the first naan in. When you are ready to cook the naan, turn down the heat to medium and add the first naan, make sure you dust of any excess flour before you do so. You should see it almost instantly start to bubble and start to puff up, when this happens turn the bread over and cook the other side. You may have to adjust the heat from time to time to prevent burning. Stack the naan on top of each other once they are cooked and keep wrapped in a clean tea towel to keep warm until ready to serve.
- Roll out the dough into smaller circles and make them sightly thicker or
- make a few more naans by weighing out smaller pieces of dough.
First published February 19, 2019. Updated with additional content and new images on February 28, 2020.
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