Fluffy Naan Bread recipe
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If you're looking for a fluffy and chewy naan bread recipe, this is it. This recipe is quick and easy to make and tastes fantastic alongside any Indian curry.
746 people made this
IngredientsMakes: 2 - 3 naan breads
- 80ml hand hot water
- 1 teaspoon caster sugar
- 1 teaspoon dried active yeast
- 125g plain flour
- 1 pinch salt
- 2 tablespoons melted butter, divided
- 1 tablespoon plain natural yoghurt
- coriander leaves, chopped for garnish
MethodPrep:15min ›Cook:5min ›Extra time:45min proofing › Ready in:1hr5min
- In a large bowl, stir together the water, yeast and sugar. Allow to stand for 5-10 minutes or until frothy.
- Add the flour, salt, half of the butter and yoghurt. With a blunt knife, stir the mixture into a shaggy mess, then knead by hand until the dough is smooth and elastic, 3-5 minutes.
- Cover the bowl with cling film and sit in a warm spot for 45-60 minutes or until double its size. Alternatively, you can place the bowl into the refrigerator for an overnight cold prove. If allowing for an overnight prove, remember to allow the dough to sit at room temperature for 1 hour before proceeding onto the next step.
- Punch the dough down and knead gently. Divide into 2-3 equal sized balls. Roll each ball into a naan shape (tear shaped), making them relatively thin.
- Brush a large frying pan with oil and wipe with a kitchen towel. Heat to a medium heat and place the dough onto it, wait until the naan bread unevenly puffs up, about 3-4 minutes. Brush some melted butter on 5-6 random spots before turning it over to cook for a further 2-3 minutes or until the spots are browned
- Transfer to a clean tea towel and keep it warmed. Serve hot, brushed with melted butter (if desired) and sprinkled with coriander leaves. Enjoy!
See it on my blog
Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(39)
Reviews in English (39)
Good recipe, I made mine with ground almonds and sultanas inside the balls then rolled into shapes. Super tasting and very soft. Perfect recipe!-01 Feb 2013
perfect! Have tried numerous naan recipes, this is by far the best. Easy to follow and great results-26 Jan 2013
Easy to make, and turned out wonderful!!I made them into small breads, and oven baked them.I also stuffed some with peshwari mix, (ground up caster sugar, raisins, and pistachios), and they all rose great, and tasted lovely!!!Will definitely make again!! )Thanks alot! )-08 Jun 2012
Easy Homemade Naan Bread Recipe
Anyone else absolutely love the fluffy, perfectly charred naan that comes? If so, you definitely need this Easy Homemade Naan Bread in your life!
I’ve always wanted to try my hand at making a homemade version, and after playing around with some 2-ingredient dough recipes, I knew I could make some pretty tasty naan bread really easily.
The best part? There’s no yeast required!
There are few people that I know who are making their own bread. I hear it quite often.. it is so easy to buy it, why bother making it at home? For me making bread it's like those little things in life that may seem unimportant but in fact they really make a difference. Choosing your own ingredients, not to mention the smell while baking, the possibility to serve it fresh right after it's done, it does make a difference in the equation of a meal.
It's been a while now ever since I wanted to try Naan bread recipe. I love making any kind of bread and flat breads are one of my favorite. Slightly crisp exterior while still soft and fluffy inside this bread couldn't have missed from my menu.
Can be done simple or with spices and herbs. Either way it's amazing. Brush it with butter and serve it as it is or with curries, stews, soups, hummus or any other dips. You can even make Naan pizza or use it for sandwiches and wraps.
It may seem a complicated recipe but after you understand the process it is really easy. You can even double the recipe and after they are done, freeze Naans for later use.
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How to make Garlic Naan at home
Kneading the Dough
You can use either your hands to mix and knead the dough or a stand mixer.
In a large mixer bowl or bowl, add the flour, salt, sugar and yeast and mix well. Then add the oil and milk and knead the dough. If you are using a stand mixer, this will take about 6 minutes on low speed. If you are kneading with hands, remove the dough from the bowl and knead for about 8 minutes until the dough becomes soft and smooth.·
Proofing the Dough
After you knead the dough, you will need to let it rise. You can either use your Instant Pot with the yogurt mode to proof the dough or proof it at room temperature, which works best on a warm day.
We prefer to use the Instant Pot since it perfectly creates a warm environment to allow the yeast to grow. To use the Instant Pot to allow the dough to rise, grease the pot with oil or ghee and place the greased dough in the pot. Then set the Instant Pot to Yogurt mode on normal heat for an hour.
Once the dough has doubled in size, punch the center of the dough to remove some of the air. Remove the dough from the pot or bowl and divide into 8 equal parts. Roll each part into a small ball and roll it out evenly into an oval shape that is about 10 inches long and 6 inches wide. The idea is to stretch the dough as you roll it.
Rolling the Dough
When the dough is rolled out, use a brush to apply butter or oil to the top of the rolled dough. Sprinkle garlic, cilantro, and sesame or onions seeds and lightly roll to press them into the dough.·
Once the flatbread ovals are ready, heat your pan over medium low heat. Once the pan is hot, place the rolled dough on the pan with the spice sprinkles facing up. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes or until you start seeing bubbles form. Carefully flip the dough and cook again for a minute until you start seeing the bubbles again. Remove from the pan and cook the other pieces the same way.
Brush the cooked naan with butter, ghee, or oil and keep it aside. Serve with your favorite dishes as the perfect tool to get extra sauce or gravy.
The Science of Fluffy Naan (+ Guide and Recipe)
Before ever trying to make naan ourselves, we bought a bag of pre-packed naan, which was immediately also our last time we did so. It was a true disappointment. They were dense and slightly tough, a far cry from the light and fluffy naan we’d eaten before.
The positive side of the experience: I started properly digging into how to make my own naan. Not being able to find the food you’d like to eat is probably the best driver for trying it out yourselves!
Over the years I’ve made a lot of different naans, some better than others, none yet perfect. Once I tried a variety of methods some general principles arose, once that you could call the ‘science of naan’, if you’d wish to. So let’s dig into those.
What is naan?
Naan is a type of flatbread. In this post, we’re specifically referring to ‘Indian’ naan, although even that term is still very broad. But Indian naan isn’t the only naan. In a lot of other areas, similar names (e.g. nan) for similar bread types show up. Food travels, there generally isn’t just one version.
In India there are countless types of flatbread. What sets naan apart from a lot of others, is the fact that it’s fluffy. Whereas a chapati is quite flat, and paratha is layered, naan is made up of one fluffy layer, probably more similar to a pita bread than a chapati. It gets this fluffiness from the presence of some sort of leavening agent. Traditionally this would have been yeast. Nowadays, recipes using baking soda or baking powder aren’t uncommon either (yeast has been used in bread for millennia, baking powder and soda are pretty recent inventions, being ‘only’ 100 years or so old).
Naan most likely originated several centuries ago, in the royal courts of what is now the northern region of India. The use of yeast and more refined (white) flours, as well as the fact that it is baked in a tandoor oven, more on that later, made it quite exclusive. Even nowadays naan is still often considered a restaurant food, as opposed to something made at home.
Baking Naan in the tandoor
An important reason as to why naan is still often seen as a restaurant food, is that a ‘proper’ naan is baked in a tandoor. Replicating this ‘true’ tandoor experience can be tricky.
A tandoor is a type of oven, developed centuries ago in southern and western Asia. The tandoor oven is a ‘vertical oven’. They could be made by digging a pit in the ground and covering the walls with clay. Alternatively, above-ground clay pots could be used. Nowadays, you can buy various types of well-insulated units, made out of metal or clay, that you can easily install in a restaurant, no need to dig a hole.
Heat from the bottom
What makes a tandoor unique are its shape and location of the opening. A tandoor has the shape of a rounded cylinder, standing up vertically. You heat the oven from the bottom, traditionally by building a wood or charcoal fire on its floor. Nowadays, you can also find gas powered tandoors, the heat will still come from the bottom of the pit though. At the top of a tandoor sits a round opening, this is where you add your food. Meat for instance is roasted on skewers placed within the searing hot (can easily be >400°C/750°F) oven.
Opening at the top
As opposed to European style ovens, bread cannot be baked on the floor of the oven since that’s where the heat source sits. Instead, breads are baked on the walls, of the oven. Skilled tandoor bakers slap pieces of dough against the wall of the tandoor using a special cushion, a gadhi/gaddi. There the bread sits until it’s completely cooked, which only takes 1-2 minutes, and removed with a hook.
You can’t turn it!
This style of cooking has a few beneficial consequences. First of all, there’s no way to rotate or turn the bread. Once the bread starts to cook it will no longer be sticky enough to slap onto the wall. As a result, you can only cook in one direction. This results in a nice contrast between the two sides of the bread.
The side that sits against the wall of the oven gets quite even heat. The clay holds onto heat and will remain warm for a long time, cooking the bread. The heat will then activate (or speed up) the action of the leavening agents and it will evaporate moisture within the dough. As a result, you’ll see bubbles popping up all over the bread. These bubbles are directly exposed to the heat of the coals at the bottom of the pit. The intense, direct heat causes the browning and slight charring of the puffy side of the naan.
Rogan josh is delicious with naan (from Curry Guy)
Imitating a tandoor
Making naan without a tandoor isn’t impossible, but it’s going to give you slightly different results. If you want to get as close as possible, try to imitate those two types of heating, the high temperature, and don’t flip the naan (which breaks all those bubbles).
A way to do so that’s commonly advised is by using the grill/broil function in a ‘conventional’ oven. Place the naan on a pre-heated hot stone in the oven under the grill. The stone serves as the ‘wall’ whereas the grill is the ‘fire’.
My personal preferred method uses a flat griddle (e.g. a tawa) and a gas stove. First bake the bottom of the naan on the tawa, which should be very hot. Once the bottom is cooked, take the naan from the griddle and turn it upside down above a neighboring burner, using the gas burner to create that nice char on the top.
Alternatively, you can also go for a less ‘authentic’ appearance (which still tastes good) by baking it on top of the flat griddle and flipping it midway. You won’t get that characteristic ‘puff’ on one side, but the bread will still turn out soft and delicious.
Baking the naan on top of a tawa, flipping halfway through.
Ingredients to make naan
Naan is traditionally made with white wheat flour, but you can make it with whole wheat flour as well. The main difference will be that the naan can be denser, possibly less puffy. As mentioned earlier, the other required ingredients for naan are either yeast or baking powder a/o baking soda. These help create those air pockets and puffiness in the naan.
Aside from more general ‘bread’ ingredients such as salt, a little sugar, water and some oil, a lot of naan recipes contain yogurt as well. Yogurt can serve a few functions. If you use it with baking soda, it provides the acid that the soda needs to become activated and leaven the bread. Yogurt also creates a softer bread texture, helping to create that fluffy consistency, even in yeast leavened breads, and contributes to the overall flavor.
Naan recipe &ndash chewy & fluffy!
So many naan recipes are nothing more than a basic flatbread recipe. But this one? Fluffy, bubbly and chewy, just like you get at Indian restaurants. It’s so incredible, you’d swear it’s just been pulled from a tandoor! Truly fluffy, chewy, bubbly naan has eluded me for years. Every other recipe I tried – and believe me, I’ve tried so many I’ve lost count – are just basic flatbread recipes with no real crumb integrity and absolutely none of the signature elasticity that real restaurant naan has.And the most incredible thing? Naan dough is so easy to make. There is no kneading involved. Really. There is nothing tricky about it at all!
As for the versions made without yeast? Forget it. They were more like pancakes. It was handy to discover that the naan recipe can be made ahead, refrigerated overnight and cooked up the next day – and it’s 100% perfect. It’s just as fluffy and soft. With the added bonus of even better flavor in the bread because as with many yeast breads, flavor develops with time!
- 1 tsp instant / rapid rise yeast
- 1/2 cup warm tap water (
9. Heat a griddle or tawa. If the pan is not hot enough then the naan will not rise well. So ensure it is hot but not extremely hot. Gently remove the naan from the counter and place it on the hot griddle. Soon you will see bubbles on the naan. You can also cook them covered.
10. Hold the naan with a tong and filp it to the other side. After flipping you can cook them on the griddle or on direct gas flame as per your preference. Cook on the other side as well until completely cooked & slightly charred. Do not press down the naan with a spatula as it will make them dense.
For ease you may place a wired rack on your stove to toast them on the other side. Here I placed a wired rack over the electric stove and flipped it to cook on the other side. I used a electric stove (hotplate) which has a cast iron plate over it.
11. Remove to a serving plate and then brush some butter.
Butter Naans are best served hot, straight out of the griddle. Serve them with any curry or dal.
How to make naan
This section looks lengthy, but I promise this naan recipe is not hard. I’m just breaking down the steps and showing thorough process photos so you have total confidence that you’ll nail this, even if you’re new to working with yeast doughs.
And guess what? Naan dough doesn’t requiring kneading!!
Proof the yeast
First step, let’s get the yeast activated and ready to work its magic on our naan dough.
- Mix instant yeast with warm water & sugar – This is not a typical step you see in bread making when using instant yeast because the whole point of instant yeast is that you can add it straight into dough without mixing with warm water and letting it foam first.
Make naan dough
- Mix dry and wet ingredients – in a large bowl, mix together the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, salt), then add the foamy yeast, butter or ghee, and the milk + eggs
- Mix – start by mixing with a firm rubber spatula or wooden spoon to bring the dough together. For no reason other than saving a sticky mess on your hands!
Bring together into ball
- Bring together by hand – Then once the mixture is too stiff to effectively mix with a spatula, switch to your hands. You don’t need to knead the dough, just mix it with your hands to bring it together into a cohesive dough
- The dough – Once the dough comes together, it should be sticky and soft enough to easily come together into a ball but not so sticky that the dough sticks to your hands, as pictured above. If the dough is too sticky, sprinkle over a little flour and work that in
Rise dough 1 to 1.5 hours – double in size
- Proof dough – Once the butter/ghee is incorporated, shape into a ball. Cover with cling wrap them put the bowl somewhere warm to let it proof for 1 – 1.5 hours, until it has doubled in volume
- Doubled in volume – The dough pictured above is after proofing for 1 1/2 hours. It has more than doubled because it was a very (very!) hot day. It’s ok if it more than doubles – mine is probably closer to triple. But if the dough rises way too much (as in > triple), then the yeast can run out of firepower and not rise when cooked. Try to stick to double in size!
Divide into 6 balls
- Cut into 6 pieces – Lift the dough out of the bowl onto a lightly floured surface, then cut into 6 equal pieces. This makes
Rise 15 minutes – 50% size increase
- Rise 15 minutes, 50% increase in size – Place the balls on a lightly floured tray, cover with a tea towel and leave to rise in a warm place for 15 minutes until they increase in size by about 50%. It doesn’t take long
- After rising – This is what they look like after 15 minutes. Ready to roll out and cook!
- Flatten on lightly floured surface – Pick up a piece and flat it down lightly on a lightly floured surface
- Roll out into 15 – 17cm / 6- 7″ rounds (smaller = puffier)
- Hot skillet – Heat a cast iron skillet (with no oil) over medium high heat until it is just starting to smoke. Then place the naan in and leave it without touching. And if you’re like me, you’ll get a kick out of watching the surface go all bubbly – it’s an extremely satisfying moment!
- 60 to 90 seconds then flip – It should only take 60 – 90 seconds for the underside to cook until it’s nicely browned. Then use tongs to turn
Brush with ghee
- 45 – 60 seconds – The the bubbly side will only take around 45 seconds to cook. You’re just looking for nice brown spots on the bubbles and for the surface of the dough to be cooked.
Aim for fast cooking without burning the ghee. The faster it’s done, the closer you are to real naan cooked in the fierce heat of a tandoor, the fluffier your naan will be!
Tips, tricks, and frequently asked questions
What if my naan doesn&rsquot puff up?
There are a few reasons your bread may not bubble or puff up. Most likely is that your pan isn&rsquot hot enough.
Also possible is if the leavener (yeast) was old or didn&rsquot activate, your dough wasn&rsquot moist enough, or it was rolled too thinly.
Why did my naan bread recipe get hard?
If you cook the bread too long or on too low of a heat it can cause a tough or hard result.
Should I hand stretch or roll?
Traditionally the dough is hand stretched, but I will usually roll it out because I&rsquom making food for eleventy billion kids and I find it faster. Be careful not to over roll or roll too thinly though!
Thin or thick dough?
This is definitely a matter of preference. I tend to err on the side of thicker so it gets a nice soft puffy finish with good chew.
Is naan the same as pita bread?
No, while they are both flatbreads that look similar, the recipe, process, and outcome are not the same.
You can enjoy warm or save for later.