Naan is an Indian flatbread made of wheat flour. We make it by mixing in yoghurt with the flour to create softness. And we prefer to ferment it slowly overnight to create more taste. In the absence of a tandoor in the home we bake it on a hot flat (iron) pan.
The art of making naan
Making naan does not require exquisite cooking skills. Rather patience and experience make you better at it each time. Allow enough time to let the dough rise and develop flavor. But do not over-ferment the dough. During pan baking be careful not to let the bread burn on either side. Best is to prevent loose flour on the surface of the breads. As loose flour can burn and form bad taste, especially when making multiple breads in sequence in the pan.
Brush the bread with molten ghee or butter and store them for a short time on a warm plate in the oven at 80 C.
- Flat iron pan
- optionally a dough pin, but not essential
Ingredients for the butter naan
- 2 cups (250 g) all purpose flour
- 4 oz (100 g) yoghurt
- 3 oz (85 g) milk
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp dried yeast
- 1/4 cup molten butter or ghee
For garlic naan
- 5 cloves minced garlic
- a small bunch of coriander leaves (optional)
Preparing the dough
- Mix the flour and salt and add the yoghurt, milk and vegetable oil
- Mix first with a spoon or fork, until a dough is being formed
- Lightly knead the dough and let stand for 6-12 hr at room temperature or until clear fermentation is visible (the dough is expanding in volume). Please note that your kitchen temperature determines the time. A cooler kitchen will require longer times and vice versa
- Then de-gas the dough, knead with your hand for 5-10 minutes and let stand in an oiled bowl to further ferment. Likely 60 min will be enough to double the volume if the temperature is 25 C or more.
Forming the breads
- Divide the dough in 6 equal parts and roll each with the dough pin into a flat round dough
- If you like to make a garlic naan, this is the time to sprinkle minced garlic and optionally some coriander leaves on the surface.
- With a spoon lightly press the garlic (and coriander leaves) into the dough;
- If you want to make a plane butter naan, skip the garlic and coriander leave sprinkling and bake the breads
Baking the breads in a pan
- Heat a flat iron pan to fairly hot on the stove
- Place one flat round dough on the hot pan surface and bake for 2-3 minutes until larger bubbles appear. Then turn (check for brown spots, which is OK) and cook the other side for 1- 2 minutes more. If you cook garlic naan, be certain not too cook the other side too long as otherwise the garlic may burn.
- Take the bread out of the pan and brush the surface with the molten butter or ghee
- You can keep the bread warm in the oven at 80 C and you can place the breads on top of each other. When all is baked, serve.
Food allergy & intolerance information: wheat flour, milk products
- Generally the above method describes making buttered plane or garlic naan: we brush the bread with butter right after the pan baking. Optionally herbs can be added to the dough such as crushed cumin seeds and or fennel seeds or we can press these seeds into the surface after rolling.
- We opt to use only a small amount of dry yeast, as this will increase the fermentation time and improve the taste. If you are in a hurry, and want to make naan within 1.5 – 2 hours, use a teaspoon of dry yeast and cut down on fermentation time.