Total Preparation Time – About 10 – 15 Minutes
Time Spent Waiting – About 90 Minutes
Cook Time – About 3 – 5 Minutes per Piece of Naan
Makes – About 6 Servings
When you are eating Indian or Pakistani foods, Naan often accompanies the dishes. Naan is a flat bread that is a little lighter than pita and has a certain chewiness. Traditionally, Naan is cooked in a giant clay pot, but honestly I don’t know anyone that has one of those lying around. Anyway, Naan is a perfect accompaniment with most Asian curries. With the Butter Chicken recipe that I posted, a bite of Naan with a bite of Butter Chicken and Rice is, to me, an almost perfect bite of flavor and texture. My mouth is salivating just thinking of it.
Naan is a yeast bread, so you will need to proof 1 teaspoon of yeast, 1 tablespoon of sugar, and ½ cup of water (100 – 105 degrees Fahrenheit). I use dry active yeast that comes in a jar, and the bread comes out just fine. Put the yeast and sugar into a small bowl. Add the warm water and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Let the yeast sit for about 5 – 10 minutes. The yeast will develop a layer of foam on top. If bubbles don’t appear after 10 minutes, discard and try again.
In a separate small bowl, beat together 1 large egg and 2 tablespoons of milk. The milk can be skim or whole.
In another large bowl, whisk together 1 ¾ cup of bread flour and ½ teaspoons of salt. Add the yeast and egg/milk mixture to the flour. Stir with a wooden spoon or spatula until ingredients are combined. Knead the dough with your hands until you can form it into a ball. You do not need to knead for more than a minute. Add a tablespoon more flour if the dough is too wet.
Wrap the bowl in plastic wrap and place the bowl in a warm place for about an hour, or until the dough will double is size.
After the dough has doubled, divide the dough into 6 equal pieces. I used a kitchen scale to weigh the dough in grams, then divided that by 6 to determine how big each piece would be. Form each piece of dough into a smooth ball, and place on a tray. Cover the tray with a clean dry towel and place in a warm dry place for about 15 – 20 minutes.
After the dough balls have risen for 15 – 20 minutes, take a middle or large sized frying pan and place it over a medium high heat. Add about a tablespoon of oil (vegetable or olive) to the pan. The oil should reach a point where it’s beginning to smoke.
While the pan is heating, roll out each dough ball. To maintain a circular shape, you need to roll the dough from every direction. I tend to do up/down first, followed by left/right, then each of the diagonals. Repeat until you have a thin round disk of dough. It’s ok if it’s not a perfect circle. Try to dust off any extra flour.
When the oil is hot, make sure the oil is evenly distributed across the pan. Place a disk of dough into the frying pan. After about 20 – 30 seconds the top of the dough will start to bubble. Check the bottom after about a minute. You want the bottom to be brown, but not burned. After not more than 1 ½ minutes, flip the bread. Let the other side cook for 30 – 60 seconds, or until the bubbles have browned. I like a little bit of charring on the bubble side. When you are satisfied, remove the Naan from the heat and put on a plate. Repeat until all 6 pieces of Naan are done. Note: you do not need to add more oil after the first piece of Naan has been cooked.
For extra flavor, you can brush the Naan with melted butter. But, honestly, if you are eating the Naan with a curry, the butter is a little overkill.
There you have it, Naan. I hope you enjoy your flat bread.
2 x Small Bowl
Wooden Spoon or Spatula
Clean Dry Dish Towel
1 Teaspoon Dry Active Yeast
½ Cup of Water (100 – 105 Degrees F)
1 Tablespoon Granulated Sugar
1 Large Egg
2 Tablespoons of Milk (Skim or Whole)
1 ¾ Cups of Bread Flour
½ Teaspoon of Salt
2 Tablespoons Melted Butter (Optional)
1 Tablespoon Oil (Vegetable or Olive)
1. Proof yeast, water, and sugar for 10 – 15 minutes.
2. Beat together egg and milk in a small bowl.
3. Mix together flour and salt in a large bowl.
4. Mix flour, salt, yeast, milk and egg with a wooden spoon. Form into a ball.
5. Cover dough and let raise for about 1 hour or until doubled.
6. After dough has doubled, divide into six equal portions, form into smooth balls.
7. Place balls on cookie sheet, cover with towel, let raise for 15 – 20 minutes.
8. Oil a medium or large frying pan and put over medium high heat.
9. Roll dough balls into thin flat disks.
10. Cook dough disk on one side for 1 – 1½ minutes, or until bottom side is browned.
11. Flip bread and cook for about 1 minute more, or until the bubbles have browned.
12. Remove from pan and let cool.
13. Optionally, brush warm Naan with melted butter