Naan

August 21, 2011 · 23 comments

Owning a dairy goat means having a lot of dairy products on hand at all times. A while back, I got a little carried away and made a gallon and a half of homemade yogurt at one time. We’ve been eating it every day in various different forms: with berry sauce, on cereal, as fruity frozen yogurt, and in my secret pancake recipe. Naan, a traditional Indian flatbread, is one more way to use up extra yogurt. Naan is great for sopping up saucy Indian dishes, but I’ve been using it in a more locavore-fusion context. My lunch the other day (above) was a naan taco slathered with fresh chèvre, homegrown tomatoes and parsley, and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar. I filled another one with egg salad. Naan is so easy and delicious that I’ve made it twice this week.

Naan

The following recipe is adapted from everyday epicurean by Catherine Bell (a cookbook I highly recommend for this and other recipes).

1/2 cup warm water    
2 teaspoons active dry yeast    
1 cup boiling water                      
1 cup cold plain yogurt 
6 1/2 cups flour + extra (I use white, all-purpose flour with up to 2 cups of whole wheat flour)
2 tablespoons canola or olive oil
2 teaspoons salt

 

Sprinkle the yeast over the warm water and allow to dissolve.

Stir the boiling water into the yogurt, and cool until tepid.

Mix the yogurt and the yeast solutions together in a large bowl.

Gradually stir in 3 cups of flour. Stir constantly in one direction for 2 minutes.

Cover with a damp towel and let rise for 30 minutes.

(In case you were wondering about this rad towel, I got it from Oregon-based screen-printing company Oh, Little Rabbit. The cloth above is actually a very large napkin that came in a set of four.)

Sprinkle the oil and salt on the wet dough (some might call it a “sponge”). Mix in most of the remaining flour.

Turn the dough out on a floured surface and knead it unti smooth, about 10 minutes, adding more flour as necessary.

Lightly oil the bowl. Add the dough ball to the bowl and turn a few times to coat it with oil. Re-cover it with the damp towel and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour.

Here’s where my method diverges significantly from the cookbook. Catherine Bell tells you to roll out pieces of dough and bake them for 10-15 minutes in a 450° oven. We don’t have an oven (see details in this post about how to bake bread in a barbecue), and that wouldn’t be nearly as much fun as my technique below.

Turn out the dough and punch the air out. Cut it into 15 more or less equal sized pieces. Form each piece of dough into a little ball. Cover the balls with a towel.

Preheat two cast iron skillets or griddles on the stovetop set to high heat.

 

Roll each ball into a flat disc approximately 8″ wide. The dough will be slightly sticky and elastic, so keep some flour handy for flouring the work surface, the dough, and your rolling pin. As soon as you quit rolling, the dough will begin to contract. That’s okay.

Place a dough disc on the hot, ungreased skillet, making sure it lays flat with no wrinkles. When it starts to bubble up and has brown spots forming on the underside, flip it, and cook it on the other side for another couple minutes.

For me, it takes approximately equal time to roll one out as it does for another to cook thoroughly, so I can keep the skillets full without stressing out or waiting around too much.

Sometimes they get cool pita-pocket air bubbles.

Naan is best served warm brushed with butter. When each flatbread comes off the griddle, wrap it up in a towel to prevent heat loss. You can also reheat it by throwing it back in a hot skillet for a minute or two.

 

{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

Katie August 22, 2011 at 12:32 am

We love naan at our house! We make little pizzas with them a lot…only wishing I had a dairy goat to make my own cheese to put on my own homemade naan. Amazing…can’t wait to try that recipe :) thanks!

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Lisa McB August 22, 2011 at 7:02 am

Oh my gosh–I am so glad I found your blog! We love naan too and I would love making some! I also make homemade yogurt (cheese, wine, beer, etc.!) and I know my hubs would be thrilled if I made homemade naan–um, maybe with some nice garlic in it too! By the way, I found your blog via someone who won one of your cutting boards. I have a strange addiction to wood cutting boards and your boards are truly beautiful! Great job!

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Amanda Whitmire August 22, 2011 at 10:31 am

I had no idea that there was yogurt in naan. Will have to try this sometime, but I am sort of intimidated by anything that requires rising, kneading, etc. Unknown! Scary!

Also, I’m coming over for lunch… ;-)

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Camille August 23, 2011 at 9:11 pm

I love yeast dough. WAAYYY easier than pastry dough.

and YES! You should come over for lunch.

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Cody January 17, 2012 at 2:12 pm

Wow that looks delicious! I’ve always loved naan but never even considered making my own, can’t wait to get started. Thanks for the awesome recipe!

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edmond April 5, 2012 at 2:54 pm

thats FOOZY

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Teenaged baker May 28, 2012 at 2:48 pm

Added the yogurt to the boiling water, the yeast to the warm water, and then combined both. Added in the 3 cups of flour (I used mixture of whole wheat and white). It looked only a lil’ spongy. Then after letting it rise for 30 minutes, had added 2 more cups of the remaining 3 1/2 cups and it was super hard to mix! Seemed odd that it called for 1 1/2 more cups and I don’t think it could’ve physically held more flour! So I just stopped there and am letting it rise again. I am a little lost as to why it turned out so tough… Any tips?
By the way, your blog is very inspiring and intriguing!

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Lisa June 15, 2012 at 6:59 pm

Thanks for pointing me in the direction of this recipe — can’t wait to try it this week. I promise we’ll do right by your locavore fusion approach — and can pretty much promise my little dude will eat half the recipe on his own, no help from us.

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Lisa August 8, 2012 at 6:06 am

Hi Camille — thanks in advance for taking this question from me 14 times. Figured maybe if I asked right here on the post I wouldn’t lose the answer. Can you remind me how much whole wheat you’ve been subbing and whether you include it with the sponge or with the second half of the flour, later?

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Camille August 8, 2012 at 9:23 am

I updated the recipe above to include up to 2 cups of whole wheat flour.

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Lisa August 17, 2012 at 8:54 pm

Thank you much.

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dienhoathanglong August 24, 2012 at 12:01 am

It looks delicious. Thanks so much

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Buster September 11, 2012 at 2:28 pm

Currently waiting for the dough to rise, tee-minus forty-five minutes or so. I’m incredibly excited to replicate yr naan tomato-taco idea pictured above, except with tomato, ricotta, parsley, and maybe a tad big of this cilantro base I bought the other day :)

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molly November 16, 2013 at 7:20 pm

we have tried–and failed–at so many naan recipes, mostly due to their sticking to the pan. printed! hopes high! added to the top of the stack! this looks awfully promising. thank you in advance!

xo,
molly

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Melis April 11, 2014 at 12:40 pm

Hi Camille!! :) I’ve been following you on instagram, beautiful family you’ve got!!! And, you are very inspiring!!!
I have been dreaming about your naan recipe for a while and right now I’m in the first 30 mins. waiting :)
It is 10PM at the moment and I am planning to take these to my friends’ for brunch tomorrow, and I thought it would be better if they were freshly cooked in the morning, on a skillet. (have no time in the morning for the dough to rise) So I’m thinking to refrigerate the dough after the whole rising process, and cook them in the morning. Might be risky but I’ll give it a try. Any ideas on that?
Thank you for the recipe and for everything you share too!!
Have a nice day,
Melis

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Camille April 12, 2014 at 11:19 am

I would recommend putting the dough in the refrigerator right after eveything’s mixed up and kneaded if you’re going to let is sit all night. That way it will continue to rise very slowly.

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Nance June 17, 2014 at 9:52 pm

Hello,
I absolutely love naan, which, I’m extremely excited to say I’m 10 minutes in on the hour rise. I have substituted the white and wheat flour for, Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free flour. I really hope that it turns out ok. Thank you so much for making it easy to follow the instructions.

Nance

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Tina June 19, 2014 at 11:44 am

Nance, how did it turn out with gluten free flour? My niece is gluten free and I’d love to find out if it is worth trying. Thanks!

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Hannah July 6, 2014 at 8:05 am

Hi Camille,

I made this naan recipe a few months ago and it was just the best; I froze most of the flatbread and pulled one out whenever I needed one for a sandwich. Often I make bread and it gets eaten so fast in my house it almost doesn’t seem worth the time but this recipe definitely was… I’m about to make another batch today. Thanks!

Hannah

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