Monday, January 16, 2012

Making Naan

If at first you don't succeed try, try again, right?

Are there any naan lovers out there? When I go to Indian restaurants, I'm as interested in the light, airy flat bread as I am the entrees.

So I decided to make it myself. I chose a recipe from what I thought was a reputable cookbook that highlighted various Asian cuisines. I was both heartened by and suspicious of the lack of yeast in the recipe. Instead, it called for baking powder and baking soda. I should have stopped right there. Our initial reactions are often the most accurate ones. I could have saved four cups of flour. But I pressed on.

The result was a tasteless, hard, oval of flat bread that was a bit revolting. I let me friends try it. They took one bite, make faces and refused more.

It took me a little while to work up the courage to try again. This time I invested in more online research for a credible recipe that used yeast. After reviewing several, I settled on one, featured on Manjula's Kitchen ( The site features vegetarian Indian food, including several bread recipes.

I made it yesterday and am delighted to report that the results were better than I expected! Obviously it's hard to make authentic naan without a tandoor oven. I used a pizza stone, which worked well. The naan was light, fluffy and flavorful.

I didn't use all the dough and stored the rest in the refrigerator. Much to my surprise, it came out great the next morning. Instead of boring wheat toast, I had naan with my eggs and bacon this morning. Delicious.


Naan is traditionally cooked in a clay oven or “tandoor.” This recipe uses a regular home oven.

Makes 6 Naan.

Naan Bread


2 cups of All Purpose flour (Plain flour or maida)
1 teaspoon active dry yeast
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
Pinch of baking soda
2 tablespoons of oil
2 1/2 tablespoons yogurt (curd or dahi)
3/4 cup lukewarm water

Also needed:

1 teaspoon of clear butter or ghee to butter the Naan
1/4 cup All Purpose flour for rolling


1. Dissolve active dry yeast

in lukewarm water

and let it sit for 10 minutes or until the mixture becomes frothy.

2. Add sugar, salt and baking soda to the flour and mix well.

3. Add the oil and yogurt mix, this will become crumbly dough.

4. Add the water/yeast mixture

and make into soft dough.Note: after dough rise will become little softer.

5. Knead until the dough is smooth. Cover the dough and keep in a warm place for 3-4 hours. The dough should almost be double in volume.

6. Heat the oven to 500 degrees with pizza stone for at least thirty minutes so stone is hot. Using a pizza stone will help to give naan close to same kind of heat as clay tandoor.

7. Next turn the oven to high broil.

8. Knead the dough for about two to three minutes and divide the dough into six equal parts.

9. Take each piece of dough, one at a time, and roll into 8-inch oval shape. Dust lightly with dry flour to help with the rolling.

10. Before putting the Naan in oven, lightly wet your hands and take the rolled Naan, and flip them between your palms and place onto your baking/pizza stone into the oven.

11. You can place about 2 Naan on the baking/pizza stone at a time. The Naan will take about 2 to 3 minutes to cook, depending upon your oven. After the Naan is baked(Naan should be golden brown color on top).

12. Take naan out of the oven and brush lightly with clear butter or ghee.

13. Wait 2 to 3 minutes before baking the next batch of naan. It gives oven the chance to get heated again to max.

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