Homemade Naan Bread: If you want to make a simple and easy flatbread to soak up those delicious sauces from your Indian food recipes, this naan bread recipe is the perfect vessel. This flatbread is made with yogurt to keep the bread soft, tender, and can be made and frozen for future meals.
In the past few years, we’ve become enamored with Indian food. Warm, wrap-you-up-in-a-hug type food.
You know what I’m talking about here: the kind of food that perfumes the whole house with its scent of cumin, coriander, garam masala, and ginger. The kind that envelops your spoon and soothes your soul.
We’ve made this crock pot chicken tikka masala more times that I can count and have moved on to curries, vegetarian masala, and most recently, butter chicken. And with all of those meals, just like with a saucy Italian meal, I’ve always felt like some kind of bread was needed to sop up the goodness that the rice wouldn’t absorb.
Enter this easy homemade naan bread.
Naan Bread Ingredients
Sure, I could have easily picked up a package of naan at the grocery store but you know me: I’m all about the challenge.
Actually, I can’t really say this naan was much of a challenge because with just a few basic pantry ingredients, the dough almost came together by itself. Here are the ingredients you’ll need for this naan bread (see the full recipe below for ingredient amounts):
- instant yeast
- all-purpose flour
- whole wheat or white whole wheat flour
- baking soda
- baking powder
- whole milk
- plain yogurt or plain Greek yogurt
- unsalted butter
How to Make Naan
Making naan is about as easy as 1-2-3! Here’s what you’ll do once your naan dough rises. (Keep scrolling down to the recipe card to find the full ingredient list and set of instructions!)
1. Divide the dough into 16 equal pieces and shape each piece into balls on an unfloured surface.
2. Roll out two dough balls into long ovals, each about 6- to 8-inches long.
3. Brush the tops with melted butter.
4. Lay the rolled-out dough butter-side down in a really hot 12-inch cast iron skillet. immediately brush the tops with more butter. Cook the naan for about 2 minutes, until bubbles form on the top of the dough and the bottoms are splotchy brown.
5. Flip and cook for another 1 to 2 minutes until the naan is browned in spots. Remove the naan from the pan and repeat with the next two pieces of rolled out and buttered dough.
Rolled out, brushed with melted butter, and cooked in a searing skillet, this was definitely one of the easier and quicker yeast dough recipes I’ve ever made.
Torn into pliable, scoopable pieces, this soft Indian flatbread was pretty much the best I could have asked for to soak up all of my favorite new sauces.
Can you Freeze Naan Bread?
Leftover naan will keep well for a day or two in the fridge. But you can also freeze the naan in one of two ways.
- Freeze the dough balls at Step 7 of the recipe below on a parchment-lined baking sheet and toss them into a bag, or
- Make the recipe as instructed and freeze the cooked naan on a parchment-lined baking sheet and toss them into a bag.
This recipe yields 16 servings, freezing the extra naan you won’t eat right away is a fantastic idea!
How to Reheat Naan
The first time I made this naan, I froze the dough balls and as you can see in the step-by-step photos here, the dough thaws, rolls out, and cooks beautifully.
However, if you freeze the cooked naan, simply warm it in the oven at 400° F for about 5 to 6 minutes. There’s no need to thaw the naan first because they are thin enough to heat up quickly.
The naan will reheat in a 400° F oven in about 3 to 5 minutes if you’ve kept it in the fridge.
What to Serve Naan With
Aside from the usual saucy and delicious Indian meals like butter chicken, curry, and tikka masala, you can certainly serve naan bread with other recipes too! It would be great to scoop up some fiery shakshuka, this classic eggplant caponata or with this curried couscous salad.
And if you want to use the naan to make wraps, it would be phenomenal for these Greek-ish eggplant wraps, either this apple pecan or this curried chicken salad, or even this egg salad with fennel and lemon aioli.
Naan is a super versatile flatbread recipe to have in your kitchen repertoire to go nuts and make a bunch!
Easy Homemade Naan
Naan bread is easy to make at home with just a few pantry ingredients. It's SO MUCH better than what you can buy at the grocery store too! Made with yogurt to keep it soft and pliable, this flatbread tears easily and scoops up all those delicious sauces from your tikka masala to butter chicken to curries of all types. I've included freezer instructions below for the dough balls and the cooked naan.
- ¾ tsp active dry yeast or instant yeast
- ¼ cup water (room temp or slightly above)
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 ½ tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp table salt
- ¾ cup whole milk (room temp or warmed slightly)
- 1 cup Greek yogurt loosened up with a couple tbsp water or plain yogurt* (see note below)
- Melted butter or ghee (for brushing)
- Mix the yeast, water, and sugar together in a medium bowl and allow it to sit for 10 minutes (for active dry yeast) or 5 minutes (for instant yeast) until foamy.
- In a large bowl, whisk the flours, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together.
- Stir the milk and yogurt into the yeast mixture. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour the wet ingredients into the well.
- Using a wooden spoon, stir everything together until a shaggy dough forms. Transfer the dough to a well-floured work surface and knead until it comes together; it will still be a little sticky but should hold its shape well.
- Wipe out the original bowl and then lightly grease the bottom and sides. Transfer the dough back to the bowl and roll it around to coat with the grease. Cover the dough with a clean kitchen towel or some plastic wrap and allow it to rise in a warm spot for about 1 hour or until it doubles in size.
- Divide the dough into 16 equal pieces using a sharp knife or a dough scraper and shape each piece into balls on an unfloured surface, placing the finished balls on a well-floured work surface. Cover the extra dough as you work to prevent a skin from forming. The dough will be a little sticky so be sure to have extra flour on hand. (Skip to Step 8 if you're not going to freeze the dough balls.)
- At this point, you can freeze the shaped dough on a parchment lined baking sheet then transfer the frozen balls to a zip-top bag. Allow the dough to thaw at room temperature for about 2 hours. When soft and thawed, proceed with the remaining instructions.
- Roll out two dough balls into long ovals, about 6 to 8 inches each. Brush the tops of each with melted butter.
- Lay the rolled-out dough butter-side down in a really hot 12-inch cast iron skillet. Immediately brush the tops with more butter. While these cook, quickly roll out the next two dough balls. Cook the naan for about 2 minutes, until bubbles form on the top of the dough and the bottoms are splotchy brown.
- Flip and cook for another 1-2 minutes until the naan is browned in spots. Remove the naan from the pan and repeat with the remaining pieces of rolled out and buttered dough. Keep the finished naan wrapped in a clean kitchen towel until you're ready to serve. Reheat the naan if necessary wrapped in foil in a 300° F oven until warmed through, about 10 or 15 minutes.
Refrigerate: Store the cooked naan in the fridge in a zip-top bag for up to 2 days. Reheat in a 400° F oven (directly on the oven rack) for about 3 to 5 minutes.
Freeze: The cooked naan freeze and reheat beautifully. Simply freeze the cooked naan on a parchment-lined baking sheet and then put them in a zip-top bag. Reheat in a 400° F oven (directly on the oven rack) for about 5 to 6 minutes.
The original recipe calls for plain yogurt but if all you have on hand is Greek yogurt, stir in enough water to bring the Greek yogurt to the loose consistency of plain yogurt. Non-fat, low-fat, or full fat yogurt will all work fine in this recipe.
adapted from Food52
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