Naan

South Asia's classic yeasted flatbread, naan, is traditionally baked in a super-hot tandoor oven, which gives it gentle puffiness and a hint of smoke. In the absence of a tandoor, we find home bakers can replicate those qualities pretty closely with a cast iron pan or electric griddle. Our thanks to author Pooja Makhijani for sharing this recipe with us.

Prep
30 mins
Bake
12 to 15 mins
Total
2 hrs
Yield
8 flatbreads
Naan - select to zoom
Naan - select to zoom
Naan - select to zoom

Instructions

  1. Weigh your flour; or measure it by gently spooning it into a cup, then sweeping off any excess. In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, combine all the dough ingredients and mix until shaggy. Knead the dough until it’s smooth, bouncy, and slightly tacky.

  2. Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover, and let it rise until doubled, about 50 to 60 minutes.

  3. Divide the dough into eight equal pieces (about 65g each). Shape each into a ball, cover, and let rest for 20 minutes.

  4. While the dough is resting, preheat a cast iron pan over medium-high heat, or an electric griddle to medium-high.

  5. On a lightly floured surface, hand stretch or use a rolling pin to roll each ball into a 6” round or 7" oblong, for thicker naan; or an 8" round or 10” oblong, for thinner naan. Keep the other pieces covered while working.

  6. Once the pan or griddle is hot, cook the naan for 30 to 40 seconds, until bubbles form on the top side and the underside browns. Flip it over to brown the other side for 40 to 50 seconds, checking regularly to ensure doneness.

  7. Remove the bread from the pan, and brush with melted ghee or butter. Sprinkle with seeds and cilantro, if desired. Repeat with the remaining pieces of dough. Keep the finished naan in a warm oven (200°F), or wrap in foil until ready to serve.

  8. Store naan, well wrapped, at room temperature for two days; freeze for longer storage.

Tips from our Bakers

  • Why the addition of bread flour? This higher-protein flour strengthens the dough, making it easier to shape without tearing and adding nice chew to the breads.

  • To make garlic naan: Mince 5 to 6 large cloves of garlic. Sprinkle each rolled-out dough circle with minced garlic, pressing it in firmly, before cooking.

  • To make stuffed naan: Roll (or preferably hand stretch) each ball into 5” rounds. Place 2 tablespoons of desired filling onto the center of each round; spiced mashed potato, grated cheese, or paneer are all good options. Pull the dough over the filling, pinching the two opposite edges together tightly to seal. Gently roll or hand stretch each ball into a 6” to 8” round before cooking as directed.