An easy to make Indian Flatbread that is ready to eat, fresh and hot from the oven in about an hour using quick rise yeast and a mixer to do the kneading for you.
If you’ve eaten at an Indian restaurant, you were probably served naan with your meal. Naan is an Indian flat bread traditionally baked in a clay tandoor oven. The dough is placed on the sides of the oven and develops a teardrop shape as the bread stretches while it hangs in the oven.
There’s a great Indian restaurant not too far from where I live, Saffron Valley. I like to stop by at lunch time so I can enjoy their lunch buffet and try lots of new, interesting dishes, but I always get the naan. Naan is a tender bread with a bit of charring on the outside. It’s perfect for soaking up all the delicious Indian sauces.
Since most of us don’t have a tandoor oven at home, we have to settle for cooking naan on a pizza stone in the oven, or in a cast iron skillet on the stove. I cooked it both ways, and liked the naan best when cooked on the pizza stone in the oven. Although the naan cooked in the cast iron pan got more of the traditional charring. All the pictures in this post are of naan made in the cast iron skillet.
When you cook it in the cast iron skillet, you need to cover the skillet to help cook the dough. I didn’t have a lid big enough to fit my cast iron skillet, so I used a grill pan as my lid.
I developed this naan recipe for Red Star Yeast. I did a lot of research, including asking my dear friend Deeba, Passionate About Baking, who lives in India what makes a great naan. She said hydration is the key, she recommended a 3:1 flour to water ratio, a great yeast (like Red Star Quick Rise Yeast), and a “portion” of yogurt that works well with the yeast.
Red Star Quick Rise Yeast is an instant yeast that shortens the rising time by as much as 50%. If you don’t have Quick Rise Yeast, active dry yeast will work in this recipe as well, you’ll just need to increase the rise time.
I served my naan with some Chicken Tikka Masala that I picked up at Saffron Valley. I’ve never made Indian food at home, but now that I’ve got a great, easy to make naan recipe, I need to buy some Indian spices and getting cooking.
If you’ve never made yeast bread at home, this naan recipe would be a great first bread to start with.
Naan – Indian Flatbread
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 2 ¼ teaspoon 1 package Red Star Quick Rise Yeast
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- ⅛ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup water 120° to 130°
- ¼ cup oil
- ¼ cup full fat plain yogurt
- Melted butter
- In a large mixing bowl, combine 1 ½ cups flour, yeast, sugar, baking soda, and salt. Add warm water, oil, and yogurt to flour mixture. Blend at low speed until moistened; beat 1 minute at medium speed. Switch to the dough hook and gradually mix in remaining flour to make a smooth dough, add more or less flour as necessary. (I only used 2 ½ cups flour.) Knead for 5 minutes.
- Place dough in lightly oiled bowl and turn to grease top. Cover; let rise until dough doubles, about 45 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 400° with a pizza stone on the center rack. (At least 30 minutes before baking naan so your stone gets really hot.)
- Punch the dough down, and divide dough in to 6 pieces. Let it rest five minutes covered. Roll out each piece of dough in to a tear drop shape about 8 inches long and ¼ inch thick.
- Cook naan two at a time, use a spray bottle to lightly mist each piece of dough with water and put it wet side down on the pizza stone. Cook for about 2 minutes until the bottom is lightly browned and starting to puff. Spray with additional water and flip the naan over and cook an additional 2 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and brush lightly with melted butter.
- Wrap naan in aluminum foil to keep them warm until ready to serve.
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Red Star Yeast, but all opinions expressed are always my own. You can also find Red Star Yeast on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.
My daughter and I love naan bread, so we thought it would be great to make some at home. Found your recipe, and as my dad worked for Universal Foods for many years before they sold Red Star yeast, of course I had to try this one! We used a pizza stone and found that the thinner we rolled the dough, the more authentic result we got. We also increased the baking time to about 3 minutes per side. Delicious! Will be using your recipe again and again!
Thanks for sharing your experience Andrew. Glad you enjoyed the recipe!
Is it possible to substitute the Yogurt with something else? I’d like to make this but do not have the yogurt on hand any suggestions?
Hi Bob – I haven’t tried it, but sour cream is usually a great substitute for yogurt.
I would love to try this but I have a problem with gluten. Do you think it would work with non-gluten flour?
Hi Kathy – the gluten-free flours have gotten better and better, I think it would work well. Let me know if you try it.
Hi, this sounds amazing. I love the idea of using organic flour. can I make this recipe with a handheld mixer or an immersion blender?
Hi Linda – yes, a handheld blender will work. Often a handheld blend comes with dough hooks too.
I made this last week, my first time making naan and this is now a house hold staple. Will be making for my curry, for hummus, just to eat, to cure cancer, to make sandwiches, to dry me off after a shower. I’m a naan believer now. I will never follow another recipe.
lol – that’s totally awesome. Thanks Chelsea!
Lol, you convince me!
Thank you for the recipe it is so amazing, better than stonefire brand grocrery stores. Will make these or every party.
Great – thanks Dapne!
The water temperature is too hot for the yeast. 35C – 38C is much closer to optimum.
Hi Jake – when you mix the yeast with the flour you use water that is warmer. https://redstaryeast.com/yeast-baking-lessons/common-baking-ingredients/liquids/
She meant Fahrenheit and your temperature is in Celsius. You were both correct😀
Makes sense – thanks Claudia 🙂
Hi Barbara, made this today using half better for bread flour and half whole wheat pastry flour that I had on hand. Added a little more water & yogurt, was careful not to overmix, and put it in the fridge for two days. I had to punch it down the first night but it was fine when I finally got to baking it tonight and I’m amazed at the flavor! I’ll plan on allowing all my doughs to sit at least overnight from now on if possible since it really enhances the flavor. Thank you again for sharing this awesome recipe.
Thanks for sharing your changes Susan. I’ll have to try it with an overnight rest.
I enjoyed the recipe but most India recipes are made without any GMO ingredients …
I was really skeptical of this recipe – my extended family makes indian food 2-3 times per week and always buy premade naan, saying it must be made in a tandoori oven to taste right. I doubled this recipe and it was perfect! I was at a friend’s house and we didn’t have a skillet, so we used a nonstick pan. It cooked very quickly and the taste and texture were perfect! In the future I will try adding garlic powder for garlic naan. Thanks so much for this recipe!
Thanks! So glad it was a hit. I’ll have to try adding garlic as well.
This recipe worked great for me! I doubled the whole recipe but only needed about 5 1/2 c flour. I cooked some on the stove with an all-clad skillet and some in the oven on a pizza stone, and I thought the ones on the stove came out better — more chewy, whereas the oven ones were a little crunchier. But they were all so good, just a matter of personal preference. And making 12 of them, it was definitely more efficient to have both the skillet and the oven going. Thanks so much!
Thanks Jeanne! Next time I’ll have to try it on the stove and double the recipe too.
This was so easy! Thank you for the excellent instructions, I just made the prettiest silk-textured naan, using some Greek yogurt I had on hand. My picky teen was skeptical, but one bite of the naan and he grabbed the rest of the piece. It was perfect with some leftover chicken tikki maasala (which was even better the second day)…glad to have a new meal on the list.