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.
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 2 1/4 teaspoon (1 package) Red Star Quick Rise Yeast
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup water, 120° to 130°
- 1/4 cup oil
- 1/4 cup full fat plain yogurt
- Melted butter
- In a large mixing bowl, combine 1 1/2 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 1/2 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 1/4 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.
You can also grill your naan or cook it in a covered cast iron skillet.
Cast Iron Skillet: Preheat skillet over medium heat. Use a spray bottle to lightly mist a piece of dough with water and put it wet side down in the skillet. Cover. Cook for about 2 minutes until the bottom is lightly browned and starting to puff. Spray with additional water and flip the naan over, cover, and cook an additional 2 minutes.