A combination of flour, salt, water, and yeast, bread is enjoyed by almost every people group across the globe. However, each culture performs its own twist on basic bread recipes. For example, tortillas, pita bread, matzo, and roti are all forms of flatbread that different people groups use as a day to day part of their diets. Naan is one such flatbread that is an essential part of Southeast Asian meals.
Historically, naan is baked in a clay tandoor oven. The balls of dough are stacked against the hot walls of the oven, developing a slightly crispy, charred surface, while the bread’s interior remains soft. Of course, the vast majority of home cooks don’t have a tandoor and won’t be slapping dough balls against the interiors of their own home ovens. However, the classic char can be somewhat replicated by using a heavy skillet on the stovetop. For best results with our recipe, use a preheated cast-iron skillet.
Easy Naan Bread Recipe
- Large bowl
- Wooden Spoon
- Electric Mixer
- Sharp knife
- Cast Iron Skillet
- 2 cups All-Purpose Flour or bread flour
- 1/2 teaspoon Salt
- 1 1/4 teaspoons Dry Yeast
- 3/4 cup Plain Yogurt or buttermilk
- 2 tbsp Melted Butter
- 1-4 tbsp Warm Water
- Oil for Greasing the Pan
- Combine Ingredients in a Bowl. In a large bowl, combine the flour, salt, and yeast, stirring to blend them.
- Add the yogurt or buttermilk and melted butter, stirring with a large wooden spoon.
- At this point, if you have an electric stand mixer with a dough hook, you can place the mixing bowl on the stand mixer with the dough hook attachment.
- Turn on the mixer for two or three minutes.
- Add the water a tablespoon at a time, just until the dough starts to stick together in a ball.
- You don’t want the dough to be too sticky or too dry, so go slowly. The dough should ball up and “clean” the sides of the bowl.
- Knead the dough using the electric mixer or by hand on a lightly floured surface for about 10 minutes.
- When the dough has been kneaded adequately, the ball should be smooth and elastic with a somewhat shiny texture.
- Drizzle a bit of oil into the bowl and turn the dough ball so it is well coated on all sides.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in a warm spot to rise for about 1 1/2-2 1/2 hours.
- When the dough is about double the size that you started with, remove the plastic wrap and lightly dust a clean kitchen counter or table with flour.
- Take the dough out of the bowl and sprinkle the top lightly with flour.
- Using your hands or a rolling pin, shape the dough into a long, narrow rectangle.
- Using a sharp knife, cut the dough into six pieces.
- Heat a heavy non-stick pan or a cast-iron skillet over medium-hot heat on your stove.
- Add a tablespoon of olive oil and allow it to heat, tilting the pan to coat its surface evenly with oil.
- When the pan is hot, take each piece of dough and press it into an oblong or circle about 1/8 of an inch thick.
- Sprinkle the dough with a bit of poppy seeds if you like, or you can sprinkle it with a bit of coarse kosher salt. If you don’t want to use either, it will still be delicious.
- Place the dough round into the hot skillet and cook it until it is bubbly and slightly puffy.
- Using a spatula, flip the bread to cook the backside. The bread should be browned and crispy on the cooked sides.
- When both sides are cooked, remove the bread to a plate and brush with melted butter.
- Serve warm or at room temperature.
April Freeman enjoys creating all kinds of recipes for her friends and family from her country kitchen in Middle Tennessee. She and her family raise beef cattle, chickens, and all sorts of fruits and veggies on their farm, and she specializes in featuring farm-fresh foods in the recipes that she creates and serves. April says that her slogan is “Are you hungry?” and she feels that one way of showing love and connecting with others is to serve delicious favorite foods to others. Her favorite thing to cook is pies of all kinds.