Naan is a yeast-leavened Indian flat bread that is slightly crispy on the outside and deliciously tender on the inside. Even though naan is traditionally served with Indian food, it's one of the easiest and fastest homemade yeast breads you can bake, and just might become a staple in your kitchen.
"Naan" literally means "bread" in Persian, and it's been around for a while. It's traditionally made in a tandoor, a cylindrical clay oven in which discs of naan dough are cooked over very, very high heat. But... I don't have a tandoor sitting around my house and I'm willing to bet neither do you.
What I DO have is a hearth stone (pizza stone). When I'm not using it to make pizza with homemade pizza dough, it works like a charm to bake up naan loaves that are slightly brown and crisp on the outside and deliciously soft and flavorful on the inside.
You can also "bake" naan in a cast iron skillet on the stovetop. Heat the skillet over medium-high heat and cook the naan one at a time in the hot skillet for 2-4 minutes per side.
What to Serve with Naan
Or, create an incredible mezze spread with creamy Za'atar Labneh, hummus, some dried fruit and roasted nuts, and a couple of salads packed with fresh veggies like Israeli Salad or these gorgeous roasted marinated peppers.
- 2 ¼ teaspoons active dry yeast
- 1 ½ cups room temperature water
- ¼ cup + 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- ⅓ cup plain, unsweetened full-fat yogurt (preferably Greek yogurt)
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 5-6 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
- 2 ½ teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 8 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
- Add the yeast and water to the bowl of a standing electric mixer and stir to combine. Let sit until the yeast is foamy - about 5 minutes.
- Add the olive oil, yogurt, and sugar to the yeast-water mixture and whisk to combine. Add 5 cups of the flour, fit the mixer with the dough hook and mix on low just until it starts to come together into a dough. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let sit for 30 minutes.
- Sprinkle the salt over the top of the dough and let the mixer knead the dough on low speed for about 8 minutes, until the dough is soft and smooth. After a couple of minutes, if the dough is still quite wet, add as much of the additional cup of flour as you need. The goal is to create a soft dough that sticks slightly to the bottom of the bowl but does not stick to the sides of the bowl at all.
- Add the minced garlic and knead for 2 more minutes to fully incorporate. If the garlic makes the dough too wet, add a bit more flour.
- Remove the dough hook, cover the bowl of dough with plastic wrap, and let sit at room temperature to rise for 1 ½ hours.
- Put a hearth stone (pizza stone) on a rack in the center of your oven and heat the oven to 475 degrees.
- Dump the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and divide into 8 pieces. Working with one piece of the dough at a time, roll the pieces out into disk shapes that are about ¼-inch thick. Keep the remaining dough covered with a kitchen towel while you work with each piece. Lay the disks of dough out on a floured surface, cover with a kitchen towel or plastic wrap that's been sprayed with non-stick spray, and let sit for 20 minutes.
- Melt the butter in the microwave or over low heat on the stovetop. Stir in the parsley and set aside.
- Working with two discs of dough at a time, lay them on the hot hearth stone. Let cook for 3-5 minutes then use tongs to flip them over. Cook for another 3-5 minutes, until each side is covered in golden brown blotches.
- Remove from the oven to a wire rack or clean kitchen towel. Brush with a bit of the melted parsley butter. Repeat with the remaining discs of dough.