Recipe video above. This is a recipe for naan bread that's fluffy, bubbly and chewy, just as it should be. Nobody will ever mistake this for just another basic flatbread! Perfect for slopping up your favourite Indian curries – yet so good that you'll happily devour it plain, straight out of the skillet.Bearing in mind that we aren't cooking in nuclear-level 480°C hot tandoors, see in post for background notes on how I find this recipe to most closely replicates restaurant naan. Makes: 6 naans, ~15-16cm / 6 - 7" diameter. For more Indian recipes, browse the Indian collection.
Course: Breads, Sides
Keyword: Naan recipe
1tspinstant / rapid rise yeast(Note 1)
1/2cupwarm tap water(~40°C/105°F in temperature)
2tbspmilk, full fat (low fat ok too)
1 1/2tbspwhisked egg, at room temp (around 1/2 an egg, Note 2)
1/2tspsalt, cooking / kosher
1 3/4cupsbread flour, or all-purpose/plain (Note 3)
30g / 2 tbspghee or unsalted butter, melted (Note 4)
30g / 2 tbsptbspghee or butter, melted (Note 4)
1small garlic clove, for Garlic Butter option (Note 5)
Bloom yeast: Mix yeast with warm water and sugar in a small bowl. Cover with cling wrap, leave for 10 minutes until foamy.
Egg and milk: Whisk milk and egg together.
Flour: Sift flour and salt into a separate bowl.
Add wet ingredients: Make a well in the flour, add yeast mixture, and butter and egg mixture. Mix together with a spatula. Once the flour is mostly incorporated, switch to your hands and bring it together into a ball. No kneading is required.
Proof 1: Cover the bowl with cling-wrap, then leave in a warm place for 1 - 1.5 hrs until it doubles in size. (Note 7)
Cut into 6 pieces: Place the dough on a lightly floured surface. Cut into 6 equal pieces, then shape into balls into spheres with a smooth surface by stretching the surface and tucking it under (see video).
Proof 2: Place balls on a lightly-floured tray or plate. Sprinkle lightly with flour, cover loosely with a lightweight tea towel. Put in a warm place to rise for 15 minutes until it increases in size by about 50%.
Roll out: Place a round on a lightly-floured work surface, flatten with your hand. Roll out into 3 - 4mm / 0.12 - 0.16" thick rounds (about 16cm / 6.5" wide).
Heat skillet: Rub a cast iron skillet with a very light coat of oil using 1/2 tsp oil on a paper towl (unless already well seasoned). Set over high heat until you see wisps of smoke. (Note 8 for other pans)
Cook naan: Place a naan dough in the skillet and cook for 1 to 1 1/2 minutes until the underside is deep golden / slightly charred – the surface should get bubbly. Flip then cook the other side for 1 minute until the bubbles become deep golden brown.
Cook remaining naan: Remove, set aside, and repeat with remaining naan, taking care to regulate the heat of the skillet so it doesn't get too hot.
Finishing: Brush freshly cooked naan with melted butter or ghee (or garlic butter, Note 5). Sprinkle with nigella seeds and coriander. Serve hot!
Roll out a naan per above directions. Brush with plain butter or garlic butter. (Note 5) Place a mound of cheese in the middle - about 1/4 cup, lightly-packed. Bundle it up, money bag-style, then twist to seal.
Turn upside down so the smooth side is up. Roll out to 6-7mm / 1/4" thick rounds.
Heat a well-seasoned cast iron skillet preheated over high heat, but not until the skillet is smoking. Cook naan for around 1 1/2 minutes on the first side until golden – it will puff up! Turn and cook the other side for around 45 seconds.
1. Yeast – This recipe works with dry active yeast too, but the naan is not quite as soft. Follow recipe as written, including yeast quantity. Also note, rapid-rise/instant yeast normally does not need to activated in warm water but it's a very specific step for this recipe because it yields a softer naan than adding the instant yeast directly into the dough. (Yes, we made a LOT of naan to try out all the various combinations to figure out the best one!).2. Egg – I know this sounds strange, but we need 1/2 a large egg for one batch of this naan! Any more and it dries out the inside too much.Just crack an egg in a bowl, whisk, then measure out 1 1/2 tbsp. OR just make a double batch of this naan so you can use one whole egg!3. Flour – Bread flour makes the softest, fluffiest naan. But all-purpose/plain flour is very nearly as good. I wouldn't make a special trip to the supermarket just to get bread flour. But if you've got it, use it!4. Ghee is clarified butter, one of the traditional fats used in Indian cooking. It is simply butter without the water and milk solids, so you have pure butter fat. It has a more intense flavour than butter. Either buy it, make it (it’s easy and keeps for months) or just use normal butter!5. Garlic butter: Place 2 tbsp/30g salted butter or ghee and 1/2 tsp crushed garlic* in a small bowl. Microwave until butter has melted (do it in bursts so it doesn't explode!!). Stand for a couple of minutes to let the garlic flavour infuse before using.* Garlic crushed using a garlic crusher or microplane6. Cheese – Any melting cheese works fine here, though bear in mind if you use mozzarella it doesn't have much flavour. Monterey Jack is a good option that has flavour and stretches nicely!7. How to promote dough rising – One of my favourite places to proof dough is in my dryer!!! Draught proof, easy to heat up a small space. Just run it for a couple of minutes, put the bowl in, close the door and leave it. Just don't turn it on!8. Cooking pan – If you don't have a cast iron pan, you can use another type of skillet. Pour 1/2 tsp oil on a paper towel then lightly rub the base. DO NOT use a non-stick pan – the high heat required to properly cook naan will destroy the non-stick coating!Here is the cast iron skillet I use - it's a Lodge (excellent value, indestructible!)9. Make ahead naan – A last-minute discovery was that naan is great for making ahead! In fact, the bread flavour improves overnight, which is typical of most breads.Make the dough up to the end of Step 5 - Proof 1. Then after the dough has doubled in size, put the bowl with the dough it in the fridge overnight (I've done 24 hours). Do not punch dough down or touch it – just put it in as is. The fridge stops the dough from rising any further.Take the bowl out of the fridge at least a couple of hours before cooking. We need to take the fridge chill out of it completely otherwise the dough won't rise for Proof #2 (Step 6). Cut into 6 pieces, then proceed with recipe from Step 6 onwards. 10. Nutrition per naan – Excludes extra ghee or butter brushed on top (and certainly excluding the cheese – I have not control over how much you choose to stuff it with!)