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How to Make Naan Bread

Gordon loves cooking and experimenting with food. He loves making new dishes, particularly with unusual or underused ingredients.

Naan bread is torn by hand and used to scoop up a wet main dish.

Naan bread is torn by hand and used to scoop up a wet main dish.

What Is Naan Bread?

Naan bread, in simple terms, is an Indian flatbread that is usually eaten as an accompaniment to a main meal. Unlike chapatis, however, naan bread is made with a rising ingredient, such as yeast, giving it a more substantial quality. Naan bread can be made and served plain or in a number of different varieties. Garlic and herbs are common additions to it, while Peshwari naan is a sweet variety. Although naan is widely available in most supermarkets, requiring only that it be heated at home, making it from scratch is not difficult and is an infinitely superior way of serving naan with a meal.

This page will look at two very simple ways in which it is possible to make naan bread at home. In the first instance, the rising agent in the naan bread will be baking powder, and the naan will be grilled. In the second instance, dry yeast will be used, and the naan bread will be baked in the domestic oven.

Homemade garlic and herb naan

Homemade garlic and herb naan

Naan Made on a Grill

Of the two methods of preparing naan bread featured on this page, this method is definitely the quickest. The technique can also be used to great effect on an outdoor grill as well as an indoor grill. Do try both methods, however, in order to determine which you ultimately prefer.

Ingredients

  • 5 oz all-purpose/plain flour
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • ¼ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp natural yoghurt
  • 1oz butter
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • ½ tsp dried cilantro/coriander leaf

Instructions

  1. Add the flour, sugar, salt and baking powder to a large mixing basin or bowl. Stir to combine and make a well in the centre to receive the wet ingredients. Pour in the milk, vegetable oil and yoghurt and stir well until a dough starts to form.
  2. Flour a clean surface and knead the dough on it for seven or eight minutes until the dough is springy. Add it to a lightly oiled glass bowl, cover with plastic wrap and leave it to rest for 15 minutes.
  3. Lightly oil a grilling tray or rack and place it under a very hot grill to preheat. Transfer the rested dough back to the floured surface and roll it out to an egg shape, around a quarter-inch thick. Peel and finely chop the garlic and scatter it over the dough, along with the cilantro/coriander. Press it lightly into the naan dough.
  4. Transfer the dough to the hot rack or tray and grill for about two and a half to three minutes. All grills are different, so it is vital to watch the bread at all times to ensure it cooks properly but doesn't burn.
Plain naan cooked in conventional oven

Plain naan cooked in conventional oven

Naan Made in a Conventional Oven

As this recipe for naan bread uses dried active yeast, it is simply the time taken for the dough to rise, which adds significantly to the preparation and cooking time.

Ingredients

  • 5oz all-purpose/plain flour
  • 2 tbsp warm water
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp natural yoghurt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp active dried yeast
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • Melted butter for brushing cooked naan

Method

  1. Put the warm water into a small cup or bowl. Stir in the sugar and the yeast. Leave for ten minutes to activate the yeast. You can tell this has happened when a bubbling layer of yeast has formed across the top of the water.
  2. Mix the flour and salt in a large bowl and form a well in the middle. Add the oil, yoghurt and yeast mixture. Stir to form a dough before transferring it to a floured surface for kneading, as above. Place into an oiled bowl, cover and leave in a warm place to rest for around an hour until the dough has approximately doubled in size.
  3. Preheat your oven and a lightly oiled baking tray to 450F/220C. Put the dough back on the floured surface and knock out the air with your knuckles. Roll to a thickness of 1/4". Lay it onto the hot tray and bake for 10 minutes, until risen and lightly golden on the top.
  4. Brush with the melted butter and serve.

Making Naan Bread at Home

The two methods featured here for making naan bread do produce slightly different results, and experimentation will let you find the one you prefer. It is probably a good idea to try the grilling recipe first, as it is both quicker and easier.

Thank you for taking the time to look at this page, and any comments you have may be left below.