This One-Bowl No-Mixer Homemade Naan is soft, puffy and impossibly delicious! It rivals the naan at your favorite Indian restaurant and you can make it yourself at home with minimal effort!
If you've followed The Café for a while now, I'm sure you've noticed that we love traveling around the world, in a culinary sense. If you look in our archives you'll find recipes from France, Italy, England, Peru, Thailand, Vietnam, India, Turkey, Ireland and more. We love them all and it's difficult to pick a favorite. However, if you pinned me down and forced me to make a choice, it would probably (at least today) be South Asian which includes a myriad of delicious curries and Indian-inspired dishes. This delicious homemade naan is a fabulous side for any South Asian/Indian entree and you can make it yourself so easily at home!
I've tried lots of homemade naan recipes in the past but haven't been thrilled with any of them. They were either too complicated, too last-minute or had inferior results. I decided to experiment and come up with my own version that would be easy, make-ahead and super delicious. It's taken me awhile, actually years on and off, but I think this One-Bowl (besides a measuring cup), No-Mixer Homemade Naan is "the one" that finally has my whole-hearted seal of approval.
No bread making experience needed!
I love that you can stir up this homemade naan in about 5 minutes, even if you've never made bread before. How does it work? Simply combine flour, instant yeast, sugar, salt, baking powder and a pinch of baking soda in a medium-size bowl. Then heat milk and butter in the microwave long enough to melt most of the butter. Whisk in a scoop of Greek yogurt and combine the wet and dry ingredients. That's all for now on your part. The yeast, however, will be working magic for the next 60-90 minutes, yielding a soft, puffy dough.
On a floured work surface, divide the dough into 6-8 (depending on how large you like your naan) equal pieces, forming each portion into a ball. Cover the dough, check your emails, make a phone call, whatever you need to do. Come back in 15 minutes and the dough will be ready to shape and finish. Heat a cast-iron or nonstick pan and set up a little workstation with two bowls (water and melted butter), a clean kitchen towel and a spatula.
The dough is easy to work with and roll into circular or oval-shaped naans. You can roll them all at once and stack them for an easy workflow. When the pan is hot, brush one naan with water, place it (wet-side down) in the hot pan and cover. The water will create steam which, in turn, will create air bubbles as the dough heats. It will only take about 30-40 seconds for the top surface of the naan to form the lovely bubbles which help make the pillowy-soft, final product. Flip the naan over and cook just until the bubbles have turned a deep golden color. This will take less than a minute.
As each naan comes off of the stovetop, brush it lightly with butter and keep warm, stacked together in a kitchen towel. You can either enjoy the naans now, fresh and warm OR allow them to cool and store in a ziplock bag. When you want one or two naans, simply heat a nonstick pan over high heat, add a naan and rewarm on each side for 15 seconds. They will be fresh and tasty; like you had just made them!
The history of naan
According to The Chicago Tribune, "The South Asian clay oven bread known as naan came to India from Central Asia with the 16th-century Mogul emperor Babur." The Indian Express writes that, "The first recorded history of Naan is found in the notes of the Indo-Persian poet Amir Kushrau, which dates this unleavened bread to 1300 AD." Either way, naan has been a beloved specialty food in South Asia for a long, long time.
It's also gained popularity over the past 20 years here in the U.S. probably due to the increase in Indian and South Asian restaurants where warm naan is frequently served as a side to curries, tandoori dishes, Rendang, Tikka Masala and dahl. Most major grocery stores carry at least one brand of naan and often also have frozen versions as well.
How to serve naan
There are so many delicious ways to use homemade naan:
- As mentioned above with any Indian/South Asian entreé such as this Shrimp and Cashew Chicken Curry, or this Butternut Chicken Coconut Curry.
- One of our favorite meals is warm homemade naan spread with hummus and topped with fresh wedges of tomato, thin slivers of red onion, cilantro, basil (and/or other fresh herbs), grilled or rotisserie chicken, Feta cheese and a drizzle of Zoey's Copycat Dressing. Such a fresh, healthy and delicious lunch or dinner!
- Make a wrap with it. Fill the naan with seasoned ground lamb or beef, halved cherry tomatoes, sliced red onion and fresh herbs. Top with Greek yogurt or Tzatziki sauce.
- Make pizza out of your homemade naan! It's so nice to have a bag of naan in the freezer. Pull out one or two and thaw for 20 minutes. Then brush lightly with olive oil. Top with your favorite pizza toppings and bake on a pizza stone or preheated sheet pan. Delish!
- Make your favorite sandwich with it, egg salad, club, ham and cheese, roasted veggies, etc ...
- Cut it into wedges, brush with oil and bake on a sheet pan until crisp for a delicious dipping chip for hummus and dips.
- Serve warm with peanut butter, honey and chopped peanuts, so good!
- Check out this coming Sunday's post, it will have a bunch of delicious recipes to serve this homemade naan with!
Café Tips for making this Homemade Naan
- It's important to use instant yeast (vs dry active yeast). Instant yeast is available at most grocery stores right next to the regular yeast. I like to purchase it at Aldi (so reasonable) or in bulk online (ridiculously cheap. It can be frozen and kept for a year or more in the freezer). Instant yeast does not have to be activated in warm water, so there's much less chance of yeast failure.
- Keep the Greek yogurt in the refrigerator until you're ready to add it to the milk/butter mixture. The cold yogurt will cool down the milk to a perfect temperature for the yeast to grow.
- Look for a nice cozy place to let your dough rise. Yeast loves to grow in a warm atmosphere. I often will boil some water in my microwave to create a warm steamy environment and let my dough rise there. You can also preheat the oven for 1 minute, then turn it off and let your dough rise in the oven with the light on.
- Keep your work surface generously floured when shaping and rolling your naan. I like to keep a small cup of flour on the counter to sprinkle on my rolling pin and surface with. If at any point, the dough seems sticky, you need to roll it in a bit more flour.
- When cooking your naan, it should only take 1-2 minutes, total time. It might take a few practices to get the heat just right. You should see bubbles appear within 20-30 seconds.
- Don't worry about making perfect shaped naan. Naan are meant to be a bit rustic. The more you make this recipe, the better you will get at rolling!
- To reheat naan, simply heat a nonstick pan over high heat, add a naan and rewarm on each side for 15 seconds. They will be fresh and tasty, just like as if you just made them!
- It helps to use a pan with a glass cover to be able to view the naan as they cook. I love this All-Clad 12-inch pan. It's heavy-duty and well made.
- Roll the naan nice and thin, into an oval approximately 8 x 6-inches. They will puff up when you cook them so you don't want the final product to be too thick.
- Like garlic naan? Just add one clove finely minced garlic to the butter before melting.
If you enjoyed this recipe, please come back and leave a star rating and review! It’s so helpful to other readers to hear other’s results and ideas for variations.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 ½ teaspoons instant dry yeast not active dry yeast, (1 packet)
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons butter
- ⅔ cup whole milk
- ½ cup full fat plain greek yogurt cold
- 2 tablespoons melted butter
- ¼ cup finely chopped fresh cilantro or parsley optional
- flaky sea salt optional
Combine the flour, instant yeast, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Stir well to combine.
Combine 2 tablespoons butter and the milk in a microwave-safe, measuring cup. Microwave on high power for 1-1½ minutes or until butter is almost completely melted. Whisk in the Greek yogurt until well combined.
Make a well in the middle of the flour and add the yogurt mixture. Stir with a sturdy spoon or rubber spatula until all of the flour is incorporated and the dough comes together. Drizzle a little oil over the dough and turn to coat. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and place in a warm spot to rise until doubled in bulk, 60-90 minutes.
Turn out the dough onto a generously floured work surface. Flip the dough over several times to coat it completely with flour. Divide the dough into 6-8 equal pieces (depending on how large you want your finished naans) and form each one into a ball on the floured work surface. Cover the dough balls with a clean kitchen towel and let them rest for 15 minutes.
Roll out each portion into an oval, approximately 4x6 inches (for 8 naans) or 5x7 inches (for 6 naans). If the dough is sticky, dust it with a bit more flour. Keep your rolling pin, lightly coated with flour. Stack the naan on top of each other as you roll them.
Set up a work area with the stack of naan, a cup or bowl with 2 tablespoons melted butter and a small pastry brush, the chopped herbs (if desired), a small bowl of water and a second pastry brush (or you can use your fingers here), a clean kitchen towel and a metal spatula for flipping.
Heat a 9-12-inch nonstick sauté pan over medium heat. When the pan is hot, add a ½ teaspoon of olive oil. Wad up a few paper towels and wipe the oil around the pan. You want the pan to be just very lightly coated with oil.
When the pan is heated, brush one side of one naan with water (or use your fingers to lightly coat one surface with water) and place it in the pan, wet side down. Immediately cover the pan and allow the naan to cook for about 30-40 seconds or until bubbles appear over the top surface and the bottom is golden brown. Uncover and flip the naan to the opposite side. Cook for another 20-30 seconds (uncovered) until the bubbles on the bottom or deep golden brown. (You may have to adjust your heat a bit, up or down, so that the bubbles appear by 20-30 seconds.)
Remove the naan from the pan to the towel, brush lightly with butter (and sprinkle with fresh herbs and flaky sea salt, if desired). Repeat for remaining naan, stacking them on top of each other, covered with the other half of the towel. (You can also stack them between pieces of parchment paper, if desired.) If the pan seems to be accumulating flour, repeat the oiling and wiping with a wad of paper towels.
Serve immediately or allow to cool and reheat when desired as directed above in the post. Naan can also be frozen. See the Café tips above in the post.
See Café Tips above in post for more detailed instructions and tips
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