If you have been buying naans up until now, try making them yourself – the difference is incredible! This Simple Naan Bread is perfect served warm with your favourite soup, dahl or curry! And once you know how to make this simple version, you can start creating your Indian Take-Away favourites – Garlic, Keema or Peshwari!
Start making your Simple Naan Bread about two and a half hours before you wish to serve it, as it will need time to prove. First, mix 4g of dried yeast and 1/2 tsp of caster sugar with 60ml of warm water and set aside for 10-15 minutes. The yeast should form a foam floating on top of the water. I used dried yeast that needs activating in warm water; not the ‘instant’ yeast which can be mixed with dry ingredients.
In the meantime, in a large mixing bowl, add strong bread flour, baking, powder, salt and the rest of the sugar and mix well. Make a well in the middle for your wet ingredients. A NOTE ON FLOUR: both strong bread flour and plain flour work for this naan. Bread made with plain white flour, however, is less sturdy, but just as soft and fluffy.
Pour your melted butter, plain yogurt and yeast mixture into the well and bring everything together with your hands. You may choose to knead by hand or use a standing mixer. The dough will be wet and sticky to start with, so it is definitely easier to do it in a mixer. But if you like kneading by hand, make sure you’re not adding too much flour. The dough will need to be worked for at least 10 minutes. It’s ready when it is less sticky, soft, smooth and elastic. Pop your ball of dough into a greased bowl, cover and leave in a warm spot to prove for around 2 hours or until doubles in size.
When doubled, place the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Divide it into 4-6 equal balls, depending on what size you want your naans. Roll each of the balls out into a traditional teardrop shape (about 1/2cm thick).
Heat a large non-stick frying pan on high heat. You don’t need to add any oil. It may get slightly smoky in the kitchen when you dry fry your naan, so we always shut the kitchen door and open a window. Place your naan in a hot pan and fry it for about 4 minutes until puffed up and charred in places. Then flip it over and continue frying for another 3 minutes.
Preheat the oven to the lowest setting. Brush the cooked naan with melted salted butter, place it on a baking tray and cover with foil. Pop into the oven to keep warm.
Repeat with the rest of the naans, brushing with butter and keeping warm in the oven as you go. It’s worth mentioning that the first naan will likely not turn out great. Just like with pancakes, the first one is always a write-off, so don’t be discouraged.
This Indian Bread is best served warm, straight from the oven onto the table. If you want to add a special touch to your Simple Naan Bread, brush it with butter with some added crushed garlic and finely chopped coriander.
We love pairing this Simple Naan Bread with our:
Simple Naan Bread
- 4 g dried yeast not the easy blend instant type
- 1 tsp caster sugar
- 60 ml warm water
- 150 g strong bread flour
- ¼ tsp salt
- ½ tsp baking powder
- 15 g butter melted
- 55 g plain yogurt
- 1 tbsp nigella seeds optional
- 15 g salted butter melted, for brushing
- Mix 60 ml of warm water with ½ tsp of caster sugar and 4g of dried yeast. Set aside for 10 minutes.
- In a large mixing bowl, mix together strong bread flour, baking powder, salt and the remaining ½ tsp of caster sugar. Make a well in the middle.
- Pour in yeast water, yoghurt and melted butter into the well. Add a tbsp of nigella seeds if using. Bring the mixture together with your hands or using a standing mixer with a dough hook. Knead for at least 10 minutes. The dough will be quite wet and sticky to start with. Carry on kneading until soft and elastic. Don't be tempted to add a lot more flour, but use some to dust the surface if kneading by hand.
- Grease a bowl with some butter or oil and pop your dough into it. Cover with cling film and leave in a warm spot to prove until doubled in size (around 2 hours).
- When doubled, divide the dough into 4-6 equal balls, depending on the side you want your naans.
- Heat a large non-stick frying pan on high heat (don't add any oil). Roll out each ball of dough into a traditional teardrop shape and place in a hot pan. Dry fry for about 3-4 minutes. It will puff up quite a bit. Then flip it over and fry for another 2-3 minutes.
- When your naan is puffed up and charred in places, transfer it onto a foil-lined baking tray and brush with melted salted butter. Cover with another piece of foil and pop into the oven set to the lowest possible heat. Then repeat with the rest of the naans, brushing each with salted butter and keeping them warm in the oven. You can work with multiple frying pans to speed up the process.
- Serve warm with your favourite soup, dahl or curry!