I know that many people shy away from the thought of making their own bread, thinking that it must be terribly time consuming and labour intensive, and just overall intimidating. I know people who just shut down at the mention of “yeast” or “rising”, but I promise you guys; this is EASY.
There is almost no kneading, just barely bringing the dough together into a sticky rough ball. There is also NO BAKING! Seriously! You make this in a skillet on the stovetop in under 2 minutes! And it is the most incredibly deliciously preposterously addictive soft and chewy flatbread you will ever taste! Perfect for lapping up sauces, curries and dipping into curries. The ideal partner for my Daal recipe. Or this Tandoori Chicken.
Visual how to guide alert:
Mix up the yeast with warm water and a dash of sugar. Let froth. Add some plain yoghurt and olive oil.
Mix up your dry ingredients. I like to use a mixture of whole-wheat and plain flour, but you could use all plain if you like. (I haven’t tried all whole-wheat yet, so I can’t recommend it. If you do, let me know how it turns out!)
Make a hollow in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the yeast mixture.
Mix both mixtures together first with a fork, then with you hands, kneading lightly until it just forms a sticky ball of dough.
Drizzle with a bit of olive oil and cover the bowl with plastic/a damp tea towel and leave to rest and rise for 2-4 hours until doubled in size.
Turn out onto a floured surface and divide into 6 balls.
(Please excuse my hair’s cameo appearance.)
Roll out each ball into an oval/teardrop shape, quite thin (about 0.5cm).
Heat up a large non-stick or cast iron skillet that has a lid. When your pan is screaming, smoking hot, wet your hands lightly and flip a Naan between your hands a couple of times to slightly wet the surface, and then lay it down right away into the hot pan. I like to use a pan large enough to cook 2 at a time.
You cook the Naans for just about a minute until bubbles are visible on the surface and the bottom is nice and blistered and has charred, black spots. Then you flip them over, cover the pan with a lid and cook for just another 30 seconds on the other side. I told you these are super quick!
Remove onto a plate and brush with glorious melted garlic butter. You could use just plain butter…but in my books; garlic always makes things better. Then sprinkle with some flaky sea salt and voila! Absolutely delicious, pillowy, chewy and buttery fresh bread!
Tell me this isn’t easy. And simple. AND SO MUCH FUN!
Throw the ingredients together at breakfast, and you will have gorgeous dough ready to be made into the quickest, easiest fresh homemade bread at lunch (or mix up a batch at lunch for dinner, obviously).
…Did I mention how PERFECT this is to serve with Daal lentils? I did? Sorry, I can’t help myself!
So you see, dear readers…there is absolutely no reason to fear bread or dough or yeast. You’ve got this.
- • 1 packet active dry yeast (7g)
- • 187ml (¾ cup) warm water (not hot, just warm to the touch)
- • 2 tsp. sugar
- • 150g (1 cup) whole-wheat flour*
- • 150g (1 cup) plain flour*
- • 1 tsp. salt
- • 1 tsp. baking powder
- • 3 tbsp. plain yoghurt
- • 2 tbsp. olive oil
- • 40g butter, for brushing
- • 1 clove garlic, minced (optional, for garlic butter Naan)
- • flaky sea salt, for sprinkling
- In a jug, mix the yeast, water and the sugar. Leave until frothy.
- In a large bowl, whisk the flours, salt and baking powder. Set aside.
- When the yeast mixture is frothy, add the yoghurt and olive oil and whisk well. Pour this onto the dry ingredients. Mix until it combined, then knead briefly for just a minute until it all comes together well. It will be slightly sticky and soft; that is perfect. Drizzle the dough with a bit of olive oil then cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a damp tea towel and leave to rest and rise in a warm place for 2-4 hours, until doubled in size.**
- Tip out onto a lightly floured surface and divide into 6 portions. Roll each portion into a ball, then use a rolling pin to roll each ball into an oval/teardrop shape about 0.5cm (1/4 inch)thin. Sprinkle lightly with flour as needed to prevent sticking.
- To make the garlic butter: simply melt the butter with the garlic in a small saucepan until fragrant, or even use the microwave if you are lazy (like me). Set aside.
- Heat a large non-stick pan that has a lid over high heat until smoking. (Preferably a heavy-bottomed pan).
- Wet your hands slightly and pick up a Naan, flip it a few times between your hand to wet the surface just slightly and then place into the pan. Do the same with another Naan if you pan can fit two at once. Cook on the first side for about 1 minute, until bubbles appear on the top and the bottom is blistered and has some black spots. Flip the Naans over, cover the pan with the lid and cook for just 30 seconds on this side.
- Remove from the pan onto a plate, brush with the melted (garlic) butter and sprinkle with flaky sea salt (on both sides). Cover with a clean towel or paper towels while you make the rest of the Naans. (If you want to keep the finished Naans warm, place the covered plate in a very low oven, about 100 degrees C, while you cook the rest of the Naans). Repeat the process with the remaining Naans.
**If the weather is very cold in your house, switch on your oven to 120 degrees C for 10 minutes to warm it up before you start making the dough, then switch it off and use it to place your bowl of dough to rise.
Get my recipe for Indian Daal Lentils here.
Naan is adapted from this recipe by Food Network