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Easy Naan Recipe

You will be hard pressed to go back to eating store bought Naan after making this easy Naan recipe. With 4 basic ingredients and no special equipment, treat yourself to a delicious, versatile bread for dipping, scooping or filling.

For this naan recipe, you will need water, yeast, sugar, salt and flour. Do not be intimidated by the yeast. You put it in warm water for 10 minutes to do its magic. That’s it.

close up of naan on cutting board

The next potential scary part is the kneading. In this recipe, that means pushing around the dough for 3 minutes until it’s smooth and elastic. Definitely not difficult.

Some recipes use eggs and yogurt. Some have longer rise times. And some use equipment to stir to dough. This one sticks to the basics. With excellent results. Crispy on one side, puckered on the other side and soft and chewy on the inside. The recipe was adapted from Mavis Butterfield’s.

Naan, similar to most breads, does not have a ton of flavor. So you can either brush on butter (or ghee) with some herbs or seasonings fresh off the stove or grill. Or use it as a vehicle for dips or fillings.

I like to serve naan with peach chutney beside a protein, eggplant dip, a classic pesto or as a wrap for grilled chicken. But there are plenty of other ways too. See some of our suggestions below.

The homemade naan also makes a great contribution to potluck dinners or picnics when the host is serving a dip or two. I cook it just before I leave the house.

The recipe below makes 4 fairly large naan serving 4-6 people. But you can double or triple the recipe if you like.

How to Make Naan

Here are the basic steps:

  1. Activate the active dry yeast in warm water.
  2. Combine the yeasty water with flour and salt.
  3. Knead the dough for 3 minutes into a smooth ball.
  4. Place the dough in a bowl to let it rise.
  5. Cut the dough into 4 pieces and roll or stretch each piece into an oval.
  6. Pan fry or grill.

Pan fry or grill?

Both methods work well. I prefer the grill method because I can make all the naan in one shot. The grilling literally takes one minute per side. You also get those nice grill marks.

The pan method is just as good, but you can generally only do 1 naan at a time in a pan. I also find you need closer to 2 minutes per side since the pan is not covered. So the pan method will take longer. The results are the same though.

Shortcuts

  • Use instant yeast (also sometimes called rapid rise yeast) to save 10 minutes. There’s no need to let it sit it warm water. Just mix it in with the flour and salt. And pour the warm water over.
  • As noted above, it’s much faster to grill the naan instead of using the pan fry method. You will save about 20 minutes (or a lot more if you double the recipe).

What to Serve with Naan

The options are endless. Here are a few.

  • With dips: hummus, baba ganoush, guacamole, salsa, olive tepanade, olive oil and balsamic vinegar, herb dip, pesto.
  • As an open face sandwich: spread with yogurt or cream cheese and top with smoked salmon, dill, lemon zest or capers.
  • Use as a grilled pizza base: once the naan is cooked, top with sauce and cheese or other toppings, and grill on medium high for 5-7 minutes.
  • As a sandwich – with any filling you prefer.
  • Brushed with butter and seasonings or herbs.

Make Ahead

  • Make the dough ahead. After the dough has risen, punch it down, place it in a bag sprayed with a bit of oil and refrigerate for up to two days. Or freeze it for up to 2 months.
  • Make the naan, then store it in a sealed bag or container for up to 2 days on the counter, 3-4 days in the fridge or in the freezer for a month.

How to make this easy naan recipe

flour, salt, sugar, yeast, water
Gather the ingredients: flour salt, sugar, yeast, water
yeast activating in measuring cup with water
Activate the yeast in warm water until foam forms (see shortcut if using instant yeast)
dough mixture not yet rolled in bowl
Combine yeast mixture with flour and salt.
rolled piece of dough in bowl ready to rise
Knead dough for 3 minutes and place in greased bowl to rise.
naan dough risen in bowl
Allow dough to double in size (45-60 minutes) in a warm environment.
4 pieces of dough rolled into naan size pieces
Cut dough into 4 pieces and stretch or roll out into oval-ish shapes.
4 naan on grill raw side up and bubbling
Spray naan with oil and place on hot grill until they bubble up, about 1 minute. Spray top side and flip over.
4 naan on grill
Grill on second side for another minute.

pieces of naan on cutting board

 

naan torn open showing fluffy inside

close up of naan on cutting board
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4.86 from 14 votes

Easy Naan Recipe

You will be hard pressed to go back to eating store bought Naan bread after making this easy Naan recipe. With 4 basic ingredients and no special equipment, treat yourself to a delicious, versatile soft chewy bread for dipping, scooping or filling.
Prep Time18 mins
Cook Time2 mins
Rise time45 mins
Total Time1 hr 5 mins
Course: Appetizer, Snack
Cuisine: Indian
Servings: 4 naan
Author: Cheryl

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup warm water (105-110F if you want to measure. I don't)
  • 1 teaspoon active dry yeast Note 1
  • 1/2 tablespoon granulated sugar (or honey)
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour plus 2-3 extra tbsp for dusting
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  • ACTIVATE YEAST: Measure water is a small bowl or measuring cup. Stir in yeast and sugar. Let sit for 10 minutes until foamy or cloudy.
  • MIX FLOUR AND SALT: in medium bowl. Make a well in center and set aside.
  • MAKE DOUGH: Add yeast mixture to flour. Stir with wooden spoon until dough begins to form. Turn out onto a floured board (I cover it in parchment for easy clean up). Knead dough for 3 minutes, adding a little flour if it's too sticky. You may need up to 2 tbsp extra flour. Do not add too much flour or bread will become tough/dense. Fold dough into a smooth ball and place in a medium bowl sprayed with oil. Spray top of dough lightly with oil as well.
  • LET DOUGH RISE: Cover bowl loosely with plastic wrap and let it rise in a warm environment for 40-60 minutes. Tip: To speed up the rise, I turn my oven to warm, open the oven door a few inches and place the bowl at the edge of the stove top to get warmth from oven. The dough should double in size.
  • FORM NAAN: Transfer dough to cutting board dusted with flour. Punch it down. Cut into 4 equal pieces. Stretch each piece out by hand or use a rolling pin to flatten and shape dough into approximate ovals about 7-8" long and 1/4 inch thick.
  • GRILL NAAN: (Note 2 to pan fry). Clean and oil grill. Heat grill to high - about 475-500F. Spray one side of naan with oil. When grill is hot, place the 4 naan, oil side down, directly onto grill. As you're transferring each naan to the grill, it will stretch out a bit more, but don't stretch it too thin. You want some fluffiness and chewiness in your naan. Spray the side facing up. Close lid. Cook for 1 minute until bubbles appear. Flip over and cook for 1 more minute.
    If desired, brush with melted butter (or oil) and chopped (or dried) herbs and seasonings of your choice e.g. garlic powder, onions powder, cumin, coriander. Note 3 to rewarm.

Notes

  1. Yeast: Make sure your yeast has not expired. To use instant or rapid rise yeast instead of active dry yeast, just mix the yeast into the flour and salt, then add the warm water. No need to activate the yeast in the warm water for 10 minutes. 
  2. Pan Fry Method: Heat large cast iron or non stick pan to medium high. Spray one side of naan with oil. Place one naan, oil side down in pan. Spray side facing up with oil as well. Cook naan for about 2 minutes until bubbles appear. No need to cover pan. Flip over and cook another 2-3 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Repeat with remaining naan. 
  3. To rewarm: Naan is best served warm if used for dipping. If making it earlier in the day or the day before, rewarm in 375-400F oven for a couple of minutes or on grill for a minute.
  4. Make Ahead:
    • Make the dough ahead. After the dough has risen, punch it down, place it in a bag sprayed with a bit of oil and refrigerate for up to two days. Or freeze it for up to 2 months.
    • Make the naan, then store it in a sealed bag or container for up to 2 days on the counter, 3-4 days in the fridge or in the freezer for a month. Warm in 350-375F oven for 4-5 minutes or on grill for 2 minutes. Watch that is doesn't burn. 
 
Nutrition values are estimates based on 1/4 of the recipe - one large naan per serving. 

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
Easy Naan Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 186 Calories from Fat 9
% Daily Value*
Fat 1g2%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Sodium 295mg13%
Potassium 79mg2%
Carbohydrates 39g13%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 2g2%
Protein 6g12%
Calcium 7mg1%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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6 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Made this right away. Two batches. First added some methi (fenugreek leaves dried) to flour cause i remember i loved that. Probably could add more. And cooked it on the iron grill on the stove top. Easy-peasy and great. Second batch (yet to cook) is regular. We’ll compare tonight. Sneaked a corner. Very good.

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