Homemade Naan

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Naan

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Soft and pillowy naan is easy to make at home, and it’s a world apart from store-bought.

homemade naan

Naan is a soft and pillowy Indian-style flatbread traditionally made in a tandoor, or cylindrical clay oven. It’s made from a yeast dough enriched with yogurt and olive oil and delicately flavored with anise seeds. After rising, the dough is rolled out and slapped against the walls of the tandoor, where it adheres and bakes quickly over a burning fire. While the bread is still warm, it is brushed with melted butter. In this recipe, I replicate the high heat and charred flavor of a clay oven by using a very hot cast iron skillet or nonstick pan. Homemade naan is quick to make, save for the rising time, and so much more delicious than store-bought. Pair it with tandoori chicken, butter chicken, or smoky chickpea, lentil, and vegetable soup.

What You’ll Need To Make Naan

how to make naan

As you can see, the ingredients are very basic. The yogurt and olive oil add a bit of tang and richness. The anise seeds add just a hint of licorice flavor; feel free to leave them out, or replace them with nigella seeds (which have a subtle onion flavor), poppy seeds, or sesame seeds.

Step-by-Step Instructions

how to make naan

Begin by combining the flour, yeast, sugar, anise seeds and salt in a large bowl, then whisk to combine.

how to make naan

Whisk together the yogurt, olive oil, and warm water.

how to make naan

Add the liquid mixture to the dry ingredients.

how to make naan

And stir with a fork until the dough comes together.

how to make naan

Dust your hands with flour and knead into a soft, sticky ball.

how to make naan

Cover with plastic wrap.

how to make naan

Let rise in a warm spot until about doubled in size, 1 to 1-1/2 hours. Hint: the warmer the spot, the faster it will rise.

how to make naan

Fill a small bowl with flour. Dust some of the flour onto a work surface. Dump the dough on top and sprinkle the dough with more flour.

how to make naan

Shape the dough into a rectangle, adding more flour as necessary so it doesn’t stick.

how to make naan

Then, divide into six equal portions.

how to make naan

Heat a cast iron or heavy nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until very hot. While it heats, roll one of the dough balls into an oval about 1/8-inch thick.

how to make naan

Place the dough in the hot, dry skillet and cook until the surface is full of air bubbles and the bottom is browned and blistered in spots.

how to make naan

Flip the naan and cook a few minutes more.

how to make naan

Brush the cooked naan with melted butter, and repeat with remaining dough balls.

how to make naan

Sprinkle with parsley, if using, then serve warm.

homemade naan

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Homemade Naan

Soft and pillowy naan is easy to make at home, and it’s a world apart from store-bought.

Servings: 6 naans
Prep Time: 30 Minutes
Cook Time: 20 Minutes
Total Time: 50 Minutes, plus 1 to 1.5 hours rising time

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all purpose flour, spooned into measuring cup and leveled off with a knife, plus more for rolling (see note)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon instant dry yeast/rapid-rise yeast (see note)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Heaping ½ teaspoon anise seeds (optional)
  • 3 tablespoons plain yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • ¾ cup warm water (about 100°F)
  • 2 tablespoons melted salted butter, for brushing on finished naans
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh Italian parsley (optional), for serving

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, yeast, salt and anise seeds (if using). Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together, the yogurt, olive oil, and ¾ cup warm water (about 100°F). Add the yogurt mixture to the dry ingredients and mix with a fork. When the dough is about to come together, dust your hands with flour and knead gently into a soft, slightly sticky dough (sprinkle more flour, little by little, if the dough is too wet to work with). As soon as it comes together, stop kneading.
  3. Lightly oil or spray a clean bowl with nonstick cooking spray (the bowl should be large enough to allow the dough to double in size). Transfer the dough to the prepared bowl and cover with plastic wrap or a damp kitchen towel. Let sit in a warm place for 1 to 1½ hours, or until about doubled in size (hint: the warmer the spot, the faster the dough will rise).
  4. Fill a small bowl with about ½ cup flour. Dust a work surface with some of the flour and dump the dough on top. Sprinkle some of the flour on top of the dough and on your hands. Shape the dough into a long rectangle and cut into 6 equal portions, dusting with more flour as necessary so the dough doesn't stick. Roll each portion of dough in the bowl of flour to keep them from sticking.
  5. Warm a large cast iron or heavy nonstick pan over medium-high heat until very hot. Using a rolling pin, roll one of the dough balls into an oval shape about ⅛-inch thick (it should be about 9 x 4 inches). Pick up the dough and flip-flop it back and forth between your hands to release any excess flour; then gently lay the dough in the dry skillet and cook until the top is bursting with air bubbles and the bottom is golden and blackened in spots, a few minutes. Flip the naan and cook about 1-2 minutes more until the the bottom is lightly browned and blistered in spots. Remove the naan from the skillet and brush with melted butter. Place the naan in a tea towel-lined dish to keep warm. Repeat with the remaining naans, adjusting the heat lower if necessary as you go (I usually find it necessary to lower the heat to medium after the first naan). Sprinkle with parsley, if using, and serve warm.
  6. To keep the cooked naan warm, place them in a 200°F oven. Store leftovers in a Ziplock bag and reheat in a 350°F oven wrapped in foil.
  7. Note: I use King Arthur flour, which is higher in protein than some other all-purpose flours. If using a flour with a lower protein content, such as Gold Medal, you will likely need to add a few more tablespoons of flour.
  8. Note: Active dry yeast may be used instead of instant/rapid-rise yeast, however, the dough will take longer to rise. To give active dry yeast a boost, you can dissolve it in the lukewarm water and let it sit until frothy, about 10 minutes. After that, add it to the flour, sugar, salt, and anise seeds, and proceed with the recipe.
  9. Freezer-Friendly Instructions: The naan can be frozen for up to 3 months. Once it’s completely cooled, wrap each piece securely in plastic wrap and put all the rounds in a sealable plastic bag prior to putting in the freezer. To reheat, wrap the naan in aluminum foil and warm in a 350°F oven until hot.

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • Serving size: 1 naan
  • Calories: 241
  • Fat: 9 g
  • Saturated fat: 3 g
  • Carbohydrates: 35 g
  • Sugar: 3 g
  • Fiber: 1 g
  • Protein: 5 g
  • Sodium: 323 mg
  • Cholesterol: 11 mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

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Comments

  • Hi,
    Can I use fresh yeast for this recipe?
    Thanks

    • — Siobhan Flynn on September 22, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Siobhan, I’ve never worked with fresh yeast but read on the kitchn website that 2 1/4 teaspoons dry active, instant, or rapid-rise yeast granules (usually one 1/4-ounce packet) = 2/3 ounce fresh yeast, it will work, but will require a little math to determine the amount and the timing be a bit different. Please LMK how it turns out if you try it!

      • — Jenn on September 23, 2022
      • Reply
  • So simple to make and the taste is so much better than store bought.

    • — Steph on September 22, 2022
    • Reply
  • This has been my go-to for naan/pita ever since I spotted this post a few years back. Easy, tasty and never-fail, I use the BBQ to grill all 6 pieces at once.

    • — Deb on September 11, 2022
    • Reply
  • Hi Jenn! What a great recipe! I paired this with your butter chicken and this combo is easily in the top three favorites for my household. Like others have said, you are the first place I check when I want to try something yummy! Thank you!

    • — Trina W. on September 2, 2022
    • Reply
  • My naan was a delicious disaster but I think that’s because I didn’t knead it enough. It was incredibly sticky and thus, hard to form either with my rolling pin or my hands. I also had the cast iron pan way too hot and the naans too thick. But now that I have done it once, I know what I did wrong and how I could try to improve it. No improvement needed on the flavour, we snarfed it up in one sitting. I added habanero chilis to the garlic butter I made for brushing the naan and it was perfection. Even though they were thick and ugly, I still can’t believe I made such delicious naan.

    • — Julie Godwin on August 26, 2022
    • Reply
  • This was SO good and shockingly easy!! I served with the sheet pan chicken shawarma from the second cookbook. Next time I will try incorporating some whole wheat flour.

    • — adina on August 26, 2022
    • Reply
  • Jenn
    The other day i made a shrimp curry and once again your naan recipe as i had company for dinner. i made the naan ahead of time so i could clean the island of flour and rolling pin.
    Just wondering if you can roll the naan and put them in a pile separated by sheets of wax paper and then cook them one after the other when the guests are at the table so they are fresh and hot. If you roll the dough and pile them up this way would they lose the benefit of the yeast and go flat?

    • — ron vancouver bc on August 14, 2022
    • Reply
    • Sure, that should work. Depending on how far ahead you plan to make the dough, you may find this info helpful.

      • — Jenn on August 15, 2022
      • Reply
  • Hi, could I use bread flour instead of all purpose flour? Thank you!

    • — Valentina on August 8, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Valentina, I haven’t made these with bread flour, but another reader commented that she did and was happy with the results, so I think you could get away with it. Please LMK how they turn out if you try it!

      • — Jenn on August 9, 2022
      • Reply
  • This recipe is a staple in our household. We eat it at least bi-weekly, always substituting sour cream for the yogurt.

    Thank you so much for sharing this!

    • — Becca on August 2, 2022
    • Reply
  • I’m planning on making this for my dad, just wondering if baking is an option as well or is it better with a skillet?

    • — Lisa Finld on June 30, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Lisa, I definitely recommend sticking with the skillet. Hope your dad enjoys!

      • — Jenn on June 30, 2022
      • Reply
  • I made these before and they were amazing! Thank you for this recipe! I was wondering though, we have a family trip coming up and there are many vegans in our group, can I just opt out the yogurt all together? Do you think it will turn out similarly? (I know they make vegan yogurt substitutions but the area were vacationing probably won’t have those options)

    • — Kelly on June 15, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Kelly, Coconut cream would be a good vegan alternative here. Hope your family vacation is great!

      • — Jenn on June 15, 2022
      • Reply
  • Where do you have your list of measured ingredients??

    • — Carrie Hamilton on June 14, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Carrie, It sounds like you are just looking at the portion of the page that has the pictures with some instructions underneath. If you scroll down a bit to under the pictures, you’ll find the full recipe. Alternatively, at the very top of the page, to the right of the recipe name, you’ll see an orange/red button that says Jump to Recipe – if you click on that, it will take you directly to the recipe. Hope that clarifies!

      • — Jenn on June 15, 2022
      • Reply
  • I made naan with this recipe on Monday and the result was delicious!
    I still can’t get over it! Thank you!

    ps: I didn’t use anise seeds as I didn’t have any and used garlic butter to brush on top in the end.

    • — Carlotta on June 8, 2022
    • Reply
  • Delicious and easy naan! I used the recipe to make keema naan and it was perfect! I have several naan recipes, but this will be my go-to recipe for naan now, thanks!

    • — Jeff on June 3, 2022
    • Reply
  • Hi,

    Just curious—the recipe indicates to knead just until the dough comes together. Is there a reason why the dough isn’t kneaded more (like most bread recipes, until dough is smooth or passes the “windowpane test”)?

    Thanks!

    • — Jeff on June 3, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Jeff, not all bread dough needs to be kneaded. This article provides some more info.

      • — Jenn on June 7, 2022
      • Reply
  • Great recipe. Perfectly fluffy and chewy.

    • — Jo on May 21, 2022
    • Reply
  • These turned out great. Very simple to make but absolutely delicious.

    • — Janners on March 27, 2022
    • Reply
  • We loved this naan. I’ve made it twice in the last week. The recipe worked perfectly and made the most excellent naan I’ve ever had. I subbed greek yogurt because that is what I had and it turned out great. Another amazing recipe from OUAC.

    • — Kelley on March 9, 2022
    • Reply
  • Could I make this in the morning and put the dough in the refrigerator to rise? BTW, have never tried a recipe of yours I didn’t love!

    • — Cynthia Fetty on March 9, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Cynthia, Happy to hear you like the recipes! You can definitely refrigerate the dough. Here’s a link with some guidance.

      • — Jenn on March 9, 2022
      • Reply
  • Hi Jenn, I have made this recipe many times and never fails. It is a favourite. My only change is, 3:1 white to stone-ground whole wheat flour. I enjoy your recipes, they work, and are easy to follow.

    • — Laureen on March 6, 2022
    • Reply
  • The best recipe of naan bread. First try and we almost can’t stop eating.

    • — Ming on March 1, 2022
    • Reply
  • I made these today with a few alternations for dietary preferences: I used cashew yogurt instead of reg yogurt. I used half sprouted wheat and half reg flour, and xylitol instead of sugar. I didn’t have anise seeds. They came out super yummy. I brushed them with butter, minced garlic and parsley. I Good easy recipe.

    • — Donnelle Moss on February 26, 2022
    • Reply
  • Can this be done with a kitchen machine for the kneading?

    • — Heiko on February 25, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Heiko, I’m assuming you’re referring to a mixer? If so, I haven’t made this using a mixer, but I think you could; it won’t take long. You just want to get it to come together into a soft, slightly sticky dough. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on February 28, 2022
      • Reply
  • Excellent. I’d caution that the dough is very soft and sticky but that’s ok. I used nigella seeds and it was perfect. I also didn’t need a nonstick pan, just used a regular frying pan.

    • — Katy on February 19, 2022
    • Reply

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