The Easiest Naan
Making homemade naan is easy and delicious – it’s the fastest, best bread you’ll make at home.
This naan recipe comes together super quick. It’s soft and puffy, just like the bread you get at your favorite Indian restaurant. A recipe for naan is something every home cook should have in their back pocket. This recipe gets it tang and softness from milk and yogurt. The fluffy plushness is thanks to baking powder and soda which is amazing because you don’t need to proof it as long as you would with yeasted dough.
What is naan?
Naan is a type of flatbread, popular in India, South Asia, and Indonesia. The kind we’re talking about here specifically, is Indian-style bread baked in a super hot tandoor oven where the bread gets puffy and bubbly. Most home cooks use a (hopefully gas) stove top with a hot cast iron skillet because who has a tandoori at home?! (Some people, actually. They even make not-well-rated mini tandoori ovens for home) Naan is soft yet crispy, puffy and lush. It’s basically the best flatbread you’ll ever eat. If you like fresh homemade bread, you’ll love this recipe.
Side note, although a lot of people call it naan bread, it’s kind of funny because the word naan actually means bread. So really, you’re saying “bread bread”. It’s kind of how like when you say shrimp scampi you’re saying “shrimp shrimp.”
- Milk. I use 2% milk because it’s usually what I have in the fridge but this recipe will work with any kind of milk. If you’re vegan, you can make a vegan version by using a plant-based milk.
- Yogurt. Yogurt gives your bread a bit of tang and flavor. I’ve made this with Greek yogurt, regular yogurt, kefir, and soy yogurt.
- Flour. Simple all-purpose flour is what you need. If you’re looking to sub whole wheat, you can use 3/4 cup whole wheat with 1/4 cup all-purpose.
- Baking powder and baking soda. This is a yeast free recipe which is perfect because you don’t need to wait for it to rise. Instead it gets its fluffiness from baking powder and soda.
- Sugar. We need just a touch of sugar for a bit of sweetness. There’s only 1/4 teaspoon in this whole recipe so you can always skip the sugar if you want to be sugar-free, you probably won’t miss it.
- Salt. You need just a touch of salt to make your naan sing. We like our homemade naan more neutral, so be sure to adjust the salt level to your personal salt taste.
- Butter and herbs. Butter and herbs are optional but so delicious. We use melted butter and chopped cilantro, but you can use all kinds of herbs and spices. Try parsley, mint, green onions, garlic, cayenne, cumin, graham masala, chili powder, the world is your oyster! If you’re making vegan naan, sub olive oil or a vegan butter.
How to make naan
- Whisk. Whisk the milk and yogurt together in a liquid measuring cup.
- Combine. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Make well in the middle and add the yogurt mix in bit by bit with a rubber spatula. Knead into a soft dough, gather into a ball, cover, and let rest for 1 hour.
- Shape. Give your dough a little knead on a lightly floured work surface then divide it up. Use a rolling pin to roll it out into ovals or circles. You’ve made naan!
- Bake. Heat up a heavy bottomed cast iron skillet over high heat. Brush the naan with water and place in the skillet water side down and cover. When it bubbles and rises, take the lid off and then flip it over and cook the other side.
If desired, if you have a gas stove, you can also give your naan some extra blistering by using a pair of tongs to hold it over the open flame. To finish, brush the bread with melted butter and keep warm in a low oven or wrapped in a clean, lint-free kitchen towel.
- Mini naan – Divide the dough into 8-10 pieces and make naan dippers then cook as usual.
- Giant naan – Divide the dough into 2 and then cook as usual. If your naan isn’t rolling out large enough, let the dough rest longer. The longer it rests, the more relaxed the dough will be and the larger you’ll be able to roll it.
- Garlic naan – To make garlic naan, melt together 1/4 cup butter with 4 cloves minced garlic and 1 tbsp finely chopped parsley or cilantro. Brush the garlic butter on both sides of cooked naan and enjoy.
- Cheesy naan – To make cheesy naan, divide the dough into four pieces then roll them out. Place 2 tbsp shredded cheese into the middle of each naan and seal it in the middle by pinching together the edges. Let it rest briefly, then use a rolling pin to roll it out. Cook as per usual.
How to store naan
Naan tastes best fresh. But if you want to make it in advance, just cook it and leave it plain, without butter. Let it cool off completely then store in an airtight container or zip top bag. It should keep for up to three days.
How to freeze
To freeze, just cook it and keep it plain, then let it cool completely. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap before putting it in an air tight container or bag. It should keep frozen for up to 2 months.
Lightly brush with water and heat briefly, in 20 second intervals until it’s warm and pliable. When it’s warm, brush with melted butter and finish with chopped herbs.
Heat the oven to 400°F. Lightly brush the naan with water and heat on a baking sheet for 2-3 minutes. When it’s warm, brush with melted butter and finish with chopped herbs.
Let thaw at room temp before reheating, either in the microwave or oven.
What to serve alongside
Happy bread making!
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1/4 cup yogurt
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1/4 tsp baking powder + an extra 1/8 tsp
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp sugar
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp butter melted, to serve
- 1 tbsp fresh cilantro chopped, to serve
Amount Per Serving
Calories from Fat 67
% Daily Value*
Saturated Fat 4.4g28%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.