Do you enjoy a good Indian curry occasionally? Is the soft and buttery garlic naan bread one of your favourite side dishes to order in an Indian restaurant? Then look no further. This most delicious naan bread recipe will be your new favourite companion to your homemade lamb biryani or red lentil dal with spinach. And the good news is that it is easier to make naan bread than you probably think it is!Jump to Recipe
What is Naan Bread?
Naan bread is quite similar to pita bread. The main difference is that yoghurt and butter are used for the naan bread which gives it a softer texture. When the naan dough is done, it is shaped into a ball, stretched through hands and thrown on the interior walls of a tandoor (a cylindrical clay oven used in Indian cuisine).
The naan bread puffs up and bubbles appear as it cooks on the tandoor. Luckily, you don’t need a tandoor or any other special equipment to make great homemade naan bread. A good quality cast iron skillet or frying pan will be enough for the naan bread to rise nicely.
How to Make the Perfect Naan Bread?
- Getting the consistency of the dough right – This is the key factor for achieving perfectly soft naan bread. The amount of flour in this recipe should be taken as a guide. When it comes to pastries, implementing the exact measurements in a recipe doesn’t always guarantee perfect results due to external factors such as humidity at your location, type of flour and yoghurt that you use. Therefore, you should have a basic understanding of how the consistency of the dough should look like. And if necessary, you can adjust the amount of flour in the recipe. The naan bread dough should be soft and sticky. It is important to achieve soft and fluffy naan bread.
- The right type of flour – The best type of flour for naan bread is all-purpose flour. Substituting it with other types of flour (such as whole wheat flour) will make the naan breads less soft and denser.
- Preheat your skillet – For your naan bread to get bubbles on top, your skillet should be VERY hot. Tandoor ovens get exceptionally hot, resulting in naan bread that is soft and bubbly inside, and charred outside. To replicate this method, make sure you put your naan bread in the skillet when it is completely hot.
- Let it rise – This naan bread takes a bit of time and some patience. It doesn’t need much kneading but requires a few ” knead and let it rise ” sessions for a smooth dough.
- Do not make it too thick – The shape and size of naan bread differ substantially in every restaurant you go to. Naan bread needs to be soft and fluffy. So do not make them too thin. But making it too thick will result in an uncooked doughy centre.
- Brush it with garlic butter or ghee for extra flavours – After cooking the naan bread, brush with some garlic butter/ghee and serve them straight from the pan.
- Do not make it in advance – Once you made the dough, you must use it promptly. If you want to make the dough in the morning to cook later in the evening, reduce the amount of the yeast to ¼ TSP and keep the dough in the fridge covered until required.
Naan bread is a great companion to curries, soups and dips. Our delicious Ezogelin Soup or Authentic Yoghurt Dip (Haydari) are perfect for dipping this soft and fluffy Garlic Naan Bread. The leftovers would also make delicious wraps for your packed lunch. You can store the cooked naan bread in the freezer if you don’t plan to eat the whole batch the day you cook them.
I hope you enjoy the process of making these delicious Garlic Naan Bread as much as you enjoy eating it!🙂
Bon appétit! / Afiyet olsun!
Garlic Naan Bread Recipe
For the Dough
- 150 ml water (lukewarm)
- 5 g fresh yeast (or 3 g fast action dried yeast)
- 250 g plain white flour / all purpose flour
- 50 g plain yogurt
- ½ TSP salt
- ¾ TSP baking powder
- 3 TSP melted ghee or butter (2 TSP and 1 TSP separately) (30 grams / 20 grams and 10 grams separately) (plus extra for kneading)
For the Garlic Butter Paste
- 20 g butter (room temperature)
- 1 clove garlic (pressed)
- ¼ TSP sea salt
- 2 tbsp fresh coriander or parsley to garnish (roughly chopped)
Preparing the Dough
- Pour the warm water into a large bowl.
- Whisk in the yeast and half of the flour, mix, cover the bowl and leave in a warm place for 30 minutes.
- Stir in the yoghurt and add the rest of the flour, salt and baking powder. mix with your hands to form a soft and sticky dough.
- Spoon 2 TSP of the melted ghee or butter and rub it over the dough. Roughly squeeze the dough a few times, cover the bowl with cling film or a clean damp kitchen cloth and leave it to rise for another 15 minutes.
- Pour another 1 TSP melted ghee or butter onto the dough and rub lightly all over. Turn the dough out onto a lightly oiled work surface and knead the dough for 30 seconds. Return it to the bowl, cover and leave for 15 minutes to rise in a warm place.
- By this time, the dough becomes much smoother. Knead lightly on the oiled surface for a minute and divide the dough into 4 equal pieces, roll them into balls, lightly dust with flour and leave for 5 minutes before shaping.
Cooking the Naan Bread
- Heat a large heavy-based non-stick pan or a large skillet on medium to high heat.
- Lightly flour the balls and turn them into a teardrop or oval shape (about 3 mm or ⅛“ ) using your fingers or a rolling pin.
- When the pan is really hot, place the dough and cook until golden brown and flip the dough using a tong. Cook for another couple of minutes.
- Put on a plate and brush with garlic and butter mixture. Sprinkle some chopped coriander or parsley on naan bread.
- Keep wrapped in a clean cloth while you roll out and cook the remaining naan bread.