Naan is a flat bread traditionally baked on the side of a clay oven. Now, I don't have a clay oven (much as I would love one!) , but I do have my trusty griddle pan. I grew up eating delicious, freshly made naans in Singapore and have learnt to make my own version here in Taipei. This is a really easy and quick naan recipe, which is a big plus to lots of people I'm sure, as time is such a premium nowadays). Also, this doesn't require an oven. You just need a stove and a griddle pan (or any flat pan).
There are so many ways to enjoy this versatile flat bread. I eat it with curry, with toppings on it like a pizza, filled then rolled like a sandwich, with honey or maple syrup like a pancake. You can also make it with various herbs, seeds, nuts. I particularly like to add cumin seeds and minced garlic in mine, if I want it savoury. I have even made it with cut bananas and nuts, then drizzled it with melted chocolate for a sweet dessert!
I usually make a batch and freeze any leftovers. They can be kept indefinitely when frozen. Just thaw and pop them in the oven for a quick warm up.
I used plain flour in these photos, but you can also use whole wheat flour for higher fibre.
There are only 5 ingredients needed for a basic naan. Put the yeast, warm water and sugar into a bowl, stir it just enough for the sugar to dissolve, then leave aside for about 5 minutes until it turns foamy.
Add flour and salt into the mixture, then either use a dough hook to beat the mixture in the mixer or combine together and knead manually until dough becomes smooth. I usually use the dough hook in a mixer first until the dough comes together and lifts from the sides of the mixer bowl onto the dough hook (as in photo above).
For tips on baking bread, see my previous post "How To Bake Bread".
Then I place the dough onto a floured surface and knead manually until dough is ready.
Lightly oil a bowl, then roll the kneaded dough around the bowl so the oil coats the surface of the dough. Then cover it with a damp cloth and set aside for about 45 minutes. (proofing)
For naan, there is no need for a second proofing.
After the proofing, divide the dough into 8 parts.
Use a rolling pin to roll and flatten the dough into a vaguely oval shape.
Heat the flat griddle pan on high heat until it is ready. Pan is ready when water sprinkled on it forms into small water drops that skitters about the pan. If you use a non-stick pan, like I do, there is no need to oil the pan. Just place the flattened dough ontothe hot pan, leave for about 1/2 to 1 minute, then flip it over and repeat.
And that's it! Naan is best eaten warm, fresh off the griddle.
Nutrition Facts for Naan Bread
Naan Bread Made Easy
(from Super Easy Naan Bread from www.geniuskitchen.com)
Makes 8 naans
Ingredient Group A
300ml warm water
1 Tbsp sugar
2 tsp active dry yeast
Ingredient Group B
375gm all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
Combine together Group A ingredients in a bowl, and set aside for about 5 minutes until foamy.
Add Group B to Group A mixture and combine well.
Flour a work surface and knead the dough.
Put dough into an oiled bowl, roll it around the bowl to ensure the dough surface is lightly oiled, then cover the bowl with a damp towel. Set aside for about 30 to 45 minutes to allow dough to rise.
Return dough to the floured work surface. Divide the dough into half, then half again repeatedly until you get 8 pieces. Roll each piece flat with a rolling pin.
Heat a non stick griddle pan on high heat. When the pan is well heated, place naan on the pan and leave for about 1 to 2 minutes. Flip and leave for another 1 to 2 minutes. I did not add oil in my non stick pan. If your non stick pan is well maintained and your pan is properly heated, you may not need oil at all, but if you prefer, you can add just a little vegetable oil in the pan, to prevent sticking.
Repeat for all 8 pieces.