Naan is a simple yeast-leavened flatbread with origins all across Asia and this recipe is as easy as it gets. It requires no special equipment beyond a rolling pin and a hot skillet to make these fluffy breads perfect for dipping or scooping.
As with most bread recipes, plan ahead when making this as it requires a long proofing period.
To get the best out of your naan, make a spiced ghee to brush over the top before dressing it with some fresh cilantro. Then you’re ready to tear it apart and dip it into your favorite curries, tagines, and stews.
This recipe makes 4 large naan.
For the naan:
2½ cups / 240g bread flour, plus more for dusting
1 cup warm water (100-110°)
2 tsp active dry yeast
½ tsp kosher salt
For the spiced ghee:
½ cup / 1 stick butter
1 tsp coriander seeds
½ tsp cumin seeds
1 tbsp minced garlic or minced onion (optional)
In a mixing bowl, combine the water and yeast. Stir to dissolve and set aside for 10-15 minutes to proof. Once the mixture is foamy and smells yeasty like beer, add the flour on top, then the salt. Stir with a spoon until combined, then turn out onto a floured surface. Knead for 8-10 minutes by hand, or 3-5 minutes if using a stand mixer. The dough will go from sticky to lightly tacky as the gluten network develops.
Lightly grease a bowl and transfer the dough into it, making sure the surface of the dough is also greased. Cover and rest in a warm place for 60-90 minutes until doubled in volume.
Meanwhile, make the ghee. Toast the coriander and cumin seeds in a small dry skillet or saucepan over medium heat for about a minute until they smell very aromatic. Add the butter and swirl to melt. Bring the heat down to low and continue to swirl the pan frequently until the milk solids just begin to brown, about 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and let sit until cool enough to handle. Strain the ghee into a jar, leaving the browned milk solids behind. If you plan on making garlic or onion naan, add the dried minced garlic/onion to the ghee now. Ghee will keep on the counter for up to 6 months and in the refrigerator up to 1 year.
When the naan dough has proofed, dust your hands with flour. Gently deflate the dough and turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead for 1-2 minutes, then return to the bowl and proof for another 60 minutes.
At the end of the second proof, deflate the dough again. Divide into 4 equal pieces and roll each into a smooth ball. Cover with a towel and rest 20 minutes.
Preheat a cast iron skillet over high heat. On a floured surface, roll out each ball until they reach 6-8” (15-20cm) across. Cook in the skillet 3-4 minutes on the first side, flip, and cook an additional 1-2 minutes. As they come off the heat, brush each naan with ghee and top with fresh cilantro.
Buy the spices you need to make this recipe!