If you look up the word “naan” you’ll find that in Indian cooking, it is a type of leavened bread, typically of teardrop shape and traditionally cooked in a clay oven. We all know it as a delicious way to scoop up hummus or the dip of our choice. Since I (along with most of us) don’t have a clay oven, this is my attempt to produce a similar texture in a hot stove-top skillet. And since I happen to have a batch of gluten-free pizza crust dough hangin’ out in my fridge, let’s make it gluten-free.
Once again, my heartfelt thanks must go to Dr. Jeff Hertzberg and Zoë François, who co-authored the book, Gluten-Free Artisan Bread in Five Minutes A Day. I am (without fail) so pleased with the outcome of their gluten-free pizza crust. And now, using the same dough (from the same batch if you like) I find that it is possible to make excellent gluten-free naan-style bread at home.
For each flatbread, you’ll need about 4 ounces of prepared dough. You don’t even need a rolling pin. Start out with a round ball of dough. Then you’ll dust the surface with a small amount of rice flour or any gluten-free flour mix. Using your flour-dusted fingertips, you’ll gently press outward from the center of the dough to form a large disc. No need for perfection here …rustic is good.
I used a full pound of dough for the 4 flatbreads featured here.
For the most authentic flavor, brush the surface with a small amount of ghee or butter. Ghee is an Indian clarified butter that can be found in South Asian or Middle Eastern markets. If you don’t have ghee, unsalted butter will be equally delicious …just not as authentic.
This bread should be served immediately for optimum texture. If necessary, wrap tightly in foil and reheat it gently in a low oven when ready to use.
Serve with Indian foods or as an appetizer with your favorite hummus or prepared chutney.
gluten-free naan-style bread
Adapted from Gluten-Free Artisan Bread in Five Minutes A Day
You will need prepared dough from The Best Gluten-Free Pizza Crust for this recipe.
- 4 ounces Gluten-Free Pizza Crust dough (peach-size portion)
- 1 tablespoon ghee, clarified butter, unsalted butter or oil
- additional ghee or unsalted butter, for brushing the bread (if desired)
- rice flour for dusting (or any gluten-free flour mix)
Dust the surface of the refrigerated prepared Gluten-Free Pizza Crust dough with the rice flour. Pull off a 4-ounce (peach-size) piece of dough. Quickly pat it into a ball on a pizza peel prepared with rice flour. Smooth the surface and shape into a 7 to 8-inch flattened disk by gently pressing with flour-dusted fingers. As you work, pat the sides to round them off.
Heat a heavy 8-inch cast-iron or other skillet over medium-high heat on the stovetop. When water droplets flicked into the pan skitter across the surface and evaporate quickly, the pan is ready. Add the ghee, butter or oil.
Slide the disk into the skillet, decrease the heat to medium, and cover the skillet to trap the steam and heat.
Check for doneness with a spatula at 3 to 5 minutes, or sooner if you're smelling overly quick browning. Adjust the heat as needed. Flip the naan when the underside is richly browned.
Continue cooking, covered, for another 3 to 5 minutes, or until the naan feels firm, even at the edges, and the second side is browned.
Remove the naan from the pan, brush with additional ghee or butter if desired, and serve immediately with Indian foods or as an appetizer with prepared chutneys or your favorite hummus.
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