To start off, how many of you make your own homemade naan? I bet not too many hands went up on that one. I confess to being a newbie at this, too. I’ve made gluten-free naan-style bread many times but this was my first attempt at making regular naan. But just so you know, this isn’t any old naan. This one is rich and buttery with a hint of smokiness. And that final coating of garlic and herbs takes it right over the top. I recently spotted the recipe on one of my favorite food blogs, Half Baked Harvest. And it’s a good one. For sure.
For those of you not familiar with naan, it is a soft pillowy Indian-style flatbread that is traditionally made in a tandoor or cylindrical clay oven. The truly authentic clay oven reaches a temperature of 900°F!! The dough gets slapped against the walls of the tandoor, where it magically adheres, then bakes quickly over the burning fire. Surely, none of us have one of those in our kitchen. But you can achieve similar results on your stovetop by following this recipe. Really.
The first step is to combine the warm water with the honey in the bowl of your stand mixer. Then sprinkle the yeast on top and give it about 10 minutes to rest until the mixture begins to bubble or form a layer of foam on top.
In a medium bowl add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Using a whisk, gently mix until well combined. Add the flour mixture, warm milk and greek yogurt to the bowl containing the yeast mixture.
Using the dough hook, mix until all ingredients are well incorporated … about 4 minutes or so. If you don’t have a stand mixer, mix the dough in a large bowl using a wooden spoon and lots of arm power. A hand mixer won’t work on this one.
The dough will be very sticky so be sure to have a supply of flour nearby. Dust the dough lightly as you lift it from the bowl and knead it into a ball. It doesn’t have to be perfect. Place it in a large bowl and cover it with plastic wrap. Set aside in a warm draft-free spot for about an hour. It should double in size during that time.
So here you go …the above picture is before the rest time. The image below is after one hour.
Do your best to divide the dough into eight equal balls. They don’t have to be exact. On a lightly floured surface, roll each one into a large oval about eight inches in length. They’ll be pretty thin …about 1/4″ thick. As you form the ovals and stack them in a pile, be sure to sprinkle them with flour to prevent sticking.
When ready to cook, preheat a large cast-iron or heavy-duty skillet over medium-high heat until it is extremely hot. Be sure to have a matching lid nearby. Lightly brush both sides of the dough oval with the melted butter. Just before you start cooking, drizzle a small amount of olive oil (about a teaspoon) into the hot skillet. Very carefully spread the olive oil evenly over the entire surface using a large wad of paper toweling.
Place the first naan on the skillet and immediately cover with the lid. After about one minute, you’ll notice bubbles forming on the top. Flip the naan and cook, uncovered for another one minute or so until multiple toasted spots appear on the underside. You have now made your first naan.
Repeat with the remaining dough ovals, keeping the finished bread wrapped in a clean linen towel as you work. At this point, you will have a batch of amazing delicious naan. If you plan to serve it with hummus that is finished off with lavish toppings, you may want to call this a done deal.
But if you want to take your naan to the extreme level, keep it going. Get those fresh herbs chopped up. For this presentation, I used parsley, basil, and chives. There’s no limit to what you may want to use. Cilantro, dill, thyme, tarragon …just to name a few more. Whatever floats your boat.
The butter is melted until it is just about browned and the garlic is golden. Remove from the heat and add the fresh herbs. That flavor burst is then brushed onto the surface of each naan.
These are the absolute best when served immediately. Alongside grilled chicken or fish. How about with your next batch of kebabs?
Have some handy to accompany your favorite Indian-style curry dish …just so that all that yummy juice doesn’t go to waste.
It’s not likely but if you happen to have some leftover, they can be kept in an airtight container in the fridge for 3 to 4 days or up to 3 months, properly wrapped, in the freezer.
tieghan’s herbed garlic butter naan
Recipe from Half Baked Harvest
- 1/4 cup warm water
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 3/4 teaspoon active dry yeast
- 4 cups all-purpose flour (480 grams)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3/4 cup warm whole milk
- 1 cup plain greek yogurt (full-fat)
- 8 tablespoons salted butter, divided in half
- 2 - 4 garlic cloves, grated
- 3/4 cup chopped mixed herbs (such as parsley, basil, chives, cilantro or dill)
In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the warm water and honey. Sprinkle with the yeast. Let sit for 10 minutes or until the mixture begins to bubble on top.
In a medium bowl add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Using a whisk, gently mix until well combined. Add the flour mixture, warm milk and greek yogurt to the mixer bowl containing the yeast mixture.
Using the dough hook, mix until the flour is completely incorporated, about 4 minutes. The dough should be very sticky. Dust lightly with flour and remove from the bowl. With floured hands, knead the dough into a ball. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let sit in a warm place for 1 hour, until doubled in size, or if not using right away, overnight in the fridge.
When ready to cook, divide the dough into 8 equal balls. On a lightly floured surface, roll each one into a large oval about eight inches in length. About 1/4″ thick. As you form the ovals and stack them in a pile, be sure to sprinkle them with flour to prevent sticking.
When ready to cook, preheat a large cast-iron or heavy-duty skillet over medium-high heat until it is extremely hot. Be sure to have a matching lid nearby. Melt 4 tablespoons of the butter. Lightly brush both sides of each dough oval with the melted butter as you proceed. Just before you start cooking the first naan, drizzle a small amount of olive oil (about a teaspoon) into the hot skillet. Very carefully spread the olive oil evenly on the entire surface using a large wad of paper toweling.
Place the first naan on the skillet and immediately cover with the lid. After about one minute, you’ll notice bubbles forming on the top. Flip the naan and cook, uncovered for another minute or so until multiple toasted spots appear on the underside. As you work, keep the stack of cooked naan wrapped in a linen towel.
Make the garlic herb butter. In a small saucepan, melt the remaining 4 tablespoons butter and add the grated garlic. Heat over low heat until the butter is lightly browned and the garlic is golden. Remove from the heat and add the chopped herbs. Brush the garlic herb butter over the warm naan and serve.
These are best served warm, right off the skillet. If you happen to have leftovers, keep them stored in an airtight container for up to 3-4 days in the fridge or freeze for up to 3 months.