naan (with gluten-free modifications)

February 15, 2012

this looks perfect. like her, i’ve had more problems than successes with recipes i’ve found online for naan. i can’t wait to try this recipe!


Bread flour or All purpose flour (Unbleached) – 2 1/2 cups
Plain Yogurt – 1/2 cup plus 3 Tbsp
Sugar – 1 tsp
Salt – 1 tsp
Baking powder – 1 tsp
Unsalted butter or Ghee – 2 Tbsp plus extra for brushing on the naan
Egg – 1 large (substitute with 1/4 cup of yogurt if you don’t eat eggs)
Garlic (chopped) – 10 cloves (optional)
Cilantro/Coriander leaves (chopped) – 1/4 cup (optional)

The day before you want to make naan, combine 1/2 cup of the flour, the yogurt, sugar and 1/2 tsp of the salt in a small mixing bowl (glass or stainless steel). Mix well and cover loosely with a cheesecloth or lid. Don’t use airtight plastic lids, the starter needs to breathe. Set aside to ferment in a warm place, up to 18 hours, preferably overnight. When the starter is ready, you’ll see a couple of bubbles at the top and it will smell pleasantly sour. If it does not have any of these, leave it out for some more time.

Tip: If you are planning on making naan for a special event/meal, I would suggest you start two days before you want to make naan. I know this is a time taking process, but its a rather easy one.

In a food processor or stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine the remaining 2 cups of flour, remaining 1/2 tsp salt, baking powder and 2 Tbsp ghee/butter and pulse until crumbly. Add the starter and lightly beaten egg and process until the dough comes together into a ball and begins to clean the sides of the bowl. Add a tsp or more of yogurt if the dough is dry.
If you are using a stand mixer, continue kneading at medium speed until the dough is smooth and elastic. The dough should be slightly on the wet side (a wet dough develops gluten easily, even without much kneading), not sticky but really soft.
If you used a food processor or mixed the dough with your hands, transfer the dough ball onto a work surface. Lightly coat your hands with oil and knead well, for 6-8 minutes. The dough should be very soft, but not sticky.
Form into a smooth ball, coat it with some oil and place it in an oiled bowl. Cover loosely with a kitchen towel or plastic wrap, and let rest for 3 to 4 hours (or more time in cold weather). The dough will not rise like a yeast dough, but it would have definitely increased in volume. The consistency of the dough after rising is soft, smooth and slightly elastic.

Tip: Naan dough can be stored, covered in a refrigerator for up to 3days after the resting time. Bring to room temperature before continuing.

After the dough has risen, punch down the dough. Knead briefly until smooth. Divide the dough into 8 portions (each the side of a small orange), and roll each portion between your hands to form a smooth ball. Place the dough balls on a plate and cover with a moist kitchen towel.
Dust the work surface with flour and roll out each ball into a 5-6 inch oval/circle about 1/8 inch thick , dusting with flour as necessary. carefully pick up the naan and pull gently on side to shape it like a teardrop. Don’t stretch it too thin or the naan will be very crispy.
Meanwhile, mix the chopped garlic and cilantro in a bowl and keep aside, if using. (see variations at the end of the post)

To make the naan in the oven:

Heat the oven in the BROIL mode and place the rack on the top shelf (about 6 inches away) from the heat.
Place the naans (I usually make two at a time) on a baking sheet and brush the tops with some water and sprinkle about 2 tsp of the garlic-cilantro mixture on top of each naan and lightly press the topping onto the naan.
Broiling time is usually 1 1/2 – 2 minutes on the bottom and 1 minute on the top. Keep an eye on the naans after the first minute, once there are some speckled brown spots, remove the tray from the oven and flip the naans and cook on the other side also.

Tip: Light brown spots ensure that the naan is soft. Slightly dark brown spots make the naan crispy. Cook one naan each way and see how you like them.

Apply some butter on top of each naan as soon as they come out of the oven. Keep the naans covered in a cotton cloth to keep them soft or serve them immediately. Be generous with the butter!

Repeat with the remaining dough.
To make the naan on the stovetop:

Heat a griddle, preferably cast iron on medium heat for 4-5 minutes. Place one naan at a time, with the topping side on the top first.
Cover the skillet with a lid (use any some shaped lid from any of your pans). This step is optional, but it helps in creating nice bubbles on top of the naan. After 1 minutes, remove the lid, and check the bottom. If it is crisp and brown, flip and cook for another minute. The cooking time is usually 1 1/2 – 2 minutes on the bottom and 1 minute on the top.
Apply some butter on top of each naan as soon as they come out of the oven. Keep the naans covered in a cotton cloth to keep them soft or serve them immediately.


————–> her photos are beautiful – check them out here, where the recipe was originally posted.


2/18 – noon – started the sponge
used 100% teff flour, because my favorite gluten-free person is visiting me! this is in preparation for a sick brunch for sunday morning. i’m torn between an egg dish, a potato-vegetable dish, gravy, and naan, with homemade hot sauce… … or guacamole, baba ghanouj, bean-egg fritters or hummus, and salsa with naan and homemade hot sauce. hmmmmmmmm.
should be ready to turn into dough around 8am

first hint of sourness. WOW, that was fast!

proposed apf mix-
half brown rice flour
the rest buckwheat flour, oat flour, potato starch, chickpea flour, powdered coconut, almond meal

…maybe? the teff is so dark and fine; not sure what to mix it with.

two days later
so, i made apf flour mix with white rice flour, brown rice flour, buckwheat flour (just a pinch), oat flour, potato starch, chickpea flour (just a pinch), powdered coconut, and almond meal. set out the dough to “rise”. in no way did it rise. gave up, shaped them, plopped a mixture of fresh parsley, garlic powder, and fennel powder onto the tops of them, popped some ghee in a frying pan, and fried them up.
the teff flour lends a really rich, dark flavor. i think i prefer buckwheat to teff. although to my not-gluten-free palate they tasted a little “funny”, my gf friend said they were really good. texture is fine, unlike many gf breads i’ve had. much much much much much better than the frisbees we used to have as “gluten-free-pancakes” with just water and gf flour mix – that was my main fear. had them with lunch, and again with dinner. will be making these again! thank you, ambika!


One comment

  1. Hey, Thankyou so much for liking the recipe and the post. It is fabulous, you have to try it!!! Thanks for reposting the link on your page 🙂

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