How to Make Naan in the Oven

I used to have to head to my favorite Indian restaurant for naan. Then it came to the supermarket. Now it’s in my very own home. Naan is a leavened flatbread that is baked in a clay tandoor oven. No tandoor here, so we’ll be baking this naan recipe in my conventional oven instead.

The first time I decided to make naan I was a bit intimidated. Perhaps is was that the naan I’d been eating had always been served next to a bowl of my favorite masala at Chapati in Northfield. Alas, I no longer have friends going to Carleton or St. Olaf, and driving down there for a bowl of masala with four kids just doesn’t seem practical. Yes, I could probably find a favorite place closer to home, but why mess with that when I can just recreate it in my own kitchen?

And so the naan journey began. I tried a few recipes and watched a few more videos to see the technique and the process. I eventually decided on a recipe I liked more than others. I changed up a few things and off I went down the naan path, which was surprisingly easy and a lot like making pizza dough.

Here are a few tips for a successful naan experience:

  • Don’t flip the dough when you’re rolling it out. One dip in flour and then roll. Too much flour does not equal success.
  • Preheat the oven 30 minutes before rolling out the dough so the stone is nice and hot.
  • In between baking naan, allow the oven to reheat for 3-4 minutes so that the stone is again nice and hot.


Start by sprinkling yeast over warm water and letting it sit.

While the yeast is hanging out, whisk together flour, sugar, salt and baking powder. I used an unbleached all-purpose wheat blend here.

Add in the oil and the yogurt.

Using your hand (I suppose a food processor would also work well for this), mix until crumbly. Stir the yeast and water and then pour into the flour. Mix until a dough forms.

Knead the ball of dough until it is smooth. It doesn’t have to be perfect, though. Place in the bowl, cover and let it rise for 3-4 hours.

Once the dough has risen, it’s time to bake. Knead it slightly to form a ball again. At this point you can wrap the dough and store in the fridge for a day until you’re ready to bake, or you could wrap half if you wanted to bake it two days in a row.

To bake, you want to preheat the oven with a baking stone. I just used my round pizza stone, but you can also use a large rectangle, making sure you have an inch clearance around all sides of the stone to the oven wall. The preheated stone mimics the traditional cylindrical tandoor oven. It’s not perfect, but it works well, and the naan bakes fast once it is nice and hot.

Separate your dough ball into 4-5 dough balls. Dip these into flour.

Roll the flour-dipped balls out into ovals. Dip your hands in water and then pick each circle up with wet hands, lightly wetting each side of the dough before laying it on the preheated stone. Bake for 4 minutes or until dough is turning golden brown on top.

After baking, naan can be brushed with clarified butter. I tend to only brush the naan that I’m serving and eating immediately, as leftover naan saves better without the butter.

Naan is great for dipping into Indian curries and sopping up puddles of spicy sauces, but it’s also ideal for making pizzas with the leftovers or using for panini-style sandwiches, so bake a few batches at once and store in an airtight container after they’ve completely cooled.

3/4 cup warm water (110° F)
1 teaspoon active dry yeast
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 pinch baking powder
2 tablespoons canola or olive oil
2 1/2 tablespoons plain Greek-style yogurt
1/4 cup extra flour for rolling
2 tablespoons clarified butter

In a small bowl, add water and sprinkle yeast over the top. Allow to sit for 10 minutes until frothy. While the yeast is sitting, mix together flour, sugar, salt and baking powder in a large bowl. Add in oil and yogurt and mix until crumbly. Stir the water and yeast and then add to the flour mixture, mixing until a ball of dough forms. Knead with floured hands until the dough is smooth. Place the dough back in the bowl, cover and let rise in a warm place for 3 to 4 hours.

Once the dough has risen, preheat oven to 500° F with a baking stone in the oven. Flip onto a lightly floured surface and knead for a few minutes until easy to handle. Break into 4-5 equal-sized balls. Dip each ball into a small amount of flour. Roll into an oval shape approximately 1/4″ thick. Once the oven and stone are preheated, dip hands in water and wet each piece of dough slightly before placing it on the stone. Bake at 500° F for 4-5 minutes until top is golden brown and bubbly. Remove from the stone and brush with clarified butter. Serve.


Makes 4-5 pieces.
Copyright © Food for My Family.

adapted from Manjula’s Kitchen

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Comments

  1. I would like some now, please! The recipe I’ve used cooks it on the grill but since it’s been cold (yes I know that’s a relative term) I did it on a stove top griddle. It is one of our favorites, even Logan will eat it (with nutella on top) and that’s really saying something!

  2. I’m thrilled to hear you can make this at home. I absolutely love naan but never thought to try a homemade version…for fear of totally bombing it.

  3. This is so cool, I broke my stone though, I’m looking for a new one, can’t wait to try naan, I love it so much! Yours looks amazing.

  4. so beautifully awesome!

  5. One of my favorite breads, great to know how to make it at home!

  6. Always wondered if I could make naan at home. Glad to know that the next time I make Indian food for dinner that I can.

  7. That is some beautiful nanna, Shaina. Eating a curry meal just isn’t the same without naan, so I’m excited to try this recipe.

  8. I miss naan. Another beautiful, delicious post Shaina!

  9. Brilliant, Shaina! I’ve tried my hand at naan several times in the past with some (!?) success — on the back side of a preheated wok over a VERY hot burner — but your idea of baking it in the oven just sounds perfect. I cook Indian-style curry dinners often and can now easily incorporate the all-important naan in them. Thanks so much for this great recipe!

  10. I am a little embarrassed to admit that I’ve never had naan…it looks amazing, though!! I’d really love to try it.

  11. How funny! We were just at a housewarming for Indian friends and I’m STUFFED with tandoori. There was no naan, though. They served it with a lovely potato chickpea dish and yogourt.

    Your naan would have been perfect. How cool that you made it yourself!

  12. Can’t wait to try this!

  13. Great step by step for this naan bread. I had no idea there was yogurt in this bread. Looks great & addictive ;)

  14. Beautiful, Shaina! Now I’m hungry for some curry…

  15. Those look so soft and billowy. What a great recipe!

  16. Naan is one of my favorite things ever. Especially Peshwaari Naan, which is made with toasted coconuts, almonds, and sultanas (golden raisins). It’s great with chicken tikka masala, or for breakfast!

  17. This would be such a great recipe to make with kids – they love getting their hands into dough! For some reason, bread type foods make me nervous – maybe it’s because of my history of turning out bricks instead of loaves :-)

  18. I’ve always made naan on the stove – I can’t wait to try your method!

  19. I have never tried Naan before but it looks delicious. . .I think I might have to try baking it one day.

  20. Shaina, this naan looks wonderfully soft and delicious! I just made my first-ever Indian dish this weekend and would love to broaden my horizons even more by making this lovely naan. Thanks for sharing the recipe! You have a beautiful blog.

  21. Really clear and easy how-to pics. I love Manjula’s Kitchen, and you’ve done a great job of making it fun and inspiring.

  22. Naan has long been on my list of yeast breads I’ve wanted to try making on my own but I have always been a bit intimidated by it. Thank you for showing me how simple and easy it is to do at home. Your naan looks wonderful!

  23. Shaina: how satisfying to make it at home!!! I love it’s soft, chewy, dense texture, almost like a focaccia, but somwhat sweeter. wonderful.

  24. You must be so pleased to have figured out the recipe that satisfies your desire for the bread at that restaurant. Bravo! It looks fantastic. There is nothing like homemade bread – of so many kinds. I love to learn to make them all… and this is on the list, now, too!
    :)
    Valerie

  25. This looks terrific – I’m bookmarking your blog immediately! I’ve been baking a lot myself recently, it’s so satisfying. I love naan, too, so this will make a fun project! Thanks!

  26. Brilliant! I always did mine in a cast iron skillet, but I like this better! thanks!

  27. Ooo that’s some beautiful looking naan! Thanks for this.

  28. i make the same looks delicious with curries

  29. I’d love to see some guest posts fom you for http://www.mypiggywiggy.con please contact me.

  30. Yogurt!? I’m totally going to try this as a dipping bread first and then a pizza bread if it get’s rave reviews from my husband.

  31. I’ve never thought to make naan in the oven. I’ve always made it on the grill. Thanks for sharing.

  32. I love baking bread and cake but i never tried baking Naan..

  33. I don’t have a stone. Anything else you would recommend to use in place of a stone? Or is there no other suggestions?

  34. I have been wanting to make Naan for a while and found your site! Can’t wait to try it!!!!!!!!!!!

  35. I thought that I would mention a major issue I had with this recipe. The bread was yummy, but I lost my baking stone in the process. My baking stone apparently (not mentioned in the pamphlet I had) could not withstand a 500 degree oven or the preheating mentioned in this recipe. My stone cracked into 3 pieces. If anyone has a recommendation on stones that can withstand this temperature, I am open to suggestions as I am in the market to buy a new one.

    • Hi, Stephanie. I’m so sorry your stone broke. I’ve had varied success with different kinds of baking stones. I recently had my Pampered Chef stone break making pizza at 400 degrees. Part of it can be if liquid (butter or sauce) hits and pools on the stone or if there aren’t enough pieces of bread on the stone, which causes uneven temperatures across the stone.

      These are the kinds I’m currently using: http://www.cooking.com/products/shprodde.asp?SKU=102521

  36. We have made this before. It is so good. We use soy milk in ours due to milk allergies but still turns out good.

    • Shelly, and I’m so glad to hear you enjoy it. It is one of our favorites, and I love making a huge batch to have extra on hand to tuck into lunches or turn into pizza later.

  37. Is there any substitute I can use for yogurt since we don’t do dairy? I’ll probably try using coconut oil in place of the butter, my usual butter substitute.

  38. This sounds delicious. Does it freeze well, too, if I wanted to make larger batches of it?

  39. I am trying this tonight.

    • I did try it. I was doing a presentation at my daughter’s school about a country in Central Asia and wanted to bring some naan for the kids to taste. The recipe came out good–not exactly like Central Asian naan, but it was tasty. My kids wanted to be sure there was some left over. I told them I could make more, and they were glad for that. A couple of the students asked me for the recipe. So, I count it a success.
      I want to try it again when I make curry. Thanks for the recipe.

      • I’m glad you enjoyed it, Cheryl! This recipe was adapted from an Indian naan recipe, so that could account for the difference between what you’re used to in Central Asian naan. Happy to hear the kids liked it as well.

  40. WOW!
    We get naan right outside out houses (in Pakistan) so I never thought of making it at home, but I realized that naan fresh out of the oven would be a good change :)
    I am so going to try this out..:D

  41. I love Naan. Can’t wait to try this!

  42. Canadian chef says:

    To be honest unused another naan recipe but half way through I decided to search a different cooking method I found this pizza stone idea… Fantastic!!! Thank you it was the best naan any of us had ever had and we eat a lot of Indian food. I did not punch down the dough to keep the air and every one puffed and bubbled beautifully. They were light and I would have swore they came from a tandoori oven. No more take out naan at $3 a piece for this family! Thank you :)

  43. My problem with homemade naan is that bread cooked at 500º inevitably turns out super crispy. Now, I know tandoori ovens are very hot, but the breads I’ve had cooked in them manage to be nicely charred, yet soft and pliable. How on earth can I replicate that at home?

    • Hi, Nancy. With this recipe, you’re only baking the naan for a few minutes on a hot stone. It comes out soft inside and with the browning you get from the tandoori oven. It is essential to use the preheated stone, in my opinion.

  44. Priscilla says:

    hi
    Can we use cake pan for baking naan?

  45. Made this to accompany curry for dinner and it turned out *perfectly*! Beautifully easy and delicious — thank you so much!

  46. I have never seen such a nice and easy recipe for the naan, Thanks Shaina.

  47. Hi
    thanks for this recipe.just wanted to know if it is ok to use any other oil instead of extra Virgin Olive oil??

  48. Hi Shaina! I tried your recipe last week and the naans turned out delicious! I used 1 cup whole wheat and 1 cup white flour. I had just one little problem: I used the exact flour/ water quantities you mentioned , but my dough was quite sticky and I had to add a lot of extra flour to make it smooth (before rising). I tried the recipe again today and I had the same issue. Am I doing something wrong?Thnx a lot!

    • Since you’re substituting the flours, you will need to adjust the amounts. It sounds like you’re doing that by adding some in to get the right consistency. I’d try measuring how much you’re having to add to reach a smooth consistency, and then I’d just make the recipe with those measurements.

      The alternative option when substituting whole wheat flour for white flour n recipes is to reduce the fats by 20%, so use 20% less oil. You may also need to adjust the yogurt, too. However, if you’re getting good results by adding in extra flour, I’d probably just figure out how much it is you have been adding, and then I’d do that.

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