Naan is a type of flatbread served with Indian and southeast Asian cuisine that is usually cooked in a hot stone oven. It has blisters and bubbles and is chewy and delicious. There are variations depending on which region it comes from. Our favorite variation is the Indian style garlic naan, which is naan brushed with garlic butter and sprinkled with sea salt. I most often serve this bread with Indian food, but it can also be served with stews, or used at wraps for meat and vegetables. Today I’m serving it with Nihari (Pakistani Beef Stew)
If you don’t have a stone oven (we don’t but I wish we did), you can replicate the cooking with a pizza steel in a very hot oven. It isn’t *quite* the same, but it is close. There are a few different recipes for naan I use, but this one is my favorite because it using baking powder not yeast, which shortens the time to prepare it. The dough is made in a similar fashion to bread dough. Liquid ingredients are combined with the flour and dry ingredients and it is kneaded into a ball.
The dough is given a short rest (not as long as you’d need if using yeast based recipe). The rest allows the dough to relax which makes it easier to shape and roll out before cooking. Once it rests, it is divided into 8 pieces and shaped into rounds. Then rested a bit again, and then rolled or shaped into an oval and baked on the hot steel.
My family loves this bread. I can’t really make it enough for their tastes. It is one of the easier homemade bread items to make, and so worth doing.
Homemade Garlic Naan
- 3 cups AP flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup room temp buttermilk
- 1 cup water give or take a bit
- 1 stick salted butter melted for brushing
- 5 garlic cloves minced and combined with the butter for brushing
- About an hour before you will cook them, heat your oven to its highest temp and place a pizza steel or stone into the oven. If you don’t have one you can use the clean back of a cookie sheet to cook these on.
- Mix the liquid ingredients with the dry in a stand mixer with the hook attached. Reserve the butter and garlic for brushing on after cooking. Knead the dough until it comes together into a smooth and stretchy ball, about 5-8 minutes.
- Cut into 8 pieces and form into balls. Place the balls on a greased cookie sheet and cover with greased plastic wrap and let sit for 30 minutes.
- Lightly dust a counter and roll out one ball at a time into an 8-9 inch circle. Place it directly onto the hot sheet and let cook for about a minute until it has some dark spots. Flip and cook another 1-2 minutes until bubbled up and browned in some areas.
- Remove to a plate and brush with the garlic butter, being sure to get some of the chopped garlic on too. Yum! Complete the rest of the dough balls until you have a nice stack of garlic naan. These keep well in the freezer once cooled and you can pull out reheat one and time in a frying pan on the stove top.