Homemade Naan Bread
Inspired by the success of the grilled flatbread pizza, I wanted to try my hand at other grilled breads. Naan seemed like an obvious choice.
I’ll be honest: more often than not, I will heat up frozen naan from Trader Joe’s when I’m making an Indian meal. But for some reason, one day I felt compelled to make my own.
Turns out, it’s not even difficult.
Of course, to make true naan you’ll need a tandoor oven. I don’t have a tandoor. Many recipes will suggest that you can cook the naan directly on your grill. This works in theory, but the butter causes quite a bit of grease flare-up, resulting in charred naan.
The solution: a pizza stone, or the underside of a cast iron skillet. The stone or cast iron retains the heat in the same way that the tandoor would, and prevents the flare-up issue from cooking directly on the grill.
- 1 package or 2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
- 1 cup warm water
- 2 Tbsp white sugar
- 3 Tbsp whole milk yogurt
- 1 egg, beaten
- 2 tsp salt
- 4 cups bread flour
- 1/4 cup butter, melted
In the bowl of your stand mixer, dissolve yeast and sugar in warm water. Let stand about 10 minutes until foamy.
Using the dough hook, incorporate yogurt, egg, salt and about 3 1/2 cups of the flour; I like to start with a little less than I think I need and add more as needed.
Knead with the dough hook for 5 minutes or until the dough becomes smooth and only slightly sticky to the touch, like a Post-it.
Place the dough in a well-oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside for 1 hour, or until the dough has doubled in volume.
After 1 hour, punch down your dough and pinch of small handfuls, the size of golf balls. Roll into smooth little balls and set aside on a tray. Cover with a towel and allow them to rise for another 30-60 minutes.
Go to your grill and put the cast iron skillet or pizza stone directly on the grate. Crank the temperature as high as it can go; you want to simulate the intense heat of a tandoor.
When your dough balls have risen a second time, roll each ball of dough out into a thin circle.
Reduce grill heat to medium.
Brush the dough with melted butter and cook, butter-side down, for about 2 minutes, or until puffy on top and lightly browned on the bottom. Brush uncooked side with butter and flip. Cook for another 2 minutes. Repeat until all naan has been cooked. Serve immediately.
“You made naan bread! How cool is that?” said the Tiny Kitchen Assistant.
As long as you don’t overcook it or subject it to grease flare-ups (not that I’d know from experience or anything… ahem), it turns out nicely browned on the outside and beautifully chewy inside. It’s great as an accompaniment for tandoori chicken.