Naan Bread (Nāna rōṭī – नान रोटी)

Even though I have an oven stone, I still can’t seem to get my Naan breads exactly like they are from curry houses; but these do taste beautiful because they have the benefit of having been freshly baked, and they give your house that wonderful freshly baked bread smell, which can’t be a bad thing. If anyone knows how to get Naan breads to come out the way they do at the curry house then I’d love to know the secret!

Naan breads

This will make 2 Naan breads.

The ingredients:

Plain flour (sādē āṭā / सादे आटा) – 225g
Sugar (cīnī / चीनी) – a couple of big pinches
Salt (namaka / नमक) – a big pinch
Bicarbonate of Soda (sōḍā kī bikārabōniṭa / सोडा की बिकारबोनिट) – ¼ of a teaspoon
Baking powder (pāka cūrṇa / पाक चूर्ण) – ½ a teaspoon
Dried Yeast (sūkhē khamīra / सूखे खमीर ) – 1 7g sachet (about a tablespoon)
Plain yoghurt (dahī / दही) – 1 ½ tablespoons
Egg (aṇḍā / अंडा) – 1
Warm milk (garma dūdha / गर्म दूध) – 65ml

The recipe:

  •  Add the yeast and sugar to the warm milk, and leave it for a few minutes until it starts to go frothy.
  • Mix the dry ingredients with the yoghurt and egg, then mix in the yeast mixture. Add a little more flour if it is too sticky.
  • Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface, and knead until it has formed a smooth ball.
  • Put the dough back in the mixing bowl, cover with a damp cloth and leave somewhere warm to prove (I usually just sit it next to the cooker).
  • After about half an hour the dough should have doubled in size and be really springy; knead it again.
  • Cut the giant dough ball in half and leave each one covered on the floured surface to prove again.
  • Turn your oven on now, so that it is hot when the breads are ready to be baked*.
  • Roll out each dough ball to about ½ a cm thick.
  • Place a pyrex dish full of water in the oven (this creates steam and helps the breads to puff up), and place your breads in the hot oven to bake for approximately 4 minutes on each side.
  • The finished breads should be golden, with a few darker patches where they’ve stuck to the oven stone**, have a light crust and be beautifully airy inside.

*When I say hot, I mean hot; as hot as your oven will go.

**Until I got my oven stones I used upturned baking trays, which actually worked quite well.


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