The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Naan issues

Floydm's picture

Naan issues

This evening, on a Bhangra-fueled whim, I tried making a bunch of Indian food. I made Zeera Murg (Cumin Chicken), Saag Paneer (Spinich with Cheese), a Basmati Rice / Red Lentil Pilaf, and Naan.

It wasn't bad, but I didn't think the meal came out great. What should you expect when you turn to that classic of Indian cooking, The Joy of Cooking?

Nevertheless, here is the naan recipe I used. If anyone actually knows something about Indian food or culture and has recipes to share, I'd love to hear it.


4 naan

2 cups bread flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
2 tablespoons melted butter
3/4 cup yogurt or buttermilk
1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon water, if needed

Mix the dry ingredients then make a well and add the wet ingredients. Mix it all together so that it forms a ball and then knead it for approximately 10 minutes. Place the dough back into a greased bowl, cover with plastic, and let rise for approximately 90 minutes.

An hour into the first rise, begin preheating the oven to 475. If you have a baking stone, use it. Otherwise, place a cookie sheet or two in the oven upside down before turning the oven on.

Split the dough into 4 even pieces. Shape each into a ball, cover with a towel, and let rest for 10 minutes.

Roll the dough out into 8 to 10 inch long ovals. The dough should be no more than 1/4 inch thick.

If you'd like you can brush the top of the dough with a little melted butter. Chopped green onions, sesame seeds, poppy seeds, or garlic can also be sprinkled on top before placing it into the oven.

Place the naan directly onto the hot surface and bake for 6 or 7 minutes until they begin to turn golden. Remove from the oven and eat!

Altaf's picture

Floydm, indian cooking at your fingertips:

sanjeev kapoor

the cooks cottage

i hope the following helps :-)

gtuck's picture

Altaf, those are great sites--especially mahanandi.  Thank you!
I've struggled to make naan at home for quite some time.  I've used cookie sheets, pizza stones, a super hot oven and the broiler.  Recipes have varied with eggs, and or yogurt, baking powder, ghee.  But I've had the best luck with Manjula's recipe from Youtube.  It may be the baking soda rather than the powder and/or the four hour slow rise.  I'm not sure, but it has turned out wonderfully.  Not quite like those from a real tandoor, but very good I think.  

shi's picture

Floydom I think your Nans look good and any other help u need regarding Indian cooking particularly North India cookery ill be glad to help.

shi's picture

helend this is a surprise I would have never believed that someone (non-India) would make chapatties. It is our major diet in india. I dont put my chapatti on the gas burner to puff. you can try puffing it on the girddle itself. that way its soft. yum. For naans that are not puffed u can slightly slash them 2-3 times before baking. Hope I have been of help.

sphealey's picture

Indian food is quite popular at least in metropolitan areas of the United States, although each city tends to have a greater number of restuarants representing a specific region of India (no doubt reflecting the major source of immigrants to that city). My current city sadly only has ~10 Indian restaurants, of which only 2 are good :-(. So I am forced to try cooking my own. One of my family members is allergic to nuts, so that way I can keep control of the ingredients too. Our local bookstores probably have 20-30 Indian cookbooks of a total of 1000 or so on the shelves.

I made a nice roti last week with 1/2 bread flour (white) and 1/2 whole wheat (wholemeal). It came out well. But in comparing it to restuarant roti I came to the conclusion that they use a LOT more butter than I did!

Now if I could just get that tandoori oven built in the back yard...


tatter's picture

Shi....I make my own chapatis!!! I tried red lentil dosas last week to go with my lamb curry... we liked them with chutney! They were great...but most of all I love son can even tidy up his room within an hour if he knows I'll make parathas...;)
I suppose I'm quite lucky as my neighbours are from Punjab and my Indian recipes come from them as a rule...thanks to them I know how to make missi rotis, pooris and the best naan or peshwari ever!!!

tatter's picture

Helend, I am in Roundthorn n/Oldham...:)
Pooris are small cakes of dough...they puff up into light airy breads when fried. Delicious! Let me know if you need a recipe!

merlie's picture

Are Pooris the same as Luchi ? I had delicious Luchi at an Indian dinner many years ago but have never come across them since .Would love to know how to make them as we love and often cook Indian food!  Merlie.