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Naan from liquid levain!!!

Skibum's picture

Naan from liquid levain!!!

Well I had a craving for some curry and what better to go with it than some fresh naan bread. Boy did this ever turn out well! I used honey instead of sugar and the flavour comes through well in the finished product. This did my confidence a nice boost as two of the last three bakes didn't go so well. Ever have one of those bakes where everything that could go wrong does go wrong?

40 g liquid levain, newly refreshed

141 g milk, scalded

1/3 cup + 1 Tbs high fat Greek yogurt

25 g beaten egg

330 g bread flour

1 tsp palm sugar

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp baking powder

1 Tbs canola oil

I mixed the levain and wet ingredients, added the mixed dry ingredients and after combining rested for 10 minutes. I then kneaded on the counter for 8 minutes and let the dough bulk rise for 1:30 or so. I cut off 120 grams and form a ball and let this rest 8 minutes while my cast iron pan heats up to medium. The rest of the dough goes into the fridge. At the 8 minute beeper, I roll out the dough and place it in the hot dry pan and cook 3 minutes per side, then brush with butter. Very happy with the results!

I have now taken three tries at coming up with a raisin bread I like and I am reasonably happy with this one, but it still needs some work. I will call it a work in progress . . .

Happy baking,! Ski



PalwithnoovenP's picture

I'am not really a fan of curry but when I eat some, I always eat it with rice and flat bread. The naan looks gorgeous and unique, quite different form one cooked in a tandoor. Flat bread are of the first things I baked in my entire life! I also always include eggs, some form of fat and a sweetener in my flat bread, honey too in my case because I always have in my shelf. Quite differently, I flatten it first before proofing until doubled; I dimple it too before baking it directly on the bottom of my pre-heated clay pot over a lot of embers, 2 minutes on each side. I don't know if it still qualifies to be called naan, it looks like a free form focaccia when done so I just call it flat bread. Freshly baked and bigger than my face, I could easily eat 3 of this; they're so good.

What flour are you using in your raisin bread? I could definitely see dough strength because of its shape, it looks like it was baked in a round form. It looks great, there is a swirl of raisins and there are raisins in the dough as well.

Very nice and brings back memories of my first baking adventures with my clay pot!

Skibum's picture

I got a good laugh out of the "Uncle Ski!" I forgot to list the honey in my recipe and have discovered I can't edit the original post, so if anyone makes these, add 15 grams of honey to the recipe.

I am using strong bread flour for almost everything I bake. I buy my flour from the head baker at our local artisanal bakery at the back door. Twenty kilos of the finest freshest strong bread flour for $20 CND.  She told me she uses this flour for almost everything in her large commercial bakery, so I am just following her lead.

I ws so hungry to tuck into my food, I forgot to take a photo of the whole naan, so here you go:

Happy baking! Uncle Ski

PalwithnoovenP's picture

Canadian flours really have a reputation for being so strong!

Dwayne's picture

(First liar never stands a chance!  Sorry PalwithnoovenP)


I plan on teaching a class at where I work, so I am looking at breads that can be baked on a griddle and this certainly qualifies.  I've never made Naan before so I have a few questions.  I will bake this at home before trying to teach my fellow workers.


Your Naan was 120 grams.  I've seen recipes where they were about half that weight to just a little heaver.  I know that this is all person preference but do you have any idea what a normal weight might be? 


It appears that you cook the Naan right after you roll it out with no rise time, is that correct?


Since I am trying to encourage the people here at work to get into Sourdough (for the flavor) I might mix the dough up the night before leaving work and then cook them on a griddle at noon the next day.  Any suggestions?  I could leave the dough out on the counter or put it into a refrigerator.  I also plan on making a yeasted version of your recipe for a taste comparison.  Any ideas would be appreciated.


Thanks again Doctor,


Skibum's picture

My 120 g naan, rolled out to about 1/8" then fried directly on a medium cast pan. This weight gave me a naan which was perhaps 3/8-1/2 thick and maybe 8" in diameter, so a little bigger than what I have had in traditional Indian restaurants, so call that weight a hungry man naan. I did one just now at 85 grams and it rolled out to about 6" dia. and a little thin, but still great taste after two days in the fridge. Pal in this thread rests his flatbreads before frying, so I will try that tomorrow.

I suggest refrigerating the dough as it will keep well for several days. The naan was as good yesterday after 2 days in the fridge as it was fresh.

Most of my baking is done from a liquid levain. To do this recipe yeasted, use 1/2-1 TBS instant yeast and add 20g each water and flour. This is a super simple and satisfying recipe that will cook up in a cast pan, griddle or in the oven on a baking stone. Good luck with your project Dr. Dwayne!

Happy baking! Ski

Dwayne's picture

Dr. Ski,


Many thanks for your help and answers!  One more question.  What is the traditional shape of Naan?  Round or Oblong or other?


thanks, Dwayne

Skibum's picture

Hi Dr. Dwayne, naan has always been served round in any Indian restaurant I have been to in this country, so I also roll mine out round. I have seen video of naan being baked in the traditional tandoor and they slap the rounds on the side of the vessel producing an elongated shape.

Best of luck and happy baking! Ski

Isand66's picture

These look great Ski!

One of these days I'm going to make some Naan.  When I go to China I always make my vendor take me to this specific Thai restaurant where they have Naan with green onions and I love to pile on the spicy beef dish I order.

Question for you regarding the palm sugar.  So if you use the honey why are you also using the palm sugar?  Wouldn't it make sense to just use all honey?


Skibum's picture

I find that both the palm sugar and honey add different flavour notes to the dough. I began adding 1 Tbs palm sugar to my pulla dough some time ago and it was instantly taste able. To come up with this formula, I did a search of naan recipes on google to supplement the one in my 30 year old Indian cookbook and two of the classic recipes used both sugar and honey. The palm sugar was my idea from my pulla experience. Give it a try! The recipe is fast, easy and tasty. What's not to like?

Happy baking! Ski

dabrownman's picture

the thought of eating it without naan would be so wrong.  Yours looks great and has to taste just right for that curry.  the raisin bread looks pretty good too.  

We just made some corn tortillas using the liquid from the chicken green chili for the liquid in the dough.  Best tortillas ever!  Made stacked enchiladas out of them.  They sort of look like naan:-) Happy  baking Ski

Skibum's picture

Indian food without naan is just wrong! That is a fine looking tortilla and I LOVE your idea of using the chicken, green chili liquid to make them. Great idea.

Happy baking! Ski

Skibum's picture

I baked the last 118 grams of my original dough today. It had been in the fridge for four days with no apparent ill effect. With Dwayne's project I thought I should post my results.

I made one change up this time. After I rolled out the round, I let it proof on the counter for five minutes before laying into the hot cast pan and the result was a beautiful puffy naan. Same flavour, but best looking naan of the week!


Boy did I enjoy this recipe!

Happy baking flks! Ski

Dwayne's picture


 Sourdough Naan:

This is Dr. Skibum’s recipe that I have put into a form that I prefer.  I like breaking Instructions down into the 12 stages that I found in Peter Reinhart’s “The Bread Baker’s Apprentice”.   Let me know if you see how I can make this more clear.


Thanks, Dwayne


Day 1: Mix and ferment the dough

Day 2: Pre-shape, Shape and Cook


Recipe: Makes 8 Naan breads at 83 grams each.


Grams for 8





Baker's %


Grams for 12

Grams for 12

Flour, All Purpose







 $      0.23



Total Flour










Milk, Whole







 $      0.16



Milk, Yogurt Whole Milk







 $      0.33



Leaven, Sourdough Starter




1 1/6



 $           -  



Leaven, Baking Powder







 $      0.02



Egg, Whole







 $      0.06



Salt, Table







 $      0.00



Oil, Canola







 $      0.05



Sugar, Granulated







 $      0.00



Sugar, Honey




2 1/8



 $      0.12


















 $      0.96




Note for a Yeasted version: 1/2-1 TBS instant yeast and add 20g each water and flour.







1. Mis En Place



  • ·   Everything in its place.  You will need a Mixer, Various Utensils, Bowl, Scale, Measuring Cups, Ingredients, Frying Pan or Griddle.  Tandoor oven if you have one.  : )

2. Mixing

-Dist. Ingr.

-Dev. Gluten

-Init. Firm.

11:30 A.M.

 11:35 A.M.

05 Min

 10 Min

  • ·   In a large bowl, mix the active starter with the liquid ingredients to dissolve it. Add the dry ingredients and stir to form a shaggy mass.
  • ·   Cover and let rest for 10 minutes.

3. Primary Firm.

12:15 P.M.

12:45 P.M.

1:15 P.M.

1:45 P.M.

2:15 P.M.

2:45 P.M.

30 Min

02 Min

02 Min

02 Min

02 Min

02 Min

  • ·   Cover and let rest for 30 minutes.
  • ·   Get your hands very wet, lift the dough out of the bowl, using gravity stretch the dough and then fold it back over itself, rotate the dough 90 degrees and stretch the dough again and fold back over itself. Repeat a couple of times. Cover tightly.
  • ·   Perform 2nd stretch and fold.
  • ·   Perform 3rd stretch and fold.
  • ·   Perform 4th stretch and fold.
  • ·   After the last stretch and fold, scape the dough into a lightly oiled 2 quart/2 liter container and cover tightly. Ferment at room temperature for about 16 hours.

4. Punching Down

7:30 A.M.

02 Min

Scrape the dough out of the bowl gently onto a lightly floured work surface. Gently pat it into a rectangle.

5. Dividing

7:32 A.M.

10 Min

Divide the dough into equal pieces (83 grams) for the number of Naan that you are making.

6. Rounding

7:40 A.M.

05 Min

Pre-shape each piece into a tight ball. Place each piece of dough smooth side Up onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper that has been sprayed with pam.

7. Benching

7:45 A.M.

04 Hours

Cover the dough with plastic wrap and/or a kitchen towel and let it rest for about 4 hours.

8. Shaping & Panning

11:30 A.M.

05 Min

To shape a Naan take a dough ball and roll out on a lightly floured surface to about 1/8” thick.  You can roll the dough into a circle or an oblong shape.

9. Proofing

11:35 A.M.

__ Min

After shaping the Naan, transfer them back to the parchment paper. Cover the Naan with plastic as you shape the other Naans.

10. Baking/ Cooking

11:40 A.M.


__ Min


  • · Heat the griddle to 350°F.
  • · Cook 3 minutes per side, repeat for all Naans.

11. Cooling

11:50 A.M.

__ Min


Place in a tortilla warmer to keep warm.

12. Storing & Eating



I think that you can figure this step out by yourself.  : )


Skibum's picture

I hope you are enjoying the results.

Happy baking! Ski