Indian Garlic Naan Bread is surprisingly easy to make and it is nothing like the naan you buy in the store. This homemade version is soft and chewy and super delicious right off the stove. You can make it with or without garlic and be sure to smother it with some ghee or butter right while it is still hot. This bread is used as a utensil to scoop up all kinds of curries and Indian cuisine treasures. Typically this is made in an oven called a tandoor. There are many ways you can cook it with a great result, the way I used was the back side of a wok over a gas flame at high heat and it bubbled up perfectly. You can also use a cast iron skillet on the stove with a lid, or a pizza stone in a hot oven at around 500 degrees.
Indian Garlic Naan Bread
- 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 2 cups all-purpose flour plus more for rolling.
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/8 teaspoon baking powder
- 3 tablespoons plain yogurt
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- Melted butter for slathering on the finished naans
- Coarse sea salt for sprinkling
- In a large glass, dissolve the dry yeast and 1 teaspoon sugar with 3/4 cup warm water (about 100 degrees F). Let it sit on your counter until it's frothy, about 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, sift the flour, salt, remaining 1 teaspoon of sugar and baking powder into a large, deep bowl.
- Once the yeast is frothy, add the yogurt and the olive oil into the glass, and stir to combine. Pour the yogurt mixture into the dry ingredients and add the garlic, if using, and gently mix the ingredients together with a fork.
- When the dough is about to come together, use your hands to mix. It will feel like there isn't enough flour at first, but keep going until it transforms into a soft, slightly sticky and pliable dough.
- As soon as it comes together, stop kneading.
- Cover the dough with plastic wrap or a damp tea towel and let it sit in a warm, draft-free place for 2 hours.
- When you're ready to roll, make sure you have a bowl handy with flour in it.
- The dough will be extremely soft and sticky-this is good!
- Separate the dough into 6 equal portions and lightly roll each one in the bowl of extra flour to keep them from sticking to each other.
- Shape the naan. Using a rolling pin, roll each piece of dough into a teardrop shape, narrower at the top than at the bottom.
- It should be 8 to 9-inches long, 4-inches wide at its widest point and about 1/4-inch thick.
- Once you've formed the general shape, you can also pick it up by one end and wiggle it; the dough's own weight will stretch it out a little. Repeat this method with the rest of the dough.
- Warm a large wok turned upside down on high heat.
- Place one of your rolled out naans on the upside down portion of the wok until it bubbles and gets nice browned spots. Using a spatula flip it over to cook the other side.
- Put the hot naan in a towel lined container to keep warm while you cook the rest of them.
- Drizzle ghee or butter and enjoy hot!