Naan Recipe: If You Can Make Pancakes, You Can Make Naan | Cupcake Project

Naan Recipe: If You Can Make Pancakes, You Can Make Naan

Naan is one of my favorite components of an Indian meal. Sometimes when I go to an Indian buffet, I’ll hit the buffet one last time for naan only so that it is the last flavor in my mouth when I walk out the door.

What is Naan?

Naan is an Indian bread that is similar to pita, but so much better (don’t even try to debate it with me)! It is traditionally made in a tandoor (a clay oven), but I made this naan recipe in a cast iron skillet.

Why Did I Make a Naan Recipe?

My Taste & Create partner this month was Heaven is Chocolate, Cheese, and Carbs (is that not the coolest blog name ever?). She had a naan recipe on her blog and I was all over it. What made picking the naan recipe extra fun was that it came from Cooking 4 All Seasons and HICCAC made it last month as her entry for Taste & Create. It’s like a continuing chain of Taste & Create love.

How Did the Naan Recipe Compare to Naan I’ve Tried at Indian Restaurants?

I won’t say that this naan recipe was better than that of the naan I get at my favorite Indian restaurant. I will, however, say that it was just as good. It was also not that hard to make. You may recall that my last attempt to use yeast was a complete failure. The failure was due in part to using the wrong kind of yeast and not warming the milk. This time, I followed directions and it was a breeze. If you can make pancakes, you can make naan.

The Naan Recipe

As mentioned above, this recipe came from Cooking 4 All Seasons via Heaven is Chocolate, Cheese, and Carbs. I am reprinting it with my notes. I also left out the sesame seeds that were in the original recipe because I didn’t think they were necessary.
Naan Recipe: If You Can Make Pancakes, You Can Make Naan

Naan Recipe: If You Can Make Pancakes, You Can Make Naan

Ingredients

  • 3 1/2 C all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1 t instant yeast (It is VERY important that you use instant yeast. I used Fleischmann's Rapid Rise Yeast which according to this lengthy discussion on Chow is the same as instant yeast.)
  • 1 1/2 C warm milk - not above 100F (I wanted to make sure that temperature didn't lead to problems so I used a meat thermometer and tested the milk temp before use. I made my milk 90 degrees.)
  • 1 t sugar
  • Butter to taste

Instructions

  1. Dissolve the yeast and sugar in the milk.
  2. Let rest approximately 10 minutes.
  3. In a large bowl, mix the flour with the yeast/milk mixture.
  4. Mix in the salt.
  5. Knead until soft and elastic.
  6. Cover with a damp towel and leave in a dark place to rise until doubled, about two hours. (Am I the only one who can't tell when dough has doubled? It looked bigger so I went with it. Maybe I should measure next time?)
  7. Remove the dough from the bowl, degas gently then divide into ten even balls.
  8. Roll out into triangles, dusting lightly with flour as needed. I discovered that the thinner you roll it out the better. (Being the non-perfectionist that I am, I did not make triangles. I made whatever shape things happened to roll out into - mostly amoeba shaped blobs.)
  9. Heat up a frying pan. (I used a cast iron skillet. I also liberally buttered the skillet.)
  10. Generously brush one side of the dough with water and begin to cook with that side down on medium heat.
  11. Brush the other side with water.
  12. The dough should bubble a bit as it cooks. Leave it on the heat for a few minutes, then flip it to cook the other side for a shorter amount of time.
  13. Move to a plate.
  14. Generously butter. Enjoy.
http://www.cupcakeproject.com/2008/05/naan-recipe-if-you-can-make-pancakes.html
Roll out into triangles, dusting lightly with flour as needed. 

Will There Be Naan Cupcakes?

There will not be naan cupcakes, but there will be Indian cupcakes. I baked them today and haven’t yet frosted them. I had a few issues with them, but the jury isn’t out yet. I’ll give the whole story soon.

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37 Responses to Naan Recipe: If You Can Make Pancakes, You Can Make Naan

  1. Cass May 15, 2008 at 10:29 pm #

    I’m going to give this a try and I can’t tell when it has risen either

  2. Rachel May 16, 2008 at 2:53 am #

    I too, was shocked at how easy naan is to make! We bake ours on the pizza stone though, instead of frying.

  3. SusanIsk May 16, 2008 at 3:50 am #

    I liked House of India as well, until they raised the price of my vegetarian entree $4 while leaving the prices of all of the other vegetarian items the same. I’m sorry, I’m not paying $11 for my paneer.

  4. lcsa99 May 16, 2008 at 4:30 am #

    Yay! I am so glad this worked out for you! Hopefully this bodes well for future yeast recipes you decide to try :)

  5. RecipeGirl May 16, 2008 at 7:37 am #

    I absolutely love Naan. I often buy it at Whole Foods. Glad to see how easy it is to make!

  6. Tempered Woman May 16, 2008 at 8:14 am #

    Naan is the entry drug to Indian food addiction. ;-) Me and monkey eat Indian at least once/ week. We cheat and buy Naan from Trader Joes tho. I made it once and cooked it on pizza stone like Rachel mentioned. Loved it but am too lazy to make from scratch all the time. Don’t tell anyone tho- our little secret?

  7. BigBear May 16, 2008 at 8:14 am #

    I certainly wish my GF chiffOnade could make bread like this. I bought some naan at Whole Foods a few weeks ago and it was delicious.

    When I told Louise (chiffOnade) that it was so much better than that stuff she calls italian bread, she went bananas and threw my bread out the window of the trailer house.

    But of course she had been drinking and trolling the food blogs. She tells people that she used to be a PROFESSIONAL PASTRY CHEF, but I think they kicked her out of Peter Kump’s for using drugs in class.

    But, I digress. I loved your naan bread recipe.

  8. Srivalli May 16, 2008 at 8:37 am #

    Glad you liked the recipe!…its our favorite..yours look so yummy!

  9. michelle @ TNS May 16, 2008 at 9:45 am #

    this is the second naan post i’ve seen today, and i’m excited that it’s so easy to make!

  10. Katy May 16, 2008 at 11:52 am #

    Yum — I love these pan-fried flatbread recipes, I’ve done parathas and scallion pancakes, but I’ve get to try naan! It’s definitely on my list!

  11. chiff0nade May 16, 2008 at 1:22 pm #

    Well, I will just have to tell you, as a PROFESSIONAL PASTRY CHEF who graduated from Peter Kump’s Culinary Institute in my hometown of Brooklyn, NY . . . that I think naan bread is disgusting.

    I would never eat anything like that. My mother Aida would simply turn over in her grave if she cautht me making something like that for my daughter Nineteena.

    We only eat italian bread and that is the way it is.

  12. Charlie Park May 16, 2008 at 3:03 pm #

    We made them tonight, based off your recipe. They were delicious! We also shook on a little Garlic & Herb seasoning, as well as a little Sea Salt after we took them off the stove.

    For what it’s worth, we used a well-buttered cast iron pan as well. The heat had to be just below medium (on the largest burner) in order to get the naan to “bubble”.

    Thanks so much for sharing this recipe!

  13. Ahgoo May 16, 2008 at 4:28 pm #

    This looks wonderful and I will be trying it soon.

    Oh and Chiffy – go get a job or weave some bacon or something.

  14. Tanya May 16, 2008 at 5:31 pm #

    Back when I attended culinary school, I had to take a class on breads. I was horrible at every bread I ever made, but I rocked the naan bread. Seriously, it was the easiest bread ever I made, and it tasted soooo good.

  15. Lora May 16, 2008 at 7:33 pm #

    I use the Alton Brown method to see if dough has doubled. Place the dough in a clear container. Put a rubber band around the container at dough height. When it has risen twice the height of the rubber band, you know it’s doubled. If that makes no sense, I have pictures here http://lorasrecipes.blogspot.com/2008/05/im-not-master-baker.html

  16. Stef May 16, 2008 at 10:12 pm #

    Cass – Good luck with it! See Lora’s tip on the rising. I love it.

    Rachel – One of my friends has been raving about his pizza stone recently. We don’t own one. Jonathan claims we don’t need one since we have a skillet.

    Susan – Bummer and at dinner tonight someone else told me they had gotten bad service there. Not pleased to hear it.

    Icsa99 – Thanks! I may be inclined to try some other ones.

    RecipeGrl – It’s easy, but not as easy as buying it at Whole Foods. :)

    TW – No worries. Your secret is safe with me as long as you don’t tell that I bought ricotta instead of making it for my Indian cupcakes.

    BigBear and Chiff0Nade – You two should stop by here more often. You are hilarious! Sorry Chiff0Nade, I’m going to have to side with the bear here.

    Srivalli – I loved it! Thanks!

    Michelle – Guess today was naan day!

    Katy – Yum! I’d love to try some of those other Indian breads!

    Charlie – Wow! You didn’t waste any time! Glad you liked them. I actually ended up putting apple butter on mine, which is so non-authentic it isn’t even funny, but it was sooo yummy!

    Ahgoo – Let me know how they turn out!

    Tanya – Have you made beer bread? That’s pretty easy. This was easy, but time consuming to fry up each piece.

    Lora – You rock! Thanks so much for that tip. I love that idea!

  17. HoneyB May 17, 2008 at 2:31 am #

    Indian food is absolutely addictive and Naan is one of the best things about it (along with all the spices!) You are making me want to make a curry and naan for dinner! Hmm, I just might!

  18. Karen May 17, 2008 at 9:03 am #

    This is a great recipe, and homemade Naan is wonderful! But it’s certainly not as easy as pancakes. :) I was hoping for a miracle batter-naan recipe. Oh well.

  19. Stef May 17, 2008 at 9:10 am #

    HoneyB – Go for it!

    Karen – Hah! I had a debate with my mom about that earlier today. Ok – it’s not quite as easy as pancakes, but it’s not too much harder.

  20. Susan/Wild Yeast May 18, 2008 at 11:01 am #

    Great naan! I have baked naan on the stone but I will try it on the griddle. I wouldn’t have thought of brushing with water first but it makes sense.

  21. Wheeler's Frozen Dessert May 18, 2008 at 12:20 pm #

    Looks awesome! Naan is tasty.

  22. Katie May 18, 2008 at 12:35 pm #

    Oh my goodness. I LOVE NAAN.
    I agree with you on the point that it is so much better than pita bread. I used naan to make gyros the other day, and it was fabulous.

  23. Anonymous May 18, 2008 at 6:45 pm #

    This isn’t a cupcake. I feel so mis-led by this blog. Is there nothing I can believe in anymore?

    And teaching people to make their own naan? What’s next, chicken tikka masala cupcakes?? Kumar’s gonna get you.

  24. Aran May 19, 2008 at 12:07 am #

    love, love, love naan!

  25. Betty Barker Smith May 20, 2008 at 2:25 pm #

    Chiff0nade and Big Bear are the feeble workproduct that drooling internet troll DocChuck (Charles R. Treuter of Columbia, MD)

  26. BigBear May 26, 2008 at 4:51 am #

    I’m sorry, but chiff0nade is on the sauce again and posting as “betty barker smith” . . . just one of the dozens of names she uses to harass people like this guy from Maryland who she seems to hate for some reason.

    I sill hide the keyboard until chiffy sobers up . . . if she ever does.

  27. Marie May 28, 2008 at 7:16 am #

    I have been looking for a good Naan recipe. Thanks for the great post! Can’t wait to use it.

  28. Stef May 29, 2008 at 5:04 am #

    Marie – Hope you enjoy it! Let me know if you try it!

  29. Anonymous July 12, 2008 at 11:54 pm #

    Much love to you. My aunt missed this stuff from when she stayed in Iran. I’m totally baking some up some of this stuff for her.

  30. J January 31, 2009 at 7:09 pm #

    try using semolina for a large part of the dough. Happy naans!

  31. Anonymous March 20, 2009 at 9:32 am #

    Wow, thanks for simple receipe. I was looking for it.
    Will try it over weekend.
    ~Sneha

  32. Anonymous July 28, 2011 at 7:16 am #

    another tip for seeing if it has doubled in size while rising is to cover the bowl with plastic wrap and from a bird’s eye view trace a circle directly on the plastic outlining the dough when you first put it in the bowl. Then you can see it rise and double based on the original line.

    Thanks for the recipe!

  33. Anonymous November 24, 2011 at 8:23 pm #

    it really turns out fine even if it does not double up. the recipe is fabulous. Also try adding 3-4 tsps of yogurt and a tsp of oil to the dough and rubbing it in before adding milk/yeast mixture. I bake them in the oven at 500 degrees for a more authentic taste.

  34. Susan April 18, 2012 at 8:19 am #

    I made these last time I made butter chicken. They were absolutely heavenly! I had to hide the rest of the container since my husband wouldn’t stop eating them! I found them even easier to make than the box mix, which was a total disaster!

    Budget Earth – Baked Acorn Squash Recipe

  35. Anonymous April 23, 2012 at 7:33 am #

    I LOVE naan bread! Try the Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day “Light Wheat Bread” recipe to make naan. It. Is. The. Best. EVER!! You don’t have to worry about the bread rising. It is SO simple. The light wheat gives it that sweet chewiness. Perfect!

  36. Anonymous October 10, 2012 at 5:51 am #

    Looks delicious, i’ll give it a try – how would i make these into garlic naans, would i add crushed garlic to them once they are cooked, or while they are cooking in the pan/griddle?

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