Wednesday, August 24, 2011

What to eat Wednesdays - Naan bread

Homemade Naan bread with Lamb Biriyani

I don't know what it is about homemade bread that makes dinner-time so special. I do know that Paul is always happiest when I serve soft white dinner rolls, or potato focaccia, or this lovely naan bread with dinner.

This recipe makes eight soft and moorish naan breads, and is the perfect accompaniment for Indian inspired dishes like butter chicken soup

I've slightly modified the recipe from The New Zealand Bread Book by Alison and Simon Holst. I was lucky enough to get a free copy when I bought my (fantastic!) Panasonic Breadmaker, and I highly recommend it.

The Holsts' recipe calls for 1 cup of wholemeal flour and 2 cups of high-grade flour, but I tried that and the wholemeal seemed out of place, so now I use 1 cup of plain flour instead of the wholemeal and it's gorgeous. You could probably even just use high-grade for all 3 cups to save faffing about, but I haven't tried that yet.

Naan ingredients
  • 3t Surebake yeast
  • 3/4c warm water plus 2T
  • 1/4c plain unsweetened yoghurt
  • 50g butter, melted
  • 1t sugar
  • 1t salt
  • 1c plain flour
  • 2c high-grade flour

Topping ingredients
  • extra butter, melted, or oil
  • sesame or cumin seeds (optional)

Bread machine instructions
Carefully measure all naan ingredients into a 750g capacity bread machine in the order specified.

Set to the DOUGH cycle and START. When the dough is ready, tip out onto a lightly floured surface and follow the instructions for shaping and baking below.

Hand-made bread instructions
Measure the first seven ingredients into a large bowl and mix well. Cover and leave for 15 minutes or longer in a warm place.

Stir in the high-grade flour, adding a little extra warm water or flour if necessary to make a dough just firm enough to knead.

Knead with the dough hook of an electric mixer or by hand on a lightly floured surface for 10 minutes. Try to keep the dough as soft as you can, as a soft dough produces good naan, adding a little extra water if it is too firm, and a touch of extra flour if it is too soft to work with. After kneading, the dough should form a soft ball that springs back when gently pressed.

Turn the dough in 2 teaspoons of oil in the cleaned dry bowl, cover with cling film and leave in a warm draught-free place for 30 minutes.

Turn out the dough and lightly knead for about 1 minute.

Shaping and baking
Preheat oven to 225°C-250°C. If you have one, place a cast-iron pan, griddle or pizza stone on the rack just below the middle (this will heat up and compensate for heat loss when the oven door is opened).

Divide the dough into four pieces, then halve each piece to give eight balls. Cover and leave to stand for 5 minutes.

Roll out each ball into a flat oval shape about 18cm wide and 22-23cm long. Brush each side with the extra melted butter or oil. Sprinkle with sesame or cumin seeds if you like.
Buttered dough rolled out and ready to go in the oven.

Place as many breads as will fit on your very hot pan and cook for 2 minutes.
Dough baking on a hot pizza stone, 2 minutes each side.

Flip and cook for another 2 minutes (4 minutes total cooking time) until puffed and lightly browned on both sides. Alternatively, cook the naan bread on the hot plate of your barbeue, turning once as above.
Flipping the bread after two minutes.

Eat soon after baking, and revel in its soft, buttery deliciousness.
Delicious Naan bread, ready to eat.

Thank you for your comments.


  1. I love nann bread! Thanks for the recipe Emma. Interestingly when I make it at home I use the George Forman to cook it. Keen to try the pizza stone, I hadnt thought of that!

  2. yum I love naan bread! I need to learn more about baking bread.....

  3. Hey Andie, it's probably more economical to do it on the George Forman, as you don't have to heat up a whole oven.
    How long do they take to cook in there?

  4. Hey Liz - our breadmaker makes it really easy, otherwise I don't think I'd make bread as much. I don't know how good it is for us either - all this white bread! Sourdough was a lot healthier, unfortunately Paul and Lily didn't eat it so I've kind of given up for the moment.

  5. Thank you for your nice comment. I know exactly what you mean about kids tornado-ing through the house. It's a constant struggle, isn't it?

    Now for the bread. I am SO impressed! I admire immensely anyone who can make bread from scratch, much less naan.
    The Vintique Object


Thank you for visiting Craving Fresh, and for taking the time to comment. Your feedback is so important to me.