Naan - Indian Flatbread

There is nothing better than eating a plateful of this butter chicken (or this curry or this curry or this curry, for that matter) with a piece of fluffy, delicious naan by your side.

Naan is a simple Indian flatbread that is perfect for scooping up sauce and rice and it makes a perfect accompaniment to just about any meal, Indian or not. Plus, we love to use the leftovers to make mini-pizzas. Not exactly staying true to traditional Indian food, but delicious nonetheless.

I have an old recipe for naan, but to be truthful, the recipe I’m posting today (that I’ve made at least six or seven times in the last couple of months) completely blows it out of the water. Tender, light and buttery, this naan is irresistible.

If you are afraid of yeast, please – don’t be! Naan (and other flatbreads) is a great place to start if you are a newbie to working with yeast. Check out this tutorial for some helps, as well as the recipe instructions below that include directions for using either active dry or instant yeast. Also, you can email me at any time with questions on working with yeast. My lifelong goal is to make bread/yeast/dough experts out of all of us!

Naan - Indian Flatbread

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Naan – Indian Flatbread

Yield: Makes about 12 pieces of naan

Naan – Indian Flatbread

Note: as with all yeast doughs, I never use the flour amount called for in the recipe as a hard fast rule (unless a weight measure is given and then I pull out my kitchen scale). Because humidity, temperature, altitude and a multitude of other factors can impact how much flour you need in your yeast doughs, I always judge when to quit adding flour by the texture and look and feel of the dough rather than how much flour I’ve added compared to the recipe. This tutorial on yeast may help identify how a perfectly floured dough should be.

Ingredients

  • 3-4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon active dry or instant yeast
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 3-4 tablespoons, melted butter

Directions

  1. Pour the milk into a liquid measure and heat in the microwave until warm to the touch (about 110 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer). If using active dry yeast, mix the sugar and yeast into the milk and let it sit for 4-5 minutes until the mixture is foamy and the yeast has activated. Once the yeast/milk mixture is foamy, pour the mixture into a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer and add the salt and 2 1/2 cups of the flour (proceed with the second paragraph of the recipe). If using instant yeast, pour the warm milk into a large bowl or the bowl of an electric stand mixer. Add the sugar, instant yeast, salt and 2 1/2 cups of the flour. Proceed as directed below.
  2. Mix well to combine. Continue adding flour gradually in small amounts, until a soft dough is formed that cleans the sides of the bowl. Knead the dough by mixer or hand until it is smooth and elastic, about 3-5 minutes in the mixer or 10 minutes by hand.
  3. Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl and let it rest at room temperature, covered lightly with greased plastic wrap, for about 2 hours.
  4. After the dough has rested, turn it onto a lightly floured surface (I like to use my roul’pat for this) and divide the dough into 12 equal pieces, rounding each into a ball shape. Cover the pieces with a towel and let them rest for 30 minutes. While the dough rests, preheat your oven to 500 degrees F and place a pizza stone on the bottom rack of the oven. (If you don’t have a pizza stone, try grilling the dough on a lightly oiled outdoor grill or use a hot griddle to bake the naan – you’ll have to experiment with cooking times but I’ve seen either of those methods used with cooking naan also.)
  5. Once the dough has rested for 30 minutes, one by one, roll each piece into a circle about 6-8 inches wide, depending on how thin or thick you want your naan. Lay the circle of dough on the hot pizza stone and spritz lightly with water. Close the oven and bake the naan for 2-4 minutes, until it is lightly puffed (some pieces will puff more than others) and brown spots begin to appear on the top. Remove the naan from the baking stone and place on a cooling rack. Brush lightly with melted butter. Stack the hot naan on top of each other as it comes out of the oven. Cover with a towel and let the naan cool completely or serve warm.
http://www.melskitchencafe.com/naan-indian-flatbread/

Recipe Source: adapted slightly from Evil Shenanigans

*Click on the collage below to see a larger view. A new browser window will open with the step-by-step pictures. Click on the image again in the new browser (your mouse should be a magnifying glass) to make it even larger.

94 Responses to Naan – Indian Flatbread

  1. Angie Walker says:

    I have been wanting to make this, but I do not look forward to my oven being on 500 degrees. I guess this should be a wintertime recipe. Thank you for sharing, you have gotten me back in the mood to try it.

    • Mel says:

      Angie – I’ve seen that you can grill the naan on an outdoor grill. You might give it a try if the thought of a hot oven makes you sweat!

      • Sam says:

        I used my electric griddle, turned up as high as it goes and cooked each side for about two minutes. It worked great and kept the Louisiana heat from getting any worse. This is a wonderful flatbread recipe! So soft and delicious.

  2. Kathy Davis says:

    I have never tasted naan but they sound wonderful. Thank you for another great recipe. Your blog is my go to place when I am looking for a specific recipe.

  3. StephenC says:

    Gosh, you’ve almost got me talked into trying to make naan. Do I dare?

  4. I made this awhile back (ok, like last summer) with chicken korma. Delish! I grilled mine, and it actually turned out! I thought we might be using the naan for hockey pucks the way I grill!!

  5. Kim in MD says:

    This bread looks amazing, Mel! I have never made naan, but you have convinced me to give it a try! I love, love, love your tutorial! You rock! :-)

  6. Sarah J says:

    I need to give these a try! Love your website!

  7. NicoleCF says:

    Oh, I wish I had had your recipe for naan on Wednesday night! I made your Indian Butter Chicken that night and I think we committed kitchen blasphemy by serving it with naan from the grocery store. The chicken dish was so fun to make and tasted delicious. The store-bought naan…well, it was edible. Barely. We’ll definitely give this recipe a go. Thanks for your excellent work on this blog–several of your recipes have become family favorites.

  8. Michelle says:

    I have to admit that bread scares me a bit (I usually cheat and use my breadmaker), but I love naan, so I can’t wait to try this!

  9. Alex says:

    I’ve been afraid to try this, but your recipe has convinced me! I don’t have a pizza stone, so do you think I could use my cast iron pan in the oven instead?

  10. Erin says:

    Mel, how long is the first rest? thanks!

    • Mel says:

      Erin (and others) – sorry I missed the detail on the first rise. I’ve edited the recipe (it should rise for about 2 hours).

  11. I have been wanting to make homemade naan for quite sometime. You make it look so easy, so I think I will finally give it a try!

  12. britt-marie says:

    Awesome! Thank you! I just made your other recipe for Naan for the first time a couple days ago. It wasn’t as soft as I thought it should be, but we still enjoyed it. (I’m new to bread, so It might have been my mistake.) But now I’m excited to try this new one.

  13. Cammee says:

    Blows your old recipe out of the water? I’m a fan of the old recipe so I’m dying to try this. An Indian food restaurant in town presses finely chopped cilantro into one side of their naan, it’s sooooo good!

  14. Holly says:

    Hmm… I thought I had enough going on to try a garlic monkey bread recipe this weekend, but now I think I will have to just take 2 kinds of bread to a dinner party! You make it sound so easy that I cannot resist trying this out. Thanks for sharing!

  15. sarah says:

    I love that each of your pieces are not perfectly round. Thank you for being a real home cook! This inspires me!

  16. Jenn says:

    Mmmmmm …… I LOVE Naan, especially with yummalicious hummus!

    what kind of milk do you use in this recipe? We only buy fat-free (skim) milk …. would that work?

    • Mel says:

      Hi Jenn – I use 1% milk because that’s what we always have. I’d say give the skim milk a try. I think it should work just fine!

  17. Kat says:

    Another bread recipe that I can’t wait to try. Not too long ago I wasn’t very confident in my ability to make yeast breads. All I needed was practice, and your amazing recipes gave me all the urging I needed :) I now make yeast breads at least a couple times a week and am even confident enough to make them for guests. Thanks!

  18. Kendra says:

    Wow wow wow. Those look AMAZING. I can’t wait to try them! I don’t know how often my husband asks “Is this from that kitchen cafe lady!?” every time I make something that turns out delicious (and it usually is!)

  19. these naans look wonderfully delicious

  20. Who doesn’t love naan? I love using pizza stone for naan as well! I use yogurt instead of milk and it gives it a lovely taste as well!

  21. Tiffany says:

    I am so excited to see this, we just went to a Indian restaurant in Ghana, and it was out of this world. I wanted to find a good Naan bread recipe, I can’t wait to try it. I have a friend that lived in India, and I am going to ask her to teach me how to make some meals.

  22. Lisa says:

    Peshwari naan is my absolute favorite naan–I wonder if I can use this recipe as a base for it? It looks delicious!

  23. Wendy says:

    I tried three times to get the yeast to activate and I couldn’t get it to happen. I am trying really hard not to cry right now.

  24. Katee says:

    I love the other Naan recipe and will now try this one as I am hosting my family and serving Indian food on Friday. I am going to use the butter chicken recipe and also the tike masala (which is a family favorite!) from your super website!

    I wonder though how this recipe would do if I doubled it.

  25. Sunni says:

    Mel, do these kind of taste like your soft wrap bread????

    • Mel says:

      Hi Sunni – the taste of the naan is much more light and chewy than the soft wrap bread, I think. My soft wrap breads come out much thinner than the naan (perfect for rolling up ingredients, whereas the naan works better as a fluffy flatbread).

  26. Missy says:

    Can’t wait to try this! We love your old naan recipe! We are on vacation but I’m going to make the butter chicken and new naan recipe as soon as we get home!

  27. This looks amazing. I have never made my own but think I will give it a try after reading your post!

  28. Holly says:

    I made these this weekend — easy as could be and terrific! Thanks!

  29. n82 says:

    These were perfect! Thanks.

  30. kyle mendes says:

    oh, naan! I love this bread. It may be the only reason I frequently visit Indian restaurants.

  31. grace says:

    i AM afraid of yeast, but only in certain applications. bread baking? that’s fine. honestly, i fear that naan is the only thing i like about indian cuisine, and yours looks perfect!

  32. Yum yum, thanks. We buy them for pizza all the time but with me buying them premade and still wanting the quality organic ingredients they can get pricey….I can’t wait to try! I but them on sale and freeze so I can now make and freeze.

  33. Mike says:

    I made naan a year or two ago and loved it so much. I’ve yet to make butter chicken – this may be just the post I need to spur me to make it!

  34. Kristin says:

    I made this a couple days ago, and loved it alongside some butter chicken. I used a cast iron skillet on the stove, and they turned out perfectly.

  35. Lisa says:

    I don’t have a stand mixer, but I really wanted to try this…so, I put all the ingredients only using 3 1/2 c. flour into my bread machine on the dough cycle, after the cycle was complete I let it rest in a bowl for 1 extra hour, then made the 12 rolls & then baked as your recipe said. This is an awesome recipe. Thanks for sharing!
    Oh, I also enjoyed your Indian butter chicken! Thanks again!

  36. Suz says:

    Just made this for the first time tonight, Mel. You are right, it is amazingly delicious. It’s very soft and chewy. Like a previous poster, I also used a cast iron skillet instead. And that worked quite well. Thanks for posting this!

  37. Shelley says:

    Made this this afternoon for mini pizzas tonight for supper. I snuck one to taste/try and it’s delicious!

  38. Tomi Ann says:

    I have a con-naan-drum (get it? — I know, I’m a dork). I am making Butter Chicken for Mother’s Day dinner tomorrow night and I want to make naan to go with it, but with our church schedule I just wouldn’t be able to time it right. If I make it today, will it be too stale? Can I put the dough into the fridge at some point (maybe after the first rest divide them into balls and put them in the fridge, then get them out and do the final rest, shape, and bake tomorrow right before dinner)?

    • Mel says:

      Tomi Ann – you might be able to get away with making it today. My leftovers always taste a little dry, but you could warm them up briefly to help eliminate that. I like your second idea better, if you have the time. You could definitely make the dough today, let it rest for 2 hours and then divide into balls. Cover those well and put them in the refrigerator until tomorrow. Will you have time to take them out about an hour before you bake them? That would be ideal.

  39. Kim says:

    I got a pizza stone years ago when I got married, but have never used it. Do I need to season the pizza stone before I use it? Do I need to spray it so the dough won’t stick? Any help would be great! I want to try the Naan recipe out, but am a little nervous about using my pizza stone. Thanks

    • Mel says:

      Hi Kim – the best way to season a pizza stone is to use it. Don’t spray any kind of nonstick cooking spray on it as it will leave a gummy film. I never seasoned mine but here is an article on seasoning one if you are interested. The main key to not having the pizza/flatbread/whatever stick to it is to preheat the oven with the pizza stone in it for 30-45 minutes so the stone is piping hot when you put the bread on it. Hope that helps!

  40. Kim says:

    Hi,
    I made a previous comment asking about pizza stones. I just did what you said to do and it worked! The Naan turned out great! Thanks for the recipe, we will be using it A LOT in the future!

  41. […] My Kitchen Today: Shahi Korma and Naan So, I have fallen in love with the India Palace here in Roseville. Their Chicken Shahi Korma and Naan (Indian flatbread)? Dreamy. Today, I’m going to see if I can cook anything close to it. Stay tuned for pictures and eval. Wish me luck! (here are the recipes I kind of followed… Shahi Korma…Naan) […]

  42. Anne-Marie says:

    Hey there! I love your sight and refer to it often as to what to cook for dinner. I just had a quick question. Can you use Ghee in place of butter and if so do you know if I can use the same amount of butter as Ghee? I ask because I mad ea Moroccan dish and now have a huge jar of Ghee.

    • Mel says:

      Anne-Marie – you know, I’ve never used ghee so I’m not sure if you can use the same amount, but my guess would be yes. You might try googling the question and see what you come up with. Good luck!

  43. Karen Mitchell-Day says:

    Thanks for this! I love naan- my grown kids love naan, my dog loves naan hehe. My fave snack ever(or lunch even) is simply warming naan in the microwave , then drizzling on a high quality olive oil, and topping with feta cheese- maybe a kalamata olive sliced as well. Mmmmm. I’m not hard to please. And I don’t fear YEAST! lol

  44. Deb says:

    Hey Mel – have you ever used white whole wheat flour on this? I’ve seen you split the AP flour in half between AP/white whole wheat on other recipes, have you ever tried that here? I really like to use white whole wheat when I can but if it’s going to negatively impact the flavor/rise, then it might not be worth it.

  45. Mel says:

    Deb – I’ve subbed in 1-2 cups white whole wheat flour for this recipe but never more than that. The naan is much denser when I use whole wheat but we still like it, although, I have to say, nothing compares to the all white flour version.

  46. Melissa says:

    This was really good! But, my pizza stone cracked while making it… After it cracked, I went to the Pampered Chef website to see the specs on the pizza stone, and they said to only use it up to 450 degrees. So…beware. But maybe I’ll try it on a griddle next time? It was DELICIOUS with the tikka masala and coconut kurma I made from favfamilyrecipes.com. Thanks for the recipe!

  47. Dena says:

    I’m glad I read that about the stoneware from PC before I made this! I will have to try a different method.

  48. Linsy says:

    This was really easy to make as well as delish!

  49. Jill says:

    Mel, I was hoping that you could answer a question that I’ve had for awhile. When I use my Bosch for recipes such as this that don’t call for a lot of ingredients, I find that the flour just clumps up and spins around on the dough hook. It doesn’t seem to mix very well unless I’m making four loaves of bread. I really don’t want to have to knead the old-fashioned way, so I was wondering if you’ve had the same problem and have any tips. Thanks.

  50. Mel says:

    Jill – annoyingly, I’ve found the same problem. What I’ve done to avoid the problem is to either a) double the recipe and freeze the dough or freeze the baked goods if I don’t need them all or b) add the flour extra gradually (even if the recipe calls for the flour to be added at the beginning or all at once) and err on the side of not overflouring. I still use my Bosch for all yeast doughs (I never knead by hand…way too lazy for that) but with smaller batches, I just go slower or double the recipe. Hope that helps! Also, when the dough is spinning and spinning around and doesn’t seem to be “catching” or kneading, I sprinkle in some water to get the dough to catch on the sides of the bowl and start kneading again.

  51. Dena says:

    I have a Pampered Chef stone that can’t be in an oven hotter than 450°. Will the Naan still work on it? And if so, does it need to cook for longer?

  52. Mel says:

    Dena – baking at 450 will be fine. Just watch the baking time – you may not need to add any additional time.

  53. adriana says:

    I love to cut them horizontally and put butter and shredded farmers cheese!! It is so so good!!! Even better with sheep milk cheese, now that is really irresistible!

  54. Jenn says:

    Over all very taste! We will make this again. But I have a few questions about preparing this on the stove top. I first tried to heat a fry pan with cooking spray and cook them on that, then when that didn’t work I tried using oil only to have that burn them and smoke out the kitchen. Thankfully my husband came home and was able to use the grill outside while I finished the rest of dinner inside. We lost a few during the process but the ones cooked on the grill were great. Any recommendations for using a griddle or fry pan?

  55. Mel says:

    Jenn – when I’ve used my griddle to bake this and other flatbreads, I don’t use oil at all since my griddle has a nonstick surface. Eliminating the oil or cooking spray would probably help with the smoke issue.

  56. […] or chicken broth on hand. Instead I used Chicken bouillon and apple juice… turned out great! I like to make some Indian Flat bread/Nan along with it! Delish…….. now be very careful using your pizza stone in the oven and […]

  57. Jenn says:

    Thank you for the advice! I will try that next time.

  58. Bethany says:

    So I made this tonight, and it’s very delicious – however I noticed that it was less chewy and it puffed up a TON once in the oven. I’m pretty familiar with my oven, and I wasn’t expecting it to be so huge. Any thoughts?

    • Mel says:

      Bethany – did it deflate like normal after it came out of the oven (even after over-puffing)? I’m not sure what would have caused it, to be honest. If it wasn’t very chewy, my guess is the dough might have been overfloured – was the dough pretty stiff or still on the soft, slightly sticky side of things?

  59. Bethany says:

    I kind of had to smash them down to get them to deflate. I would bet I added too much flour, they’re kind of soft on the inside, but not chewy throughout. Thanks for the recipe though!!

  60. […] tsp. vinegar   Mix together and serve over Gyros. NAAN (INDIAN FLAT BREAD) recipe from: Mel’s Kitchen Cafe *Makes about 12 pieces of […]

  61. Amy says:

    We just made your old recipe for “naan” bread. I did not have time to let it raise. I put everything into my bread machine and set it on dough and let it do it thing. I finished the rest of our dinner—sad faces—no curry tonight, but I wanted a bread and so tried this. I pulled it out after 30 minutes; divided the dough; let it rest for 10 minutes; and then shaped it for cooking. I did have my stone preheating so I let the shaped naan raise about 10 more minutes while we set the table and put things out. Just before sitting down I put the first three into bake. It was wonderful. I didn’t even have to ask if the family liked it. We had honey and butter which we put into the pockets—yummy. Thanks for sharing. The crumb was chewy, while the crust was tender.

  62. […] Naan recipe form: Mel’s Kitchen Cafe […]

  63. Linnea says:

    I am like my Mom, I kill yeast. With that in mind, is it possible to use my bread machines dough setting to get the dough for this? I am willing to do it by hand but living in such humidity makes yeast tricky, or so it seems. Thanks

  64. Mel says:

    Linnea – I don’t have a bread machine so I’m not really familiar with how much dough can fit in one and all the settings so I can’t tell you for sure but if you are nervous about doing it by hand then by all means try it. Good luck!

  65. Jeana says:

    Hello! I don’t have a pizza stone or a griddle or anything like that. Would it be possible to use a regular baking sheet in the oven? Or perhaps do the naan in a skillet on the range? I have never made bread of any kind before, so I’m completely clueless. :)

  66. Mel says:

    Jeana – sure, I think you could use a normal baking sheet (just turn it upside down and use the flat bottom side). I think a few commenters said they even cooked the naan on a griddle or in a skillet on the stove. Over medium heat (on a really hot skillet or griddle) and 3 minutes per side would probably do the trick.

  67. Sarah RJ says:

    Mel – love your blog! I think my preschooler would love to make his own pizza using this flat bread. When you make pizzas with it what is your cooking temp/time? Thanks!

    • Mel says:

      Hi Sarah – I just heat my broiler to 475 (if your broiler is just lo or high, preheat to high) and cook until the cheese is hot and melted. It’s pretty easy! Keep an eye on it, though, since food can burn easily under the broiler.

  68. Leslie says:

    My husband made this and it’s a hit! He likes to put honey on his naan and I ate a couple with strawberry jam. We are going to make the rest into personal pizzas!

  69. Bri says:

    Mel Mel Mel, oh how I love this bread. I made it a few years ago, but only once. Tonight I made your coconut curry shrimp and this bread…oh my! It was a really yummy dinner other than the fact that I paid a dollar per ounce of shrimp…YIKES (I will do chicken next time unless it is for a special occasion). This naan is just so chewy, soft, and yummy! Tomorrow I’m trying your coconut rice with the grilled coconut chicken you recently posted! It’s been a while since I’ve posted! Love your site!

  70. Katie says:

    I love this recipe! I needed the oven for the Cajun Curry Chicken I was serving this with, plus I didn’t want to heat up my whole house in the middle of summer, so I made mine on an electric griddle. They cooked up perfectly. I couldn’t believe how chewy they were! We ate the leftovers as personal mini pizzas (using your recipe for pizza sauce). Oh my. They were crazy good! I am going to bake up a whole batch right now, simply to throw in my freezer for instant pizzas whenever I want them.

  71. Ana says:

    This sounds excellent. If I don’t have a pizza stone, can I use another kind of bakeware like a cookie sheet? If not, I might have to just invest in a pizza stone..

    • Mel says:

      Ana – I’ve only ever used a pizza stone but I’ve heard that you can turn a baking sheet upside down and preheat that the same way and use it. Good luck if you try it!

  72. Kara says:

    I love this bread! I just made it for dinner tonight and tried one – it was delicious! I baked it on a cast iron skillet and it turned out just fine. I’ll be eating it with Carne Guisada tonight, and I can’t wait!

  73. […] (Mel’s Kitchen Café) […]

  74. kim says:

    Can you freeze the dough? At what stage would you freeze the dough and how (plastic wrap then ziplock bag it?). Thanks : )

    • Mel says:

      Kim – I haven’t tried freezing this dough but I’m guessing you probably could since most yeast doughs freeze pretty well. I’d probably freeze after the first rise. Punch it down and place the dough in a lightly greased freezer ziploc bag.

  75. Nafeeza says:

    Just found your website……made your unbelievable choc cake and naan….all winners. You have been bookmarked. Thank you for your recipes.

  76. Ella says:

    Any luck using whole wheat flour for half or part, Mel? Thanks!!

  77. Ellie says:

    This is a great recipe! I let the yeast (activated dry) and sugar activate in the milk for a long time -about half an hour- as my yeast was a bit old. I grilled the naan outside, and I learned that I needed to absolutely flatten the dough before grilling, or it would rise a bit too much and end up a bit doughy. I put two crushed cloves of fresh garlic in the melted butter before brushing it over the naan, and it was fantastic! Thanks for sharing the recipe.

  78. Deb says:

    These were fabulous!!! I made these with a spicy Curried Quinoa. I should have left them in an extra min, but even taking them out a min early they were delicious and easy to make. Thanks for sharing.

  79. Victoria says:

    Awesome! I had to cut the first rest down by an hour and I put butter on them after they came off the pan. Best thing I’ve made yet! Went awesome with our chicken curry.

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