Tuesday, January 28, 2014

The Naan Mistake

Apparently the cold weather is affecting my brain.  Or, maybe it's that school has been closed for two days.  Either way, I totally screwed up my dinner plan tonight.  The original plan was to make falafel and pita.  But, when it came time to start the pita, I started naan instead.  I didn't realize my mistake until we started on the falafel and I was like, wait a minute, why am I making naan to go with falafel?  Durrrr. 

But guess what?  When it comes down to it, pita isn't that different than naan except, you know, for that handy little pocket to put your falafel and fixings in.  File this under the we-all-make-mistakes folder.  And the who-really-care-if-it's-naan-or-pita folder.

Most importantly, it was a delicious mistake.

Falafel and Naan
(Sources: allrecipes.com, food.com, and here's the pita recipe I meant to use)

Making Naan

I've used a few different recipes but I prefer this one because it uses only four  ingredients!  4! And, I almost always have them on hand. 

First, you mix up the dough: flour, salt, baking powder and plain yogurt.

After letting it rest for an hour or more (it was more like 2 hours for me), cut it in 8 pieces (or 10, or however big you want your naan) and roll them out in an oblong shape, 1/4" at the most.   

Next, put it on a preheated cast iron skillet (or a regular skillet if you don't have a cast iron) for about 4 minutes, until it begins to bubble and is brown/black on the bottom.

Once you have bubbles and brown spots, transfer it to a seriously hot oven (500 degrees or broil).  You can place the Naan directly on the rack or on a pizza stone (I prefer the pizza stone).  Watch it poof up!  And, if it doesn't poof, try rolling your dough thinner.  I pop mine under the broiler for a few seconds after they poof to get some color on the top.

Repeat until all your naan is cooked, eat immediately (slathered with some butter and some minced garlic, if you'd like) or cool and reheat later.

(adapted from food.com

4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups plain yogurt
In a large bowl, mix together flour, baking powder and salt.

Stir in the yogurt till the dough is too stiff for a spoon, then knead it in the bowl till it holds together well, adding more flour if necessary.

Turn it out on a floured surface and continue kneading for about 5 minutes until the dough feels smooth and elastic.

Form the dough into a ball and put it in an oiled bowl, covered with a towel, to rest for an hour or longer.

Take the dough out and cut it into 8-12 equal pieces.

Heat a large seasoned cast iron skilled over medium heat (or other non-stick skillet).

Heat your oven to about 500 and have the broiler on.  I heat my oven to 500 and then switch it to broil (depends on how your oven functions).

Take 1 piece of dough at a time and roll it out on a floured surface until it measures approximately 5 inches by 10 inches (it does not have to be exact, worry more about the thickness) and less than 1/4 inch thick.

Lay it in the hot skillet and cook it over a medium heat for 4-5 minutes or until it begins to bubble/puff and is brown/black spots on the bottom (check bottom periodically to see how it's going)

Using a spatula, transfer the naan to the oven, directly onto the rack or on a pizza stone.  Cook for a minute or two or until it puffs up.  Once it puffs, you can transfer it closer to the broiler to get some color on top, if desired.

Remove naan from the oven and brush it lightly with melted butter if you like.

Continue this way with all the dough. Serve the bread fresh from the oven, or let them cool and wrap them up.

You can reheat piles of bread wrapped in foil or by placing them directly on the oven rack for about 5 minutes at 350/400 degrees.  Enjoy!

PS - If you read through all of this, leave me a comment and let me know who's reading! 


  1. I'm reading and love your posts! It would never occur to me to try and make naan!

    1. Thanks for reading and commenting, Summer! I appreciate it! You should give naan a try!