Homemade naan bread (yeast-free)

date03.08.12

Making homemade bread is on my bucket list. I’m not there yet, but I’ve been making fresh pasta and pizza crust for a while, and now I can add naan to bread-like things I’ve made on my own. By using a (simple) sourdough starter, this naan recipe brings me so much closer to my eventual goal of baking a crispy on the outside, fluffy on the inside, loaf of delicious bread in my dutch oven. I think the major thing holding me back is that I’m afraid I’ll love it too much, and then I’ll eat the entire loaf all by myself. Bread and cheese will be the death of me. That fear is coupled with the fact that we always have way more freshly baked bread than two people can possible eat in a lifetime, graciously given to us by the father of one of the students I tutor. Naan bread, however, is not part of this collection of loaves. And, what’s more, even if I do find it irresistible, it’s not quite dangerous as risking consuming an entire sour batard in one sitting.

This naan recipe, while requiring advanced planning, involves very little prep. I love that it only takes a couple of minutes to turn each piece of dough into a crispy and chewy piping hot slice of bread. Lucas even said he thought it was better than any naan he’s eaten at a restaurant, which is a huge compliment because he’s usually my second biggest critic (next to me, of course). Trader Joe’s has a pretty delicious frozen naan if you’re in a pinch, but I’m now partial to this homemade recipe. The downside: you should have SEEN the disaster zone in my kitchen after cooking chicken tikka masala, basmati rice, curry spiced cauliflower, naan bread, and blood orange curd shortbread bars all in one evening. Every inch of counter surface was occupied by a cooling platter, all four burners carried an in-use pot, the dish drainer was stacked high in a wobbly pile from my (failed) attempt to wash the plates as quickly as I dirtied them, and the sink was still filled to the brim as if I’d used every bowl and plate I owned.

As an aside: I’m incredibly pumped about the fact that this recipe allowed me to use the very last bit of a large container of plain yogurt for the first time in history. I know this complaint sounds silly, but I seriously don’t understand why you can buy every flavor of yogurt under the moon from key lime pie to gingerbread in individual servings, but plain yogurt is only sold in a gigantic jug. I usually only need a few tablespoons as a substitute for sour cream, and the remainder rots faster than I can consume it. And I hate wasting food; sometimes I let the soured yogurt stay in my fridge an extra week because I just feel too bad throwing it out. I’m sure there are people shaking their head at me thinking, “why don’t you just eat it for breakfast?” To that, I have no good response except to say that I am particular about my yogurt (go figure).

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33 Comments

  1. Ambika says:

    Hey Snix! I am so glad you liked the recipe :) It is indeed one of the easiest and tastiest naan I’ve made!

  2. ratedk says:

    Naan is so delicious! I can never get enough of it

  3. Julia says:

    This looks wonderful! I can’t wait to try it without the yeast!

  4. Jaclyn says:

    Thanks for the post! I was going to make my slow cooker chicken tikka masala tomorrow and was going to make naan with it. I’m can’t to try this recipe, thanks so much! If you ever want to try my chicken tikka you can check out my post at http://cookingclassy.blogspot.com/2012/02/slow-cooker-chicken-tikka-masala.html. It’s the easiest ever =), just wanted to share back. Thanks again.

    • snixykitchen says:

      Thanks for checking out my recipe! I would love to make in in the slow cooker – still waiting to replace mine (I had to return it after it started burning anything that went in it after only a couple hours).

  5. Rosh says:

    Wow! a must try recipe!! Never heard of naan made without yeast.

    Chef Al dente On going event: Gimme GREEN!

  6. Great pictures. The naan looks fantastic.

    Ben, Stonefire Flatbreads

  7. Raegan says:

    Tried this and loved it. I have been looking for a naan recipe for over a year now. This one is so perfect and super easy. I will definitely add this to my stockpile of recipes.

  8. karilvang@gmail.com says:

    Wow! Simple and DELICIOUS!

    Thank you!

  9. I love making bread but somehow I find making naan very intimidating.
    Yours look great!

  10. MJD says:

    I cannot have milk or milk products (including yogurt). Can you recommend a good substitute for the yogurt?

    • snixykitchen says:

      I’ve never made the naan without yogurt, but I’ve done a bit of research and it seems you can alter the recipe by substituting the yogurt with 2 tablespoons soya yogurt, 3/4 cup warm water, and 1 teaspoon active dry yeast. Can you have other dairy products like egg or butter?

      • MJD says:

        Due to health issues I am gluten free, yeast free, dairy free, peanut free, soy free and cannot have egg yolks. I have found alternatives for milk- I can have rice milk and found a good egg substitute. I cannot have any yeast or yeast related products. It’s just finding a subsitute for the yogurt that is stopping me from trying this recipe.

  11. Colette says:

    I’ve always wanted to try making naan @ home, but didn’t have the guts. Gotta try your recipe though.

    • SnixyKitchen says:

      I’m shocked at how surprisingly easy it is! Go for it – and let me know how it turns out for you!

  12. Sharla says:

    Is it possible to use almond flour for this recipe? Sounds great!

    • SnixyKitchen says:

      That’s an interesting question! I don’t know how it would behave with almond flour, but I’d love to know if you end up trying it! I did find this recipe for a gluten free naan that seems simple, if that’s the alternative you’re looking for?

      • Sharla says:

        Thanks! Right now, no yeast, dairy, sugar, wheat, etc., so I’ll try the almond flour when I get a chance! Thanks for your recipe…it sounds delicious!

  13. Mimi says:

    looks delicious! What about making ice cream with your yogurt?

  14. Cari says:

    Hi… I see many have commented but not that many have tried this. I made it tonight so thought I would let you know how it went. I used yogurt I made myself and I know it was potent because I keep using the same yogurt to start the next batch. The yogurt/flour never really did much in the way of bubbling, on the second day I added more yogurt and sugar and let it sit again. I let it go too long because I got too busy to go to next step. Tonight I sat down to make it and discovered my starter had nasty, dangerous looking mold so I threw it out but mixed some more up and just went forward without the sitting stage. Everything went together perfectly. I was so impressed under the broiler when they puffed up (you didn’t say they would!) and most of them could be split like Greek pita bread. This was perfect because we were actually having Gyros for dinner! I avoid yeast so this recipe is a keeper for sure. Thanks!

    • SnixyKitchen says:

      Thanks so much for your feedback – always love to hear how it went for others! Mine didn’t really puff up under the broiler – wonder if that could be because of the sitting period? Hmmm. So many factors play into it. Glad you loved the outcome even if it turned out differently than mine. Now I know to try it without letting it sit when in a time pinch! (If only I could figure out how to make it gluten free now…)

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