How to the best garlic naan bread that is so soft, stretchy, and garlicky that you will love tearing and can’t stop eating these naans in 4 simple steps. You can make overnight naan bread with this recipe too.
I chose to type this recipe at 10:00 pm at night and I had no one else but myself to blame. My mind is just lusting over the thought of me tearing these soft stretchy naans endlessly. STOP! (but kinda don’t stop?) Anyway, my brain is almost near to this “Let me rest” point. It’s been a LONG LONG day of photo taking, cooking, and projects. It’s pretty exhausting but kinda fulfilling at the same time.
This seriously good homemade garlic naan bread recipe uses yeast to leaven the bread. It’s not as quick as the no-yeast version of naan bread, but it’s so worth it! I love the good ol’ yeast versus just leavening the bread with baking powder. I’m telling you, my kids literally fought over the last piece! (and I thought I made too much!)
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HOW TO MAKE A SERIOUSLY GOOD HOMEMADE GARLIC NAAN IN 4 SIMPLE STEPS
STEP ONE – CHOOSE THE RIGHT FLOUR
1. The flour
Use Chakki Atta flour, which is a stoneground wheat flour, in India. They have high gluten content and can resist that tearing and give you soft yet chewy texture that I craved for in naan or any bread really! The closest substitution for this is bread flour. All-purpose flour can be used too, but trust me, side by side comparison tells me they are not as good as when I made them with bread flour or chakki atta flour.
STEP TWO – PREPARE THE DOUGH
1. Activate the yeast
I use active dry yeast, which needs toa be activated by using warm liquid and a small pinch of sugar. Once it turns foamy, you know it is activated.
2. Combine wet and dry ingredients
Mix the dry ingredients in one bowl and wet ingredients in another. This is especially important if you going to knead by hand. Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients and then pour in the wet ingredients and gradually work the dry ingredients in to form a rough dough.
3. Good kneading
If you have a standmixer or mixer that can knead the dough, please use it. I swear it makes a huge difference compared to when I’m the one who knead it LOL! You don’t need a machine to do the job, but it sure is helpful. The kneading contributes to the softness, light, airy, and chewy texture.
4. Proof the dough
Lightly oil the bowl and then cover with plastic wrap and let the dough double in volume at a warm place. How to proof the dough in winter? I turn on my oven to 170 F (the lowest it can get) and then turn it off and after 15 minutes I let the dough proof in there until doubles in size. Works wonderfully!
STEP THREE – SHAPE THE DOUGH
1. Punch the air out
Lightly dust your working surface and your hands with flour. Place the dough on it and punch it down and knead it a few times
2. Divide and shape
Roll the dough into a long log and divide into 8 to 10 equal pieces of dough. This will be large naan bread. You can make mini naan bread by dividing the dough into 16-20 pieces too. Keep them covered and work with one dough at a time. Roll the dough out into about 6-inch irregular oval shape. Roll it slightly thicker at the edge.
STEP FOUR – COOKING THE BREAD
I highly recommend cooking the naan on a cast-iron skillet. It retains heat very well and great heat distribution too.
Heat up the cast-iron skillet until stonking hot. You can see smoke starts to rise. Brush the skillet with some melted ghee. Place the naan on the skillet and let it cook until the naan start to puff up and you see light brown spots (my favorite parts) about 1-2 minutes. Brush with some ghee/butter and flip to the other sides and cook for another 1 minute or less. Remove from the heat and brush with more melted ghee and garlic combo if you wish. Continue with the rest of the dough and stack them up as you cook them. Serve warm with some fresh cilantro leaves or other dishes.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT MAKING HOMEMADE NAAN BREAD
HOW TO MAKE OVERNIGHT NAAN BREAD?
Instead of letting the dough rise in the warm place until it doubles in size, afer you are done kneading the dough, cover it with plastic wrap or transfer the dough to a large zip lock bag you have sprayed with cooking spray or simply smear some cooking oil inside of the bag. Let the dough rise in the fridge until the next day. Bring the dough out and place on a lightly floured surface, punch the dough down and proceed as instructed in the recipe.
HOW LONG CAN I KEEP UNCOOKED NAAN DOUGH?
The uncooked dough that you have kept in the refrigerator to rise can be kept for up to 3 days.
CAN I MAKE NAAN BREAD WITHOUT A TANDOOR?
It’s not a news anymore that naan is traditionally cooked in a tandoor on a very high heat. Cooking the naan on a pan really works for me too. I highly suggest cast iron pan because it gives equal heat distribution and the pan can get really hot. I get that nice bubbly and a bit of char and the bread still turned out soft and chewy and I just love tearing them to eat.
HOW TO COOK NAAN IN THE OVEN
I really prefer cooking naan on the stove top, on cast-iron pan. If you choose to cook in the oven, preheat your oven to 500 F with a baking stone in there. Make sure there are no little bits of food from previous cooking in there or your oven will be smoky. Place 2-3 piece of your naan bread on the stone and bake for about 8 minutes or until cooked, and then switch to high broil and then just broil quickly to get that nice brown spots. The longer you bake the naan, the crispier the naan gets, you don’t want crispy naan!
SHOULD I USE GHEE OR BUTTER?
Ghee will get my vote, but butter is definitely acceptable too.
HOW TO CUSTOMIZE THIS HOMEMADE GARLIC NAAN BREAD RECIPE
1. Dairy-free Naan Bread
You can opt-out of using yogurt. I’ve made it once without yogurt and just add a bit more water teaspoon by teaspoon until the dough comes together into a nice mass. I like having yogurt in there for that hint of tang.
2. Omit the garlic
My kids sometimes request plain naan bread that they can eat for breakfast with some fruit spread and/or peanut butter 🙂 So, I omit the garlic when I do that
3. Add seeds
You can add sesame seeds or nigella seeds after you’ve flattened and shaped the dough. Gently press the seeds on to the dough and cook. Some seeds may get burn easily, so be careful when you cook them.
HOW YOU CAN TURN NAAN BREAD INTO LUNCH OR DINNER
Instead of serving naan bread as a side, I’ve used naan to make: Naan pizza, Naanwich (Naan Sandwich) to replace the bread, Naan Taco (replaces the corn/flour tortilla), Naan Quesadilla, Naan burger. Those are just a few ideas I’ve explored. I’m sure you would come up with something creative too. You just need to adjust the size and the thickness of the naan bread to suit your recipe. It’s really fun and it keeps the same old ideas fresh again!
HOW TO STORE COOKED NAAN BREAD?
Once the naan bread is cooked, let them cooled down completely and then you can stack them up and cover with plastic wrap. These will keep in refrigerator for about 5 days. If you plan to keep longer, freeze them. If freezing, I like to individually wrap the naan and then put in freezer bag to prevent freezer burn. Frozen naan can be kept for up to 2 months.
HOW TO REHEAT NAAN BREAD?
If frozen, thaw in the refrigerator or on kitchen counter. I usually like to sprinkle the naan with a bit of water, not too much, just to keep it moist. Loosely cover with aluminum foil. The naan can then be reheated in the oven or toaster oven at 350F for 10-12 minutes. We get rid of our microwave a while ago, but I believe you can reheat it in the microwave too after thawing. Just be sure not to use aluminum foil in there though.
I first saw the recipe for Naan at Jamie Oliver’s site a few years ago and had modified it throughout the years I’ve made them to as shown below.
The Best Garlic Naan Bread (How To Make in 4 Simple steps)
- 2 tsp active dry yeast
- 1 cup lukewarm water see notes
- 1/2 Tbsp sugar
- 6 cloves garlic peeled and grated
- 1/3 cup whole-milk plain Greek yogurt
- 3 1/3 cups bread flour about 465 grams
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 cup melted ghee or use butter
- 2 cloves grated garlic
Stand Mixer I use:
Mix the melted ghee/butter with grated garlic for brushing the naan later. Set aside
Making the dough:
Place the yeast, lukewarm water and sugar in a bowl. Let it sits until foamy, around 10 minutes.
In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, salt, and baking powder. Make a well in the center and add yeast, garlic, and yogurt
If kneading with stand mixer:
Attach the dough hook and let it knead on low speed for about 5-8 minutes or so. Until the dough is no longer sticky to the bowl and comes together into a nice silky mass. It may be just a tiny bit sticky to the touch, but I know when this is the case, the bread will come out soft
If kneading by hand:
Gradually combine the wet and dry ingredients. Work through the sticky stage and knead until the dough is no longer sticky about 10-15 minutes. It will come together as smooth
Lightly oil the bowl and then cover and let it rises in a warm place until doubled in size (45minutes to 1 hour)
Lightly dust your working surface and your hands with flour. Place the dough on it and punch it down and knead it a few times and roll it into a long log and divide into 8 to 10 equal pieces of dough. Keep them covered and work with one dough at a time. Roll the dough out into about 6-inch irregular oval shape. Roll it slightly thicker at the edge
Cooking on stove-top:
Preheat your non-stick pan or cast-iron skillet (if you have one). Brush the skillet with some melted ghee. Place the naan on the skillet and let it cook until the naan start to puff up and you see light brown spots (my favorite parts) about 1-2 minutes. Brush with some ghee/butter and flip to the other sides and cook for another 1 minute or less. Remove from the heat and brush with more melted ghee and garlic combo if you wish. Continue with the rest of the dough and stack them up as you cook them. Serve warm with some fresh cilantro leaves or other dishes
Cooking naan in the oven:
Preheat your oven to 500 F with a baking stone in there. Make sure there are no little bits of food from previous cooking in there or your oven will be smoky. Place 2-3 piece of your naan bread on the stone and bake for about 8 minutes or until cooked, and then switch to high broil and then just broil quickly to get that nice brown spots. The longer you bake the naan, the crispier the naan gets, you don't want crispy naan!
Storing and reheating:
They can be refrigerated for 3-5 days. You can also freeze them in tightly sealed bag. When I want them, I just thaw them in the refrigerator and then sprinkle with some water and cover with aluminum foil and reheat in the oven at 350 F for 10 to 15 minutes until warm OR you can just throw them on the grill. They heat up nicely too. We get rid of our microwave a while ago, but I believe you can reheat it in the microwave too after thawing. Just be sure not to use aluminum foil in there though
If not using yogurt, you may need to add more water 1 tsp add a time until the dough comes together into a mass.
What do you like to serve your naan bread with?