Homemade Naan by Dinner with Julie
Prep 2 Hrs | Cook 10M | Enjoy in 2Hr 20M
This recipe is provided by Dinner with Julie.
Of course there’s no beating a batch of naan that has just been cooked in a tandoor oven, which is tall and cylindrical and reaches temperatures of about 800F, much like a pizza oven. But you can make a decent batch of naan in a cast iron skillet, which withstands high temperatures and distributes it evenly. You could even bring a batch of dough and a skillet camping, and cook it directly over the campfire for a little added smokiness. I’ll never get tired of the way the dough bubbles dramatically in the hot skillet.
When people talk about prairie ingredients, wheat isn’t always the first to come to mind—but it’s a significant agricultural crop, and a staple in our kitchen. I love driving through the prairies past fields of wheat and canola. And so when Alberta Wheat’s Life’s Simple Ingredient asked me to share a recipe that highlights the wheat we grow right here, I was thrilled to.
There are flatbread and pizza crusts around the world and I’m a fan of all of them, but there’s something about buttery, chewy naan that’s universally loved. The oil (or use ghee!) and yogurt gives it that soft, creamy texture and slight tang, and the wheat flour gives it its famous texture and chew. It’s a simple enough dough to make; soft and yeast-risen, slightly tacky, which makes it easy to work with. Let it rest, then pull off chunks and roll the pieces as thin as you can on an unfloured surface (the counter needs to be tacky enough to grip slightly, like a post-it note) before cooking in a blazing hot skillet, flipping with tongs. Or you can cook it directly on your grill, giving it charred edges and a smoky flavour. In fact, warm grilled naan makes the perfect vehicle for roasted chicken, beef or lamb kebabs, grilled cheese and veggies with tzatziki, and is the best thing on a platter of hummus and olives, or with cheese or charcuterie, or just about anything.
Once you’ve got ghee – and homemade naan – in your repertoire, you’ll find all kinds of uses for it.
1/2 cup warm water
2 tsp active dry yeast
1 tsp sugar
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup canola oil
1/3 cup plain yogurt
1 large egg
oil, butter, and/or ghee, for cooking
In a large bowl, sprinkle the yeast and sugar over the water and let stand for 5 minutes, until foamy. (If it doesn’t foam, the yeast is inactive; toss it out!) Stir in the flour, salt, oil, yogurt and egg and stir until the dough comes together, then knead until you have a soft, pliable dough. Cover with a tea towel and let rise for an hour or two. (If you want to make it in advance, cover and store in the fridge to slow down the rise.)
Pinch off pieces the size of an egg or two (depending how big you want your naan), and roll into a thin circle or oval — don’t flour the surface, it needs to be tacky enough to grip slightly, like a post-it note. Preheat a heavy skillet over medium-high heat and drizzle generously with oil and a pat of butter, or add a spoonful of ghee and rotate the pan to coat the bottom as it melts.
Peel each piece of dough off the countertop and lay it in the hot skillet. Cook until it grows dramatic bubbles on one side, then flip and cook until golden on the other. Stack on a plate as they cook, and bring them to the table warm. Makes about 8 naan.
For more great recipes like this, visit DinnerwithJulie.com.