How to Make Naan

I’m showing you How to Make Naan.  This homemade garlic naan is cooked in a hot cast iron skillet to achieve similar results as a tandoor oven!

Garlic Naan Bread on a Plate

How to Make Naan

Naan is an Indian flatbread that is traditionally baked in a tandoor oven. The live fire of a tandoor oven exposes the dough to super high temperatures, allowing it cook quickly. Luckily, you can achieve similar results by cooking the naan dough in a hot cast iron skillet.  

Naan is a soft, pillowy leavened flatbread essentially made from flour, yeast, yogurt, and milk. There are numerous naan variations. Some include anise seeds or nigella seeds (fennel flower) for flavor. But by far the tastiest version is garlic naan.  

Garlic Naan Bread on a Plate

After the dough is cooked, it is brushed with a garlic sauce that really livens up the bread. The sauce is made with minced garlic and your choice of fat- be it ghee (clarified butter), butter, or oil. 

What can you eat with garlic naan?

Garlic naan is great for scooping up curries and sauces. It is terrific served alongside this Indian butter chicken or chicken tikka masala!

Asides from enjoying naan with Indian cuisine, naan can be used to make sandwiches like a pita wrap or panini, or the flatbread can be used to a make a quick pizza. 

How to Make Naan Dough

How to make naan- mixing the naan dough by hand:

Most doughs are labor intensive, requiring vigorous kneading. Showing you how to make naan is easy because naan is best mixed together by hand.

Start by activating the yeast in warm milk with a teaspoon of sugar. Once the yeast is bubbly and fragrant, it is added with the remaining ingredients. 

Use floured hands (or gloved hands) to mix the dough together. It will start off shaggy and messy like the image above, but with a few minutes of kneading, the dough will be cohesive and smooth. Simply add flour as needed to prevent the dough from sticking everywhere.

How to Make Naan

The dough rests for an hour until it has doubled in bulk. Then, the dough is divided into 8 equal pieces. A rolling pin is used to flatten the dough to a thickness of about 1/4-inch.

And then it’s time to cook! After testing this on several cookware, I have found the best results with a cast iron pan. Cast iron retains heat better and evenly cooks the dough. 

Brush the dough with oil and cook on high heat for about 2 minutes on each side. It’s so easy to make! Brush the cooked naan with garlic sauce and start eating!

Plate of Garlic Naan Bread

If you are interested in other yeasted doughs, you might enjoy these Crescent Dinner Rolls or this Dutch Oven Bread. These Honey Beer Pretzels or Hawaiian Rolls are also great options!

Garlic Naan
5 from 5 votes
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How to Make Naan

Naan is traditionally baked in a tandoor oven. Luckily, you can achieve similar results by cooking the naan dough in a hot cast iron skillet.

Course Bread
Cuisine Indian
Keyword Garlic Naan, Garlic Naan Bread, How to Make Garlic Naan
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Dough Resting 1 hour
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 8 pieces
Calories 308 kcal

Ingredients

FOR THE NAAN:

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon granulated white sugar
  • 1/2 cup warm water, about 110 degrees
  • 1/2 cup warm whole milk, about 110 degrees
  • 1/2 cup plain whole milk yogurt
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • olive oil or grape seed oil, as needed for brushing dough
  • chopped cilantro, as needed to garnish

FOR THE GARLIC SAUCE:

  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 3 tablespoons melted ghee, melted butter, or olive oil
  • season with kosher salt, as needed

Instructions

MAKE THE NAAN:

  1. In a large bowl, dissolve the yeast and sugar in warm water and warm milk. Allow the mixture to sit for 5 to 7 minutes until the yeast starts to foam and smells fragrant like beer.

  2. Add in the yogurt, and stir until incorporated. Add the flour and salt. Mix until the dough comes together. Use floured hands to knead the dough until smooth, about 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer the dough to a large greased bowl. Cover with plastic wrap. Allow the dough to rest at room temperature for about an hour, until doubled in bulk.

  3. Heat a large cast iron skillet over high heat. Lightly season the skillet with oil.

  4. Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces. Working with one at a time, roll each piece to a thickness of about 1/4-inch. Brush the top of the dough with oil, place it oil-side-down on a hot skillet. Cook for about 2 minutes, until the dough starts of puff up with bubbles. Brush the top of the dough with oil and flip to cook the other side for another 2 minutes. Repeat with remaining dough pieces.

  5. Brush or spoon the garlic sauce over the cooked naan. If desired, garnish with chopped cilantro. Serve naan warm. 

MAKE THE GARLIC SAUCE:

  1. Place the minced garlic and ghee in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave for 20 to 30 seconds until the ghee is melted and garlic is fragrant. Season with kosher salt, to taste. Alternately, melt the butter or heat oil over a stove and add garlic.

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes

  • The cooked naan dough should be soft and pliable. If dough is cooking too fast or burning, adjust temperature as needed. 
Nutrition Facts
How to Make Naan
Amount Per Serving (8 servings)
Calories 308 Calories from Fat 90
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 10g 15%
Saturated Fat 4g 20%
Cholesterol 17mg 6%
Sodium 306mg 13%
Potassium 123mg 4%
Total Carbohydrates 44g 15%
Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
Sugars 2g
Protein 7g 14%
Vitamin A 0.8%
Vitamin C 0.4%
Calcium 4.6%
Iron 14.4%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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Maryanne Cabrera of The Little Epicurean

Meet The Author: Maryanne Cabrera

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Comments

  • Jenn B wrote:

    Naan also freezes really well! I cook mine until only very light brown on the bubbly parts and then cool them off. I then freeze them and when I am ready pull out as many as I want and reheat them with a little butter, oil, or ghee in a cast iron skillet to get them warm and a little bit of crunch. My friend from Pakistan also taught me to put a very little bit of water on them when reheating to get the bubbles crispy and leave the insides pillowy soft!

  • Sommer wrote:

    So glad I tried this recipe! I will definitely make again!

  • Sam wrote:

    Who knew it was so easy to make naan? This recipe is a keeper.

  • Toni wrote:

    I just tried it and it turned out amazing! Thank you so much for sharing!

  • Cathy Pollak wrote:

    One of my absolute favorite recipes!!

  • Megan wrote:

    I can’t believe how easy and delicious this is!!

  • Liz wrote:

    I love freshly baked bread and this naan is so easy to prepare. AND delicious!

  • Jane wrote:

    Can greek yogurt be used in this recipe?