If there is one thing I could probably eat for the rest of my life and never get sick of, it would be naan. Little pillows of ghee-slathered awesomeness, naan accompanies nearly every Indian meal.
But did you know that you can easily make your very own naan with just your broiler and a pizza stone, right in the comfort of your own home?
Traditional naan is typically prepared in a tandoori oven, which might seem intimidating to recreate at home. However, a pizza stone can work wonders in mimicking the heat and texture of a tandoori oven.
Now, what exactly is a tandoori oven? Also known as a tannour, it is a large clay oven commonly used in many Southwestern Asian countries like India. It’s a cross between an earth oven and a fire pit, similar to a pizza oven. In a tandoori oven, a fire is built in the bottom, and the coals are maintained to keep the oven at a consistent high heat. These ovens can reach temperatures of nearly 1000 degrees Fahrenheit! No wonder they are perfect for slow cooking a variety of meats like chicken and lamb. In fact, tandoori chicken is one of my favorite dishes!
Now, back to our homemade naan adventure. Before we dive into the recipe, let me warn you that this recipe does require a little patience since there’s a rising time of about 4 hours. But trust me, it’s totally worth it! Also, instead of using curd or dali, I opted for plain Greek yogurt, as it was more readily available at my local grocery store.
Fortunately for us Indian food lovers, ghee is also becoming more and more readily available in the dairy aisle as it gains popularity in the health food markets.
Here’s What You’ll Need
- Flour: The main ingredient in the naan dough, provides structure and texture.
- Instant rise yeast: Helps the dough to rise and create a light and fluffy naan.
- Olive oil: Adds moisture and richness to the dough.
- Salt: Enhances the flavor of the naan.
- Sugar: Provides a hint of sweetness and helps activate the yeast.
- Plain Greek yogurt: Adds tanginess and moisture to the dough.
- Warm water: Used to activate the yeast and help form the dough.
- Ghee (melted): Brushed on top of the naan after baking, adds a rich, buttery flavor.
Let’s Get Started
To start, we need to activate the yeast. Combine it with warm water, making sure the temperature stays below 110°F to prevent killing the yeast. You’ll know the yeast is ready when the mixture becomes nice and frothy.
Next, create a crumbly dough by mixing together oil, yogurt, salt, and flour. Slowly incorporate the water and yeast mixture until a firm dough forms. Gently knead the dough into a ball, then cover it with plastic wrap and let it rest in a dark, warm place for 3-4 hours or until it doubles in size.
This rising time allows the flavors to develop and the dough to become soft and pillowy.
After the rising period, remove the dough from the bowl and place it onto a floured surface. The dough will be soft, so make sure to flour your hands to prevent sticking.
Divide the dough into eight evenly sized dough balls.
Now, it’s time to heat up that pizza stone
Preheat your broiler with the pizza stone on the top shelf for about 30 minutes. This will give you the kind of intense heat comparable to a tandoori oven. Roll out each dough ball into a four or five-inch circle and carefully place them onto the pizza stone.
Keep a close eye on the naan as it cooks quickly under the broiler. We want them thin, buttery, and with just a hint of char!
Helpful Hints & Tricks to Homemade Naan
- Properly activate the yeast: Use warm water (around 110°F) to activate the yeast and ensure it’s frothy before using.
- Use the right flour consistency: Adjust flour as needed for a soft, slightly sticky dough.
- Give the dough enough time to rise: Allow the dough to double in size during the rising period.
- Preheat the pizza stone properly: Place the pizza stone on the top shelf of the oven and preheat under the broiler on high for at least 30 minutes.
- Keep an eye on the cooking process: Watch the naan closely under the broiler to prevent burning.
- Flour the working surface generously: Dust the working surface with flour when rolling out the dough balls.
- Brush with ghee after baking: Brush the cooked naan with melted ghee for enhanced flavor and appearance.
- Serve immediately: Enjoy the naan fresh and warm alongside your favorite Indian dishes.
Once the naan is cooked, brush the tops with melted ghee, which you can easily find in the dairy aisle of many grocery stores or even online nowadays.
The ghee adds a rich, nutty flavor that enhances the overall experience of this homemade naan.
With a little patience and the right techniques, you can recreate the magic of tandoori oven naan in your own kitchen. So, gather your ingredients, fire up that broiler, and get ready to experience the delight of homemade naan.
Your own Hungry People at home will surely thank you for it!
Pizza Stone Naan
- Combine the yeast and warm water then let sit for about 10 minutes, or until the top of the water is frothy.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and sugar.
- Mix together the olive oil and yogurt with the flour mixture until a crumbly dough forms.
- Add the yeast and water mixture to the dough and knead until a firm dough comes together.
- Place the dough in a greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap and a dark towel. Place the bowl in a warm place for 3-4 hours, or until the dough has doubled in size.
- Preheat the pizza stone on the top shelf of the oven under the broiler on high for 30 minutes.
- Dust a working surface with flour. Place the sticky risen dough onto the surface and knead until a ball forms. Let it rest for another 30 minutes before punching down and splitting the dough into 8 equal-sized balls.
- Roll out each dough ball on a floured surface, then place them onto the pizza stone under the broiler.
- Keep a close eye on the naan for 3-4 minutes, or until the naan is bubbly and golden brown on top.
- Remove the naan from the oven and brush with melted ghee. Serve right away with a side of chicken biryani and momos. Enjoy!