Have you ever heard of naan? It’s a leavened flatbread that’s popular in Indian cuisine. It’s not exactly certain where naan originated. But these days it’s used in a variety of cuisines, and most popularly known for Indian food.
I put my own spin on naan by using sourdough to naturally leaven it. It takes longer for the dough to rise, but getting all the benefits from sourdough is totally worth the wait! Also, the tang from the sourdough plays well with the yogurt in the dough.
Traditionally naan is cooked in a tandoor oven. But today I’m going to show you how to recreate it in your own kitchen with a cast iron skillet!
First, the ingredients. Here’s what you’ll need to make sourdough naan: sourdough starter, water, flour, an egg, sugar, salt, ghee, and yogurt.
You want to feed your sourdough starter about 8-12 hours before you begin this recipe. You can read my Sourdough 101 post for all my tips about sourdough starters.
Place all of the ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer and briefly stir it with a whisk, wooden spoon, or spatula to make a shaggy dough.
Knead the dough using the dough hook for 8 minutes. You want the dough to be quite soft, but still clean the sides and bottom of the bowl. If the dough is too sticky, it can be difficult to work with when you get to the rolling stage.
Cover the dough with a tea towel and allow to ferment at room temperature for 8–12 hours…
Or until doubled in bulk.
Plop the risen dough out onto a well-floured surface. You don’t want to go too crazy with the flour, otherwise it will stick to the naan and burn when you cook it.
Divide the dough into pieces. You can do 12 or 16 pieces, depending on how large you want the naan to be.
Roll the dough out to about 6 inches across and 1/8 inch thick.
Preheat a cast iron skillet over high heat. Cook the dough for 2 minutes on the first side…
Or until it’s deeply browned.
Flip and cook for 2 more minutes, or until the underside has very dark, almost black spots.
Repeat with the remaining pieces of dough. You can brush the tops of the naan with garlic butter, or leave them plain.
Here are some ways I’ve served this sourdough naan bread:
- Alongside chicken curry for dipping.
- As the crust for mini pizzas.
- Filled with chicken, tomatoes, cucumbers, and a tzatziki sauce.
- Spread with butter and cinnamon sugar. Yum!
- Wrapped around hot dogs.
- I’m sure you could knead this dough by hand if you don’t own a stand mixer. It’s quite easy to work with.
- You can substitute olive oil for the ghee if you like.
- If you’re planning on using the naan for pizza crust, I recommend dividing it into 12 or fewer pieces so they’re bigger.
- You can roll the dough out even thinner if you plan to use the naan for a sandwich wrap. Be careful not to overcook the dough!
- If you have more than one cast iron skillet, get them both going! That way the naan bread will cook twice as fast.
Do you have a creative way that you like to use naan bread? Share with us in the comments!
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