I’m a bread girl. Always have been.
Give me a big hunk of chewy, soft French bread to gnaw on and I’m one happy camper. And I don’t just love bread—I love the entire bread baking process. I love the scent of the yeasty dough in my hands and the way it always takes on a life of it’s own. I love the mixing, the proofing, the baking…and most of all, I love the eating!
Yep, I’m a bread girl all right.
However, even though I love it, I definitely don’t profess to be some sort of bread guru. Friday, for example, I wanted homemade naan with my channa masala and had no earthly idea how to make it. Where does one turn with that craving strike?? What does one do?!
Friends, allow me to show you.
Have you had your coffee yet?
No? Go grab some—I’ll wait.
There! Now get ready. This post is a long one but there’s a lot of love in it and I’m promising upfront that this is not a waste of your time. I’m not just going to write some crazy long bread post without promising to deliver the goods.
This naan is delicious. Like, kinda ridiculous. I definitely don’t know everything, but I do know that there’s not much in life that a good homemade loaf of bread can’t semi-fix. I mean, it’s not going to take away your bills, your taxes or your upcoming traffic court date, but when you rip apart that first steamy bite, dripping with roasted garlic butter, life will be good. It just will be.
So are you in? I hope so.
Bread baking is the definition of making something out of nothing.
With just four ingredients (not including water), you can create delicious homemade bread at home…just like the kind you buy at fancy bakeries! I know that many people are intimidated by the whole process, but I promise…it’s really not as scary as it looks.
So, start off by measuring out a cup and a half of warm water. The water should be warm but not scalding hot….about one hundred degrees, if you measure. I just stick my finger in it and if it’s the temperature of bath water, it’s a go!
Pour one teaspoon of active dry yeast in the warm water and give it a little stiry-stir.
This is where you’ll add a pinch of sugar. Sugar feeds the yeast so its important not skip this step…unless you’re baking bread that calls for milk. Milk has natural sugars in it already so no need to add the sugar.
But today, we add the sugar. Just a pinch. If you see bubbles, it’s a good thing. The bubbles mean the yeast is aaaaaaalive!
Sorry. That does look sort of gross but I wanted to show you all what the bubbles look like! I’ll stop now and show you prettier pictures, like how the yeast and water look when you add a little flour and begin mixing.
Okay fine. I give up. The entire bread baking process isn’t the most photogenic thing ever but I promise it’s worth the bubbles and the mess. Just wait!
The amount of flour you use is kinda up in the air. I’m going to say measure out three cups to start, but you’ll have to be the judge if you need it all. What I did was add about a cup and a half to start, mixed on low speed for a few minutes and then added another cup and a half.
After you add all the flour and the salt, you’re going to mix on medium high speed for about six minutes. This develops the gluten in the dough and gives it that nice chew we all know and love. When you’re done, your dough will still be a little sticky but you should be able to pull it thin without ripping.
When the dough is done, it will have a rather elastic feel to it. This is a pretty basic French bread dough and it’s on the loose side. It’s not going to form a perfectly smooth ball like pizza dough. However, another tell-tale sign that the dough is done is when the mixer has started to clear the sides of the bowl like this:
From start to finish, the entire mixing process took me ten minutes with my Kitchen Aid. If you are brave and going to try this by hand, it’ll probably take you about fifteen.
Now rub some oil in a large bowl, plop that baby in and cover with plastic wrap. Set in a warm place and let rise for almost two hours.
Yes, two hours. Go do something else while you’re waiting….like yoga….or online shopping! Or, even better, start roasting your garlic for the butter. Check here for details on that, but it should only take about thirty minutes. When it’s done, drain the garlic from the oil and smoosh it with about four tablespoons of soft butter.
If you’ve done your yoga, shopped till you dropped and roasted your garlic, the dough should be about ready. Let’s check.
Perfection. You want it about double the size it was when you left.
Now, divide it into four baby dough blobs…
And then flatten those babies into naan sized disks. Feel free to give ’em a good slap on the counter and put some elbow grease in it.
(We’re almost done! We’re almost done!)
Sprinkle some water on each and just start poking the dough like crazy. Really dig your fingers in there…don’t be scared! This is what makes naan naan!
Perfect. Lay each piece of dough on a lined sheet tray, sprinkle with sea salt, and bake at 475 for ten minutes. Naan is traditionally made on a grill (or on a stovetop), but I’ve found the oven works great, too.
Now it’s time for a brief intermission while I tell you that while baking these here naan (naan? naans?), I accidentally set off the fire alarm off in my apartment complex. Sometimes these things happen….you just have to roll with them.
That being said, even if you do manage to set your oven on fire and set off the alarm, your naan will still come out of the oven all puffed up smelling absolutely heavenly. I’m telling you…there’s nothing like the smell of freshly baked bread!
Well, unless your kitchen is filled with smoke.
You probably shouldn’t listen to a thing I say, let alone follow my lead. Sheesh!
At this point though, if you are still here, I highly recommend brushing the loaves with roasted garlic butter.
And then sticking it back in the oven, under broil, for approximately four minutes. When it comes out, it will be positively sinful. At this point, you may either dunk it in a large bowl of channa masala or daal, or just tear right into it. It’s okay. I’ve been there.
I have a sneaking suspicion this would also make delicious flatbread and pizza! But that’s another post for another time.
Roasted Garlic Naan
Inspired by Baking with Julia
makes 4 naan breads
1.5 cups warm water, about 100 degrees farenheight
1 tsp active dry yeast
3-3.5 cups all purpose flour
1.5 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar
4 cloves garlic
4 T butter, softened
1/4 cup olive oil
Combine the yeast, water and sugar and stir gently. Let sit for about five minutes so the yeast can dissolve.
In the bowl of a Kitchen Aid, combine the water/yeast plus a cup and a half of the flour. Mix on low speed for about three minutes. Add the rest of the flour and the salt and increase the speed to high. Let ‘er rip for six minutes, or until the dough begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl and, when pulled, is elastic.
Remove the dough from the bowl and place in a new, lightly oiled, bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for about two hours. It should double in size. While it’s rising, roast the garlic in the olive oil at 400 degrees for thirty minutes. When done, remove the garlic from the olive oil and combine with the softened butter. Discard the oil and set the garlic butter aside.
After the dough has finished rising, turn it out onto a floured counter-top and divide into four equal sections. Flatten each section down into a rectangular shape and then sprinkle with water and prick your fingers in each. This gives it classic naan “dimples”. Lay each on a lined baking sheet and bake at 475 for ten minutes.
Let cool for ten minutes and then brush each naan with garlic butter. Broil for four minutes.
**Naan will last, wrapped in a brown paper bag, for two days though it’s best enjoyed the same day you bake it!
Madeline - Greens and JeansOctober 11, 2010 at 7:54 am
My boyfriend and I made naan a few weeks ago and the leftovers made amazing naan pizzas!
Mary & Christina (Sisters Running the Kitchen)October 11, 2010 at 7:57 am
wow! This looks amazing Jenna! I am 100% a bread gal too. I have been wanting to make your Channa Masala ever since I first saw you post it. I have never had indian food though! How would you describe the taste of this?
Tabitha (From Single to Married)October 11, 2010 at 7:58 am
Oh – I’m a bread girl too (unfortunately as it doesn’t love me as much as I love it). And this naan looks great!
AshleyOctober 11, 2010 at 8:05 am
Ahhh, this makes me want to make more naan!! I made it recently and grilled it. Loved how bubbly and doughy it was with the nice grilled crust. 🙂
AlexiaOctober 11, 2010 at 8:11 am
i love how you took us along each step (i especially needed that!).
Mara @ What's For Dinner?October 11, 2010 at 8:12 am
My naan recipe was TOTALLY different, but yours looks about 100x easier… love it!
Beth @ Beth's Journey to ThinOctober 11, 2010 at 8:13 am
Wow thanks so much for sharing this recipe! I love naan but never thought to make it at home!
RuneatrepeatOctober 11, 2010 at 8:14 am
I am obsessed with naan right now and this actually looks easier enough for me to make myself 🙂
ClaireOctober 11, 2010 at 8:14 am
I love Naan so much! I definitely want to make my own as a fellow bread girl!
Brooke (Baking with Basil)October 11, 2010 at 8:18 am
I LOVE LOVE LOVE naan!! And that roasted garlic butter sounds wonderful! Can’t wait to try this recipe out!!
Jessica @ How SweetOctober 11, 2010 at 8:23 am
I’m not a huge bread girl, but I AM a naan girl!
chelsey @ clean eating chelseyOctober 11, 2010 at 8:26 am
ChristineOctober 11, 2010 at 8:41 am
That was going to be my reply!
Haha. And roasted garlic butter? Really?! I just had a sweet breakfast but –yeah, wow.
Estela @ Weekly BiteOctober 11, 2010 at 8:28 am
I could live off bread for the rest of my life!! Can’t wait to try this!
cathy b. @ brightbakes.comOctober 11, 2010 at 8:29 am
I’m a yeast lovin’ gal…can’t wait to try this…Indian is one cuisine I haven’t ventured too far with yet…so this will be fun!
Cathy B. @ brightbakes
Kristina @ spabettieOctober 11, 2010 at 8:33 am
I made naan once – nothing like the fresh warm yummy.
yours looks fabulous and much easier than I remember… well done! thanks for sharing!
Heather (Heather's Dish)October 11, 2010 at 8:33 am
i’m a bread girl too, through and through. i definitely am going to make this asap…i mean, you had me at roasted garlic!
Faith @ lovelyaschargedOctober 11, 2010 at 8:43 am
I’m a carboholic – and a HUGE naan fiend, but I never thought it would be this easy to make! I feel like I should try this out tonight! Do you think making it whole wheat – or at least partially whole wheat – would go over okay?
TinaOctober 11, 2010 at 8:46 am
I’ve never been a huge bread person, but that’s likely because I don’t think I have quality bread enough. Any time I’ve tasted real GOOD bread, I love it.
Amanda (Eating Up)October 11, 2010 at 8:52 am
Hopefully this step-by-step process will actually help me in successfully making bread from scratch!
jenOctober 11, 2010 at 8:54 am
for the recipe you linked to dahl- i have 2 questions!
1) can you use green lentils or do you have to use red?
2) why coconut oil as opposed to evoo? flavor combo thing? (i’m a rookie cook)
Becky RunnerOctober 11, 2010 at 5:41 pm
I haven’t looked at Jenna’s dahl link, but based on the dahl I’ve made (from The Yoga Cookbook) red lentils are pretty necessary because of their shorter cooking time…I always use olive oil (because it’s what I have), but coconut oil is recommended because it stays stable at higher temperatures whereas olive oil doesn’t. Good luck!!
jenOctober 12, 2010 at 9:34 am
thanks so much!
jennaOctober 11, 2010 at 8:55 am
YUM. i love the texture of naan! perfection
Crunchy Granola GalOctober 11, 2010 at 9:07 am
ohhh yum. what fun! i’ve been hankering for some naan after watching aarti compete and win on next food network star! i just wonder if i have the patience. hmmm. maybe a sunday project?
grocery goddess jenOctober 11, 2010 at 9:14 am
They serve a stuffed naan at my favorite Indian place…how do you think you’d go about doing that? Those look fantastic, by the way!
Natalia - a side of simpleOctober 11, 2010 at 9:22 am
So excited that you posted a naan bread recipe!! Totally made my day 🙂
rachel @ fadedapronOctober 11, 2010 at 9:23 am
that looks delicious. will have to try the recipe sometime. i’ve never had much success making indian food.
rachel @ fadedapronOctober 11, 2010 at 9:24 am
that looks delicious. will have to try the recipe sometime. i’ve never had much success making indian food!
eatmoveloveOctober 11, 2010 at 9:28 am
So if you use milk – do you substitute that for the water??
Naan is incredible – so soft, doughy, chewy, buttery…it satisfies all of my needs.
Naan is dangerous though…very dangerous…
hippierunnerOctober 11, 2010 at 9:29 am
Your bread looks so good! I kinda love how ‘making bread’ seems like such a daunting task but it really doesn’t have to be. I am excited to make this!
DorryOctober 11, 2010 at 9:38 am
I CAN SMELL this bread in this post. I love you for that.
LisaOctober 11, 2010 at 9:59 am
I LOVE love love indian food and naan bread! Thanks for the recipe!
Jasmine @ Eat Move WriteOctober 11, 2010 at 10:09 am
Is this the naan that caused you to almost burn down the house? lol. Clearly, it was worth it. :p
Shannon, Tropical EatsOctober 11, 2010 at 10:41 am
mmm never tried naan but LOVE indian food! Not sure how I haven’t had it yet!
AmyOctober 11, 2010 at 11:08 am
Thanks for breaking it down, now I have no excuse but to make naan when the Indian craving strikes which usually comes weekly once fall and winter are upon us. I also make your chana masala monthly, love that stuff. Have you ever made a good palaak paneer? Looking for a good recipe.
LizOctober 11, 2010 at 11:29 am
This naan looks AMAZING. I love naan, but have never thought of making my own. I think you have inspired me.
CamilleOctober 11, 2010 at 11:30 am
I am voting for you for sure!
Katherine @ curvesforlifeOctober 11, 2010 at 11:46 am
Loving your blog these days. It’s all about the joy in life 🙂
MeghanOctober 11, 2010 at 11:57 am
do you chop up the garlic before roasting?
jennaOctober 11, 2010 at 12:28 pm
nope—you just roast it whole, skin and all. when it’s done, it will come out of the skin really nice and easy.
SheriOctober 11, 2010 at 12:59 pm
I literally just jumped off of my couch to make this… I didn’t even finish reading it before I started making it! I’ve really been wanted to bake bread, but I’ve been really intimidated by it. I’m half-way through already and letting it rise! I’m leaving for the grocery store in a minute for my garlic…
Thanks for the great recipes! I want to make everything you post!!!! (And I do make about 25% of it)
rebecca lustigOctober 11, 2010 at 1:13 pm
ive never made naan, but have been dying to get my hands on a recipe– thanks!!
my dad makes a MEAN cuban bread. it is literally the perfect combination of soft and chewy and crunchy.
ThereseOctober 11, 2010 at 1:23 pm
Oh my gosh! THANK YOU for sharing this recipe! I’ve been dying to make naan but have been a little worried, now I’ll definitely have to give it a go!
Laura (Starloz)October 11, 2010 at 4:19 pm
naan, now thats a bread i love
The Time I Almost Killed The Family Dog — Eat, Live, RunOctober 11, 2010 at 5:23 pm
[…] here’s the story—start to finish. Read at your own risk then go bake some naan. Just take my advice and keep it far, far away from family […]
DeeOctober 11, 2010 at 6:11 pm
oh my gosh! this looks amazing!
anonymousOctober 12, 2010 at 6:14 pm
sorry to be picky here…but naan is made in a tandoor–a specific type of oven from punjab, north india. it’s not made on a stovetop or in a regular oven at all. baking it in the tandoor is what makes it naan. just wanted to set the record straight. and there’s no such thing as “dahl.” it’s spelled daal or dal depending on which region of india you’re in. and “naan” is the word, both for singular and plural. it means bread, so “naan bread” (like “chai tea”) is redundant. kind of funny to those of us who speak the language….
AllAboutNaanJanuary 1, 2011 at 7:32 am
Your comments do not seem “picky” to me. I appreciate the information and cultural corrections. I have made this recipe several times now, and, while the results are undeniably worthy of the effort, the bread is not “naan”. It’s more like a pizza dough but thicker.
I will continue to make this recipe, but I will also continue searching for a naan recipe that can be made in a conventional oven (since I am not likely to acquire a tandoor anytime in the near future).
Thanks for the spelling correction on “dal”. I would have put the “h” in it, if I ever found a need to write it down. 🙂
JilOctober 13, 2010 at 9:52 am
This looks absolutely wonderful!
GracieOctober 14, 2010 at 11:29 am
Epic failed today at making bread. I forgot the salt, so I did what all beginners do, try to work the salt in after the clump of dough has already formed it’s shape. I’m hoping for something decent…
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LaurenDecember 29, 2010 at 11:09 am
Ah i cant wait to try this… i have yet to be successful at cooking bread ( which is the way to my heart 🙂 ) but i am determined to get this down!
amandaJanuary 8, 2011 at 10:41 am
oops forgot the salt too. twice 🙁
MaryMarch 7, 2011 at 11:34 am
I made this and the chicken tikka masala last night. Well, I should say I tried to make this. Sorry, Jenna, but this recipe was a bust.
The dough took more than 20 minutes to pull away from the sides of my mixer. I should have given up there, but I tried to have faith and I let it rise. When I turned it out onto my counter, it was a loose mess. I persevered and baked it, and ended up with thick, heavy bread. Not untasty (I mean, it is bread), but not naan.
I’ve made naan many times before and thought I’d give your recipe a go since it looked easier, but I’ll stick with my old recipes from now on.
jennaMarch 7, 2011 at 11:55 am
Sorry that happened to you—I hate it when things don’t go as planned! I’ve had a good handful of people (including my mom yesterday) make this recipe and had great results so you may want to check the amount of water you used and the temperature. Bread is super tricky–even the slightest little thing can cause a big ol’ fail. I’ve been there!
HilaryJoMarch 21, 2011 at 4:04 pm
OH MAN!! Just made this to go with a stir fry for dinner, it was AMAZING. Seriously, SOOO good. I want to make some more and fry and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar to make elephant ears…maybe next time! 🙂
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LoganAugust 25, 2011 at 6:46 am
This looks so good. I don’t care if it is authentic or not! I do have a question for you about using your Kitchenaid Mixer. I noticed you used the paddle attachment to mix instead of the dough hook. I have never made bread with my mixer, but I would have probably used the hook instead. Does it matter? Maybe you don’t have a dough hook. I have both! Just wanted to see what you had to say about that since you are the baker and I am definitely not! Can’t wait to try the recipe.
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Jennifer JonesFebruary 25, 2013 at 1:16 pm
I am so excited to have found your blog! Friday I made the Baingan Bharta. My husband and I loved it so much. I didn’t have garam masala so I googled an easy how to make recipe and it turned out awesome. Sat as we ate the leftovers we said it would be great to have it again that night, but I hadn’t bought enough tomatoes so now it is Monday… I am making the Baingan Bharta, Channa Masala and the Naan. I love your blog because you talk like I do. I also occasionally set off the fire alarm. Hey the more you cook the more you do that, right? Keep up the awesome work!
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AllisonFebruary 19, 2014 at 10:49 am
My friend and I cooked and Indian themed meal this weekend and used this Naan recipe. It was SO good. My small apartment got pretty smoky making them, but I figured that meant we were doing it right :). Thanks so much for sharing the recipe!
CarolineAugust 21, 2014 at 9:48 am
Can’t wait to try this recipe, Jenna! I was wondering…can you freeze the dough? I was thinking it would be awesome to bake fresh on a week night, but that would require assembling the dough in advance and having it ready when I get home from work!
EmmaDecember 9, 2017 at 4:33 pm
Made this to go with some chicken tikka masala tonight and it was PERFECT! Delicious and super easy. I never have to worry about not having naan again 🙂