Naan is one of my favorite foods, though I won’t readily admit it because it has very little nutritional value. It’s also not within our staple diet at home (partially because I cannot make a good gluten-free version, and for the above reason). On Sunday, I was at a family dinner at one of my favorite Lebanese spots, Karam, and it reminded me that I’ve been sitting (not literally of course!) on a great recipe that I adapted from Food Network just a few weeks back and haven’t shared. Now, as I’m finishing this up to share it with you, I can hear Ktams in the background whispering, “we need to make that again this week.” It’s a good thing we have all the ingredients already!
This recipe seems complicated at first, but once you get into the rhythm of things it’s actually quite logical and fun. I like having an assist in the end process (someone to watch the naan on the stove while I am stretching out the next piece on the block). That said, I enjoy these naan with some crispity burn spots on them because the flavor just cannot be beat. You are probably asking yourself what you put on/with the naan when it’s done. Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Baked Red Lentil Falafel Salad (have naan as a side)
- Snack with some hummus! (recipe coming soon but until then store bought works!)
- Dip it into my Spicy Tomato Soup
- Serve it up with my Ginger Chicken and Bok Choy as your starch
- Create some Labneh (or Greek yogurt) wraps with some grilled Brussels Sprouts!
- Alongside some Homemade Hummus is an easy choice
Naah-Naah-Nah-Nah-Nah Naan <3
Homemade Cast Iron Naan
(adapted from Food Network)
- 1 t active dry yeast
- 2 t sugar
- 3/4 c warm water (~100°F)
- 3 T plain yogurt
- 2 T extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 c all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
- 1 t fine sea salt
- 1/8 t baking powder
- 2 T melted butter for slathering on the finished naans
- Coarse sea salt for sprinkling
In a large glass, combine yeast, 1t sugar, and water and let sit until frothy (10 minutes). While that bubbles and froths, sift the flour, salt, 1t sugar and baking powder into a deep bowl.
Once the yeast mixture is ready, add to the glass yogurt and olive oil and mix. Pour the contents of the glass into the deep bowl and combine with a fork, then your hands until the dough comes together–when you get to this point, STOP. Cover with plastic wrap and leave somewhere warm for 2-4 hours (I like to set oven to 200 then turn off when I start my yeast mixture–when it comes time to put the bowl somewhere warm, this space will have cooled down just enough).
When it’s go time–place two bowls next to your work station. Fill one with a half cup of flour, and the other with some warm water. Prime your rolling pin (should you choose to use one), and add some flour to your work surface. Place your trusty cast iron pan on the stove, and get it hot (but not smoking). Have a lid that is large enough to cover the cast iron available–this is important as it will help the naan rise (I used a smaller lid than the pan, but one I could enclose the naan with). Melt the butter and have it off to the side with a basting brush.
The next few steps will go quite quickly–be sure to read through this all first so you aren’t pausing. The dough should be very soft (it’s some of the softest I’ve ever worked with). Carefully divide into 6 lumps and work out one at a time. Using the flour sparingly, slowly stretch the naan lump you’re working with until it is about 8 inches long by 4 inches wide–I like ours about a half inch in thickness. At this point it will be like working with pizza dough so don’t be too afraid to work your hands into it. Once to the noted size, wet your hands and “slap” both sides of the naan, just before carefully placing it into the hot pan. Set a timer for 1 minute.
When that minute has passed, butter the top and flip the naan to the other side using a silicon spatula. Set for another minute, then upon finish, remove the finished product from the pan and rest on a warm plate. This is a good time to butter both sides and salt (if you have time!). Cover the plate loosely with foil to hold in the heat and move on to the next dough roll. This process will go quite quickly, and as you go you will find the perfect timing for browning the naan. Our first time, I went back to my first piece and re-browned it once I had finished the rest. Your final naan will, no doubt, be a work of art!
Serve immediately to the hungry bellies that await! This recipe will serve 3-4 people as a side to the main course.
Like my hummus? Grab my hummus how-to here!