I know you’ve been on the edge of your seat waiting for the recipe for the Sourdough Naan Bread that accompanied my Coconut Lentil Cauliflower Curry last week! Wait no further, here it is!
I do have to admit that, while this naan bread is extremely tasty and versatile, it’s not quite traditional. This bothers me only because when I cook I like to make things the way they are supposed to be made. In the traditional way, that is.
However, to make naan bread the real way you must have a tandoor oven, and alas, I do not possess one of these wood fired, cylindrical clay devices. Bummer for me, yes. Maybe Joel will make me one someday if I’m lucky. But, naan bread can still be made in a home oven with pretty darn good results. And I, of course, like to make it with some sourdough starter and half whole wheat flour, because that’s how I roll.
How to Make Sourdough Naan Bread
This dough needs to rise for at least 4 hours, so you’ll want to start it in the early afternoon. First mix together some flour, salt, bread yeast and just a pinch of baking soda. I use half and half white unbleached and whole wheat flour.
Then add some sourdough starter, olive oil and plain yogurt.
Stir it all together to make a very shaggy dough. Then dissolve some honey into lukewarm water and pour that in.
Stir it all together and lightly knead for a couple of minutes in the bowl with a spatula, as the dough should be somewhat wet. If it’s still a little dry, slowly add more water 1 Tbsp at a time until it’s fairly wet and looks like this:
Cover it with plastic wrap and let sit for at least 4 hours. . . .
When you start to feel hungry for sourdough naan bread (who doesn’t?), preheat your oven to 475°F and generously rub a sheet pan with olive oil. Flour your work surface well and turn your dough out of the bowl. Flour your hands and give it several good kneads.
Now it should be nice and smooth. Use your hands to separate the dough into six separate pieces that are roughly the same size.
You may need to flour your hands a bit again for this next part. Take each piece and stretch it out slowly by holding on to the dough at the edge and rotating it in your hands, sort of like a mini pizza. I would have taken a picture of this, but I am not superwoman. I like to try to make different shapes and fit them together on the pan like a puzzle. Rustic blobs are what I call them.
While they are just chillin’ there on the pan for a few minutes, chop up some garlic if you’re so inclined (if you’re not, you should be) and mix it with some melted ghee (clarified butter) or olive oil. Spread that goodness on top of the rustic dough blobs.
Chuck the pan into the hot oven and watch closely as it doesn’t take very long! After about 7-8 minutes (or even sooner depending on your oven) the bottoms should be nice and golden brown, so go ahead and give them a flip.
Put them back in the oven, but only for 2-3 minutes this time as you don’t want the garlic to burn!
Take them out, flip them back over and add some chopped chives or other fresh herbs. There you have it, homemade in the oven, garlic Sourdough Naan Bread!
Serve alongside your favorite Indian dish and you’re good to go! This bread is so delicious and pretty darn easy to make, there’s no reason not to. You don’t have to only eat it with Indian food, either, it’s versatile!
Naan bread personal mini pizzas? Boom. Naan bread pork shoulder soft tacos? Booyah. Naan bread with a side of naan bread? Wait, that’s a little much. But I wouldn’t hold it against you if that’s what you want, because I know how good it is. This naan bread is your oyster, now you just have to make it!
Here are a few of my other favorite and equally delicious sourdough recipes:
Sourdough Naan Bread
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1 cup whole wheat flour plus extra for dusting
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp rapid rise bread yeast
- pinch baking soda
- ¼ cup sourdough starter
- 3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil divided
- 2 Tbsp plain yogurt
- 1 tsp honey
- ¾ cup lukewarm water
- 2 cloves garlic chopped
- 1 Tbsp ghee melted
- 1 Tbsp chopped chives
- Whisk together the flours, salt, bread yeast, and baking soda.
- Add the sourdough starter, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and yogurt. Stir until a shaggy dough forms.
- Dissolve the honey in the water, then add to the bowl. Stir together and lightly knead in the bowl with the spatula. The dough should be fairly wet. If it's still a little dry, add more water a tablespoon at a time until it reaches the correct consistency (see post photos).
- Cover with plastic wrap and set aside for at least 4 hours at room temperature.
- When you're ready to bake the naan, heat the oven to 425°F. Rub a sheet pan with the remaining tablespoon of olive oil and set aside.
- Turn the dough onto a floured work surface. Flour your hands and give the dough several good kneads until smooth.
- Divide the dough into 6 equally sized pieces.
- Flour your hands again, then stretch out each piece of dough until it's about half an inch thick. Place all six pieces of naan dough onto the greased baking sheet.
- Mix the chopped garlic with the melted ghee and spread onto the top of the naan dough.
- Transfer the baking sheet to the oven and bake until the undersides are golden brown, 7-8 minutes. Remove the baking sheet from the oven, flip over each piece, then place back in the oven and bake another 2-3 minutes.
- Remove the baking sheet from the oven and flip the pieces back over so that the garlic side is up. Sprinkle with chopped chives and eat immediately.
- This dough needs to rise for at least 4 hours, so you’ll want to start it in the early afternoon.
Is there a substitute for ghee, since I don’t have any?
Grow Forage Cook Ferment says
You can use coconut oil or any other high-smoke oil.
Please provide amount in grams as well.
Grow Forage Cook Ferment says
On the list of ingredients, you can click, “metric” and it will convert the ingredient list to grams.
I was thinking of mixing this up in the morning and putting it in the fridge until I get home from work, like I do with my sourdough bread dough overnight. Or…because I don’t have the rapid rise bread yeast, just regular packaged yeast, I may be able to get away with leaving it out all day until I get home. Or would it be possible to use more sourdough starter instead of any yeast?
I don’t want to ruin it the first time trying because I’m less likely to make it again if it’s not that good. Have you ever tried any of these other methods? I don’t want it to overproof because it’s just not as good then. Trying to make it during the week isn’t as good as on the weekend obviously, but I forgot to make my starter in time. Wump wump.
Grow Forage Cook Ferment says
Hi there. I haven’t tried any of those methods with this recipe, but I think retarding your dough while you’re at work should work fine.
I absolutely love naan, but haven’t enjoyed it in quite a while because it’s hard to find any whole-food ones!
Would this perhaps work with a spelt sourdough starter (and spelt flour)? I have some dormant right now and this seems like the perfect use for it, especially as an excuse to use the mint growing in the garden! Lol
Thanks for this recipe,
I also use spelt flour and I was thinking the very same thing since it is not a loaf requiring more structure.
Being Vegan is there anything besides yogurt that I can use?
Coconut milk yogurt would probably work well. Just pick a brand that’s nice and sour.
Very tasty. Sourdough starter worked great.
Haha. Naan bread with a side of Naan bread. That is my style! We’re going to give this one a go this weekend. Thanks!
John McAlonan says
I want to bring naan to a friend’s house for dinner. Does it travel well and keep for about 1 hour?
Can you make naan in a loaf and slice it?
Don Cochrane says
… yer good.