Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Whole Wheat Naan

Whole Wheat Naan

I first enjoyed Naan at Indian restaurants, and I was so excited when I found this recipe for it so I could make it myself at home.   This version is whole wheat, and while it doesn't taste exactly like what you will get in a restaurant and is probably not completely traditional, it's really good!  Honestly in some ways I like it even better.  It's also not that hard to make, and takes less time compared to many breads because there is only one rise.  Even if you are not a confident bread maker, you should definitely try this recipe!  So how do you make this naan?  Combine all of the ingredients and knead for a few minutes (a mixer makes this super easy).  Then, let rise until doubled (about 1.5 hours):

Whole Wheat Naan
Whole Wheat Naan

Separate the dough into equal sized pieces.  I separate into 8 pieces for fairly large pieces of naan, but you could choose to make smaller naan if you want.  Roll each piece of dough into a rough oval (or any shape you want really!).  Make sure to roll it pretty thin.  Heat a griddle (or skillet) over medium high heat-- really let it heat up.  You want the griddle very hot so that air bubbles will appear in the naan when you cook it.  Cook the naan in batches for a couple of minutes on the first side and then another minute on the second side.

Whole Wheat Naan
Whole Wheat Naan

Once it's cooked, admire your naan and eat!   This naan contains whole wheat flour, Greek yogurt, olive oil, and an egg (as well as a few other small ingredients).  All of those ingredients help to make it an extremely hearty and filling bread.  It really has a lot of flavor on its own.   You can eat naan plain, or spread with nut butter.  Of course you can also eat it with lots of Indian foods.  I love having it with curries or other foods that have a sauce so you can dip the naan in.  Tomorrow I'll be sharing one of our favorite recipes to eat with naan!

Whole Wheat Naan

Don't you just wish you were eating some naan right now?  :)  If you have leftover naan, you can store it airtight in the freezer.  When ready to serve, defrost and toast to get crispy if desired.  Once you get the hang of this recipe, you can also experiment with adding other toppings to the naan such as garlic or cheese like you see in restaurants!  

Whole Wheat Naan

Whole Wheat Naan

yield: 8 large naan

  • 1/2 cup lukewarm water, plus additional as necessary (or--  if you make yogurt like me and have extra whey, use that instead of water!)
  • 2 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 2 cups white whole wheat flour (or traditional whole wheat)
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil + additional olive oil for cooking
  • 1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt (I used nonfat, but any kind is fine)
  • 1 large egg


1)  Combine all ingredients and knead to make a smooth dough, about 5 minutes.**

2) Transfer to a greased bowl, cover, and let rise in a warm spot until doubled, about 1.5 hours.  If your house is cold, turn your oven on for a couple of minutes while you are mixing up the ingredients and then shut it off.  This will give your dough a nice warm place to rise!

3)  Divide the dough into 8 pieces (or more if desired).

4)  Heat a griddle (or nonstick skillet) over medium-high heat.  Let it heat up for a few minutes.

5)  Roll the first few naan thinly into the desired shape.  Traditionally they are somewhat oval in shape.  My naan were about 7 inches by 4 inches. 

6)  Drizzle a teaspoon or so of olive oil on the griddle and let it heat up.  Transfer 1 or 2 naan to the griddle and cook until dark brown spots appear on the bottom, about 2 minutes.  You should see lots of air bubbles!  If you don't, your griddle might not be hot enough yet.  Flip the naan and cook on the other side for another minute, until dark brown.  It's okay if there are semi-burned spots!

7)  Repeat step 6 with the rest of the naan.

8)  Serve warm plain,  as a side to a meal, or any other way you want!  Store uneaten naan in the freezer and then defrost (and toast if desired) when ready to eat.

**Add additional water, a teaspoon at a time, as necessary.  The amount of water your naan needs will vary depending on the humidity, which has a lot to do with the season.  During the winter, your dough will need more water than during the summer.  This is true for all bread doughs!  The naan dough should be fairly soft, though definitely not wet.  You can see how it looked after I kneaded it in the "before rising" picture up at the top of this post. 

(recipe adapted from the little red house)

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