Naan bread

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The origin of the term "naan" traces back to the Persian word nรขn, which simply means "bread." This term found its way into various languages across the Indian subcontinent and Central Asia, eventually becoming associated with a distinct type of bread. Over time, it gained popularity globally alongside the bread style itself.

Interestingly, the spelling "naan" emerged as a deviation from the original "nan," yet it gained widespread usage and dominance, particularly since the late 1970s.

Forget the take away, make it yourself from now on. These are way better than packaged shop bought naan breads.

Naan bread
Makes 4 of the best naan breads you will ever have tasted
Servings:2 to 4
Calories per serving:477
Ready in:3 hours 15 minutes
Prep. time:3 hours
Cook time:15 minutes
Difficulty:Average difficulty
Recipe author:Chef
First published:31st January 2013

Best recipe review

Fluffy and crunchy


The only naans I've had that tasted better than these were in India!

Paul R Smith


Printable ๐Ÿ–จ shopping ๐Ÿ›’ list & ๐Ÿ‘ฉโ€๐Ÿณ method for this recipe

Mise en place

  • Preheat your top grill to its highest temperature


  1. Knead the dough by combining all the ingredients and sufficient water, this will be roughly ¾ cup.
  2. Wrap the dough in a damp muslin cloth and leave it to rise for 2-3 hours.
  3. Preheat an oven tray under your grill on it's very highest heat
  4. Divide the dough into 4 small balls.
  5. With a rolling pin or by slapping and stretching with your hands, roll out the balls so they are about the size of a pitta bread.
  6. Unlike some breads, you don't need to let these prove, straight to the oven they go.
  7. Brush a little vegetable oil on to the hot tray, slap the naans on to the tray and grill for about 2 minutes a side, watching it like a hawk! The difference between perfect naan breads and a brown biscuit is about 30 seconds.
  8. They should have a crunch on the outside and a soft spongy inside.

Serving suggestions

Serve hot, brushed with melted butter.

Using a bread maker

If you have a breadmaker, tip all of the ingredients into it, set it on a long (2:20) dough setting and start at step 3 above. It could not be easier.

For the Panasonic SD 253 breadmaker, use basic dough setting.

For the Panasonic SD-ZB2502 automatic breadmaker use menu option 16, basic dough.


Experiment with various flours. The seedy naans shown were made with Allinson seed and grain bread flour instead of plain flour, and they were wonderful. You could of course, just add a handful of mixed grain (barley flakes, kibbled rye, sunflower seeds, millet and linseed) to normal flour.

We've found that by leaving them rise a little in a warm place such as on our fire, pictured, makes them puff up more that they do if you bake them immediately. They are even nicer this way and we now use naans as a preference to pittas. 20 minutes is an ideal time for this, if you leave them any longer they achieve a very bready consistency and are not as nice. Experiment!

Chef's tip

Use a pizza stone if you have one for even better results.

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