Nothing beats a hot, fresh loaf of homemade bread, but nothing else seems quite as intimidating on a weeknight. Three separate rises, with folds in between? Oven preheating and a long baking time to get that crust just right? I mean, I’m all about that on a lazy weekend, but it’s just not going to happen after a long day at work.
Enter this naan. Take five minutes to get it all mixed in the morning, then throw it in the fridge all day to get a super slow, languid rise. You’ll pull the naan with your hands (no special equipment required!), fry it up in a hot skillet, and brush it all over with ghee. Done and done.
The outside gets these beautiful golden, crispy spots, and the inside puffs up to perfect fluffy chewiness. Yogurt brings a bit of tang, balanced by a pinch of sugar. They’re absolutely perfect to get after every last drop of that delicious curry, soup, or sauce of any sort (might I recommend my slow cooker dal makhani for a totally hands-off dinner?), but I have to admit that I’ve also been loving them with peanut butter and jelly. Or straight out of the toaster. It’s hard to go wrong with these guys.
Naan can also take on different personalities with all sorts of different add-ons. For some extra crunch and a flavor burst, try mixing in some toasted coriander or cumin seeds. If you’re a garlic fiend, you can throw some minced garlic into the dough or just fry it on top. Fresh herbs are never a bad choice either. Unless you’re going the naan PB+J route, then I’d advise against the cilantro. Unless you’re into that sort of thing.
Want fresh bread with fewer steps and less effort? Try some skillet naan! Adapted for the stovetop, this traditional Indian flatbread comes out crispy, fluffy, and oh-so-buttery. Just throw it in the fridge all day and enjoy it hot and freshly cooked for dinner!
1 1/2 t. active dry yeast
1/2 c. warm water (about 110 degrees F, feels slightly warm to the touch)
2 1/2 c. flour
1/2 c. yogurt
2 T. ghee or melted butter, plus more for brushing
2 t. sugar
1 t. salt
Oil for frying
Mix the yeast with the warm water in a small bowl and let proof. When you see bubbles and foam on the surface, it’s ready.
In a large bowl, stir together the rest of the ingredients. Add the water and mix until a cohesive dough forms. Knead the dough for about a minute, until it feels elastic and the surface is smooth. Place in an oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and place in the fridge for 8-12 hours.
Remove the dough from the fridge and turn out onto a floured surface. Use a pastry cutter or a knife to divide the dough into six equal pieces. Roll each piece into a ball, cover with plastic wrap, and let sit for 20 minutes.
Heat about 2 teaspoons of oil in a large skillet. Pull the first ball of dough into a flat circle about 6 inches in diameter. If it rips, pinch the edges back together. Carefully drop the naan into the skillet, cover, and cook about two minutes, until the bottom has dark golden spots and the top looks opaque. Use tongs to flip and cook one minute on the other side. While you are cooking, stretch the next piece of dough until you have cooked all of the naan. Brush with extra ghee for extra deliciousness.
Looking for something a little bit different? Try adding toasted cumin or coriander seeds, or throw in some freshly minced garlic (add 2 t. to the flour mixture).