Naan bread is, for me, one of the staples of a good Indian meal. Less rice, more bread; that’s my motto. And it’s a good one. One to live by. Homemade naan bread? Even better. Far better, in fact. Once you’ve learnt to make a good naan bread from the comfort of your home, you’ll never look back.
If possible, please do try and get your hands on some kalonji seeds, even if you only use them for making naan bread. They add an unforgettable fragrance that simply compels you to eat more. But kalonji seeds, often called nigella seeds or even black onion seeds, can be devilishly difficult to lay your hands on. If you’re feeling lucky, turn your attention to any Asian supermarket in sight. If you’re not, order them online.
Learning how to make naan bread is absolutely vital, in my opinion. The stuff you get from the supermarket just isn’t right. Please don’t tell me you thought it was. Ok, so it’s palatable, but it isn’t mind blowing. This naan bread is, but it’s also easy to make. Surprisingly so. But you need to be aware of one thing…
This dough is sticky and relatively difficult to work with. Don’t be scared. Get your hands messy. Resign yourself to a mucky surface. Embrace the perceived disaster. All will be well. You have my word. This isn’t a traditional white bread dough. And nor should it be. Your patience will be rewarded. Just trust the recipe; it’s good.
Homemade Naan Bread
- 200g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
- 150g strong white bread flour
- 7g fast action yeast
- 1 tbsp salt
- 100ml water, lukewarm
- 100ml milk
- 1 tbsp honey
- 2 tbsp olive oil, or ghee
- 4 tbsp natural yoghurt
- 1 tsp kalonji seeds (nigella)
- Combine the flours in a large mixing bowl. Add the yeast and salt on opposing sides and bring everything together.
- Mix together the water, milk, honey, olive oil and natural yoghurt in a measuring jug and pour into a well in the centre of the flour mixture.
- Add the kalonji seeds and bring it all together by hand, before tipping out onto a generously floured surface.
- Knead the dough for 10 minutes. Transfer the dough to a clean, lightly oiled mixing bowl and cover with a spotless tea towel. Stow somewhere warm and dry to rise for 1 hour.
- Once the dough has, roughly, doubled in size turn it out onto a floured surface and give it a quick knead. Divide into 6 equal portions.
- Press each ball of dough into a flat, naan-type shape. Take a heavy-based pan and dry fry the naan one at a time over a medium heat.
- Cook on each side, turning once the dough has visibly risen. Each naan should be browned, or even slightly caught, on either side.
Cost: Despite a few additions – namely honey, yoghurt and oil – your homemade naan bread won’t set you back very much at all. And certainly far less than any you’d find in a shop. If you’re spending more than 75p you may be doing it wrong.