Bread. It makes everyone happier. And flatbreads like naan and pita do all their rising in an hour—easier than getting to the bakery on some days!
I first made naan when I found an online recipe for Butter Chicken (thanks Tieghan!) Her step-by-step photos of homemade naan encouraged me, and the delicious factor keeps me making them on a regular basis. Naan originates from Persia and India, pita from Greece and Spain, but you can serve either with whatever you choose, and both make great toast in the morning. Naan’s richer texture comes from adding yogurt and milk to the dough, whereas pita keeps things dairy-free and has a pocket! Try with: palak paneer, dal, the Indian chicken, lentil curry.
makes 8; adapted from Tieghan Gerard of Half-Baked Harvest
- ¼ cup warm water (close to 105°F, no hotter or it might kill the yeast)
- ¾ teaspoon active dry yeast
- 1 tbsp granulated sugar
- 1 cup plain whole milk yogurt
- ¾ cup warm milk (whole or 2%)
- 4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- a few tablespoons melted butter for baking
- optional for serving: cilantro leaves
In a medium mixing bowl, combine the water, sugar, and yeast and stir until the yeast is dissolved. Let it sit for 10 minutes or until the mixture begins to froth and rise.
When the yeast is foamy, add the milk, yogurt, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and mix the with a spoon until the dough comes together. It should be sticky, but should form a ball and be soft. Cover the bowl with a damp towel or plastic wrap and let sit in a warm place 1 hour or if not using right away, overnight in the fridge.
When ready to cook, divide the dough into 8 equal balls and using a rolling pin, roll each piece of dough into an oval shape. It should be about 6–8 inches long and about 1/4-inch thick, but no thinner. Repeat this method with the rest of the dough.
Warm a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat (you want a hot pan). Brush both sides of the naan with melted butter. Place the naan on the hot skillet, cover with a lid and bake for 1 minute, until you see bubbles starting to form. Flip and cook for 1–2 minutes on the other side, until large toasted spots appear on the underside. Brush with a bit more butter if desired, then sprinkle with a little kosher salt and fresh cilantro. Repeat with the rest of the naans and serve.