If you have ever eaten naan bread before, you probably remember the pillowy soft texture of this type of Asian flatbread. Naan bread is a popular oven-baked flatbread that you can find in west, central, and south Asian countries. The shape, thickness, and ingredients used in the recipes may vary from region to region. Ideally, they should be made using stretchy sticky dough, such as wheat dough.
Fortunately, I had recently found some ingredients I can add to my gluten-free flour to make it stretchy and sticky to mimic the wheat dough. These pillowy soft cushions are the best gluten-free flatbreads I’ve ever had. You can use them to scoop other foods, such as sauce or dips, like you would do in an authentic Indian restaurant.
Let’s make gluten-free naan together 🙂
Do you remember a few months ago, I posted my yeast dough scallion pancake recipe on the blog? Since I had such great success with this stretchy gluten-free dough that uses the magical ingredient, psyllium husk powder, I thought it would also be an easy project to make gluten-free naan. In this naan recipe, I used dairy milk, yogurt (or homemade milk kefir), and yeast as the rising agents. If you want to make the vegan version, you can simply replace the dairy milk with coconut milk and the dairy yogurt with a non-dairy coconut yogurt. I have made both the dairy and vegan version and the difference in taste is insignificant.
Once the dough is formed, let it rise in a warm area of the kitchen for approximately 5 hours. If you can’t use the dough right away, you can refrigerate it for up to 14 hours and then take it out 1 hour before you are going to make the naan. The lower temperature will slow the process of fermentation. If the dough ferments too long, it will be a little bit bitter and sour.
Although these naans are best when they are freshly made and toasty hot, they can be warmed in a microwave oven for a few seconds to half a minute to regain their pillowy soft texture. During our family Christmas gathering potluck, I brought these gluten-free naan breads along with my homemade roasted pepper lentil hummus. They were a hit. In fact, I came home with an empty tray.
- 1 cup milk or non-dairy milk for vegan option
- ½ cup homemade milk kefir or plain yogurt, use non-dairy yogurt for vegan option
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 cups (300 grams) all-purpose gluten-free flour (see note)
- ¼ cup cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon psyllium husk powder
- 1-1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup olive oil for brushing
- 1 tablespoon black sesame seeds or cumin seeds for sprinkling
- In a small mixing bowl, mix together all wet ingredients. In a large mixing bowl, whisk the dry ingredients together. Add the wet ingredient mixture into the dry ingredient mixture and use a spatula or clean hand to form the dough. If you are using a different all-purpose gluten-free flour than indicated in the Note, the wetness of your dough might be different. Add 1 tablespoon of extra milk at a time, if necessary, to form a slightly sticky dough but not too wet. Cover the mixing bowl and let the dough rise in a warm place for 5 hours. The dough should smell yeasty at the end of the fermentation.
- Lightly dust a working surface with some gluten-free flour and transfer the yeast dough onto the surface. Roll the dough gently to form a smooth ball and then flatten the ball to form a disc.
- Divide the dough into 8 pieces and roll each piece into a small smooth ball. Use a rolling pin to form each ball into an oval-shaped disc, approximately ⅛ inch thick.
- Lightly brush a thin layer of olive oil on top of the naan and sprinkle with sesame seeds or cumin seeds.
- Stove Top Method: Heat a cast-iron pan over high heat. When the pan is smoky hot, lightly brush some oil and place the flattened naan dough into the pan, one at a time. Cover with lid and reduce the heat to medium. Cook each side for 1-1/2 minutes. Repeat the process until the dough disks are finished.
- Oven Method: Set the oven to broil. Lightly grease a metal baking sheet. Place a few dough disks on the baking sheet and keep them ½ inch apart. Place the baking sheet on the top rack. Bake each side for 1 to 1-1/2 minutes depends on your oven setting. When you see the dough is forming large bubbles, it’s ready to flip to the other side.
- These gluten-free naan breads are best when served hot. They can be kept in a freezer up to a month. Leftovers can be reheated in a microwave oven to regain the soft texture.
8 oz brown rice flour
8 oz millet flour
8 oz sweet rice flour
8 oz white rice flour
3 oz cornstarch
3 oz tapioca starch
2 oz potato starch
Mix all flour well in a container or a gallon zip-lock bag. Store in freezer.
The store-bought all-purpose gluten-free flour will work for this recipe as well.