Nothing is quite as satisfying to eat alongside a bowl of Indian curry than fresh-off-the-griddle naan. And this surprisingly easy, full-flavored sourdough naan does not disappoint.
I grew up going to a great Indian restaurant in Tokyo that I loved, and we’d always ask for several orders of naan. There’s something about the crispy-in-some-spots-and-chewy-in-some-spots that just gets my every time.
And until recently, naan was something you could only get in good Indian restaurants. But now it’s available in pretty much any grocery store, which is very exciting. And in a pinch, it’s great. But for those dark ages when it wasn’t available and I wanted naan with my curry, I eagerly made some decent faux homemade naan. And it was actually really great. But it’s wasn’t quite right. I needed the real thing (minus actually having to use a tandoori oven because … well, I don’t have one and I assume you don’t either). And to me, the “real thing” always goes back to the days before granulated yeast was invented a mere 60+ years ago. What did they do before granulated yeast? Sourdough, my friends.
I’ve gone into the nutritional benefits of sourdough (aka wild yeast or natural yeast) before, so I won’t go into specifics too much here. But it’s something that I really value and love. It’s the way bread is meant to be. It heals our bodies rather than harming them like modern yeasted bread, and a study I recently read even talks about how sourdough bread doesn’t raise blood sugar like non-sourdough bread, whether it be white or whole grain.
So if you weren’t already on the sourdough train, hopefully that convinces you. Also, really truly, the flavor is just incomparable. The complexity of flavor with a properly fermented bread made with a sourdough starter is just a different beast all together. And don’t be turned off by the name, not all sourdough is sour. This naan is not.
One thing that’s changed for me since I started on my sourdough journey is becoming more precise about measuring. And that means using a scale. So I won’t have volume measurements for in the recipe card, I’ll have everything in grams. But there are still varying factors like climate, elevation, ambient temperature, ingredients varying in moisture content, so the most important thing is feel. And watch the video to see what it should look like.
This recipe is actually super forgiving, especially in the shaping phase. Little tears and uneven thickness is actually a good thing, so don’t stress out. Just pat yourself on the back for making your own naan, make a batch of your favorite curry (like this one), and feel good about what you’re eating.
- 300 grams all-purpose flour, preferably organic
- 150 grams plain whole milk yogurt*
- 7 grams unrefined fine sea salt
- 250 grams ripe sourdough starter**
- 16 grams ghee or melted butter (plus more for the pan and for brushing on finished naan)
- In a medium bowl, combine the ingredients and stir with a dough whisk or wooden spoon. Stir together until well combined and no wet or dry streaks remain. Scrape the sides of the bowl and, using slightly wet hands, gather the dough into the middle of the bowl. Allow to rise for 8~12 hours.
- During this rise, you want to fold the dough every 30 minutes for the first 2 hours. You do that by reaching under the dough with wet hands, lifting it out of the bowl and folding the end under. Repeating on all 4 sides. (Watch the video) This helps the elasticity by developing gluten and creating tension in the dough.
- Once the dough has risen, Pull it out of the bowl and cut it into 8 equal portions. Take one piece, roll it into a ball, press it into a disk and start gently stretching the dough into about a 11~12 inch rough oval. If you get any small holes, don't worry. It's a very rustic bread and unevenness is desirable.
- Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Brush the surface with a little bit of butter of ghee and place a stretched piece of dough flat on the skillet. Once the surface is bubbled and the bottom has golden brown spots, flip it over and cook on the second side. Once the second side is bubbled and browned, remove from the skillet, brush with a little more butter or ghee. Repeat with remaining dough. Serve immediately.
- *yogurt can vary significantly in thickness, so you may have a to add cold water if using a thicker yogurt. Add 1 tablespoon at a time until the dough is sticky but can hold it's shape.
- **For this recipe, you want a starter at the peak of ripeness. So once it's risen to double, that's when you want to use it. The best way to monitor this is by creating a "levain" where you remove a bit of starter and feed it and use it once it's active and bubbly and doubled. Having said that, it's a fairly forgiving recipe, so you can still work with a starter at any stage and have successful results.
- White Chocolate Pecan Sourdough - Scratch Eats - […] most importantly (and as I mentioned in my naan recipe), everything is measured in weight rather than volume. No more…