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.
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May 16, 2017
I’m new to the world of sourdough so still much to learn but it pains me if I have to discard any off my starter so I’m most grateful to stumble on your recipe to not let him go to waste 🙂
May 30, 2017
Yay! I’m so glad!
August 12, 2017
I use goat yogurt milk.. I found I forgot The ghee but noticed on video so to me the recipe should not amount in recipe Dough .Love ate three days reheating on oven stone …LOVELY!!
August 21, 2017
Oh I’m so glad it worked for you! Thanks for letting me know:)
July 21, 2020
can I substitute sour cream for the yogurt?
May 23, 2020
I totally forgot to add butter!?!? Will this ruin my batch??
March 26, 2019
I only had about 100 grams of my starter so that’s all I could use, is that going to work ? 🙁
April 20, 2020
Just try it its not quiet the same of the picture 🙂 I wish
August 10, 2017
I like the idea of using yogurt . It’s going to make it wonderfully soft. I’ve been doing mine as a laminated dough using unsalted butter, then bbq it. It’s neat looking at the variety of preparations
August 21, 2017
Ooh, what a brilliant idea! I’ll try that next time, yum.
October 8, 2017
I have been making sourdough bread for a few years now. This is hands down one of the best recipes I have ever tried. I use about 50% freshly ground white hard wheat. The naan turns out sooo tender yet just chewy enough! Wonderful!
November 11, 2017
this is great recipe! may i know the hydration of your starter?
January 6, 2018
Thank you! I keep mine at 100%.
May 2, 2018
Thanks for such a great recipe! I only had less than half the amount of sourdough starter as I didn’t want to wait to build it up, so I just added a little extra water to make up the volume – but it still worked out really well and was so easy. I left the dough to ferment for about 12-13 hours. I even experimented making mini pizzas and they were fantastic.. I don’t think anyone would realise they were made with a naan bread/yoghurt base if they didn’t know..
June 5, 2018
Made this Naan today for the first time and it was wonderful. I will make it again for sure.
How do you store your leftovers? I hate to wrap in plastic as it looses it’s texture.
September 3, 2018
Nice simple recipe. Not sure what is meant by all purpose flour. Plain flour?
October 3, 2018
Thank you for sharing this recipe. I made these exactly as described and they were delicious!
December 17, 2018
We ordered Indian food tonight and put up the naan i made using this recipe. These were voted tastier than the restaurant naan and they were a lot less fussy to make than the sourdough loaves I’ve been regularly baking. Thanks for this recipe!
January 1, 2019
I’ve used buttermilk instead of yogurt. Just adjust amounts to ensure dough is still sticky.
And here’s a variant — add in chopped onions, cilantro, and thai chili peppers for a spicy naan!
March 1, 2019
What sort of flour is in the starter for this? White? Whole wheat? Bread flour? All purpose?
March 17, 2019
I really love this naan recipe, thank you so much for sharing it. I use 5% Greek yogurt and it is delicious.
March 19, 2019
Thanks for the video—super helpful, I did need to add 2 tablespoons of water to get the correct dough consistency.
May 20, 2019
Hello- I just mixed up a batch of your naan dough! I was wondering if the rise time varies according to how warm the room temp is. We are having a unusually warm May Day here in Philly and my dough seems to be rising nicely after about 2.5 hrs. Thanks in advance for your help!
November 25, 2019
I baked mine in a 500 degree oven on a pizza stone. I didn’t have my dough moist enough so I may have over worked it as the Naan came out tough. I’m going to try again and use your fry pan method! Flavor is great!
April 15, 2020
Is there a recipe for 100% wholewheat sourdough naan? Can you just substitute whole wheat for all purpose?
June 4, 2020
Yum!! I made this dough last night and could not figure out why my dough looked different than your pictures. When I re-read your recipe this morning, I realize I left out the butter. The dough still rose and they taste great. Thanks for this recipe and your blog. I am fairly new to sourdough after tossing around the idea for a few years to have a starter. I look forward to trying out more of your recipes. Have a blessed day!
June 12, 2020
This was wonderful! Thank you!!! I used bread flour with my all purpose and whole wheat starter and used Fage Greek Yogurt…. I needed to add a little milk instead of water and it was perfect! The stretch and pulls were a bit tighter than making sourdough.