Sourdough Naan Bread Recipe

I once took a DNA test that told me about my geographical ancestry. It told me that I was mainly of Scandinavian descent (52%), but the next biggest one was Great Britain (32%). It seemed logical to me, as I’ve always felt a kinship with people from Great Britain, sharing their humor, and other traits. If there’s one thing British people love, it’s curries. Curries must be served with Naan Bread. This is my recipe for Sourdough Naan Bread.

The curries that the British people love stem from India, brought to the Great Britain under the British rule of India 1858 to 1947 known the British Raj.

Naan is a type of flat bread that is common in most of Asia and in the Caribbean. In the indian subcontinent naan bread is prepared in a tandoor oven, which is where Tandoori cooking gets its name. Naan is considered a classic side-dish of an Indian curry.

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How do you leaven a flatbread?

Historically naan breads are leavened with yeast or bread starter, which is leftover dough that is kept and used in the next dough.

For people who don’t make naan every day I have chosen to emulate the bread dough, by using sourdough starter.

Sourdough naan bread on a plate on a wooden floor in front of a brick wall

Many modern recipes also use baking powder, which is super fast because you bypass the entire fermentation/rising stage.

For your bread to be healthy and delicious you really should take your time making it using a fermentation stage. Not only will your bread be tastier, but also healthier.

How do you prepare this sourdough naan bread recipe without a Tandoor oven?

While I’d love to have a Tandoor oven in my kitchen, I think it’d be rather impractical, and would I really use it enough? Probably not.

I’ve chosen to prepare this sourdough naan bread recipe on a cast iron skillet. They do take a long time to heat up, but when they are warm, they are warm for hours.

That also means that when you put something on it that is cold (like, say, room temperature) it doesn’t cool the pan down like it would a regular thin non stick pan.

All that being said, you can use a non-stick pan if you don’t have a cast iron pan. You won’t be able to make it as hot, so your results may not be as good as if you use cast iron, but it will still be delicious.

The formula in the sourdough naan bread recipe

This naan bread has a pretty simple formula, it uses just flour, yogurt, salt and sourdough starter.

The texture and fluidity of yogurt differs wildly and some water might be put in while mixing the dough. The hydration sits at around 65%, which gives a nice tacky, not sticky dough. Like you probably know from most yeasted breads.

WeightIngredientBaker's Percentage
300gall-purpose flour100.0%
150gfull-fat yogurt50.0%
250gsourdough starter (100% hydration)83.3%
8gsalt2.7%

You can play around with the formula in my Bread Calculator here.

Conclusion

These sourdough naan bread are a delight. Fluffy and with a wonderful taste. They work perfectly like a side dish for any saucy dish, in my opinion it does not have to be an Indian dish.

You can also make them ahead of time and reheat them in a 180°C/360°F/Gas Mark 4 oven for about 3 minutes.

Closeup of sourdough naan bread - Recipe for delicious flatbread

They can also be frozen and are good for at least three months in the freezer. You can reheat them directly from the freezer in an oven set to 180°C/360°F/Gas Mark 4 for about 5 minutes. Be sure to pack them with a piece of parchment in between each naan, so you can take them out separately.

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This is my recipe for sourdough naan bread. If you liked it and found it helpful, please share it with likeminded people on social media.

If you make these sourdough naan bread and post them on Instagram, please tag me as @foodgeek.dk so I can see what you made. That would make me very happy.

Sourdough Naan Bread

Course: Dinner
Cuisine: British, Indian
Keyword: brioche sourdough, british, flatbread, indian, naan, naan bread
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 32 minutes
Proofing: 6 hours
Servings: 8 naan bread
Calories: 232kcal
Author: Sune Trudslev
Nutrition Facts
Sourdough Naan Bread
Amount Per Serving (1 naan bread)
Calories 232 Calories from Fat 63
% Daily Value*
Fat 7g11%
Saturated Fat 4g25%
Sodium 349mg15%
Carbohydrates 36g12%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 5g10%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Any good curry needs a delicious naan bread. Well, this is one made with sourdough starter making it a lot healthier and more delicious.
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Ingredients

Dough

  • 300 g all-purpose flour
  • 150 g plain yogurt
  • 7 g salt
  • 250 g mature sourdough starter

For brushing

  • 50 g ghee
  • 1 clove garlic

Instructions

  • Combine the ingredients in a bowl and mix it very well. You want all the flour to be hydrated.
  • It the dough is too dry add water tablespoon by tablespoon until the dough is tacky, but not sticky.
  • The bulk should go on until the dough is between doubled and tripled.
  • In the beginning of the bulk, do three sets of stretch and folds, spaced out by thirty minutes.
  • Once bulk is over flour your work space liberally.
  • Dump the dough out of the container and divide it into eight pieces of equal size.
  • Take a piece of dough and press it out into an oblong shape, about 20x25cm (8×10 inches). It doesn't have to be pretty.
  • Heat a cast iron skillet to medium-high heat and brush it with a bit of ghee. A little goes a long way here. Add a piece of dough.
  • Brush the top with a little bit of ghee.
  • When the dough piece has nice bubbles and you have brown spots on the bottom, flip it over and brown the other side.
  • Brush the pan with a bit of ghee and repeat with the rest of the dough pieces.
  • Serve hot or reserve for later.

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