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 curry dishes. 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 Great Britain under the British rule of India from 1858 to 1947 known the British Raj.
Naan is a type of flatbread 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 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 a sourdough starter.
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 nonstick 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 a sourdough starter.
The texture and fluidity of yogurt differ 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. As you probably know from most yeasted bread.
|250g||sourdough starter (100% hydration)||83.3%|
You can play around with the formula in my Bread Calculator here.
These sourdough naan bread are a delight. Fluffy and with a wonderful taste. They work perfectly as 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.
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 like-minded 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
- 300 g all-purpose flour
- 150 g plain yogurt
- 7 g table salt
- 250 g sourdough starter
- 50 g ghee
Mix the dough
- Combine the ingredients in a bowl and mix it very well. You want all the flour to be hydrated.
- If the dough is too dry, add water tablespoon by tablespoon until the dough is tacky but not sticky.
- At the beginning of the bulk fermentation, do three sets of stretch and folds, spaced out by thirty minutes.
- The bulk should go on until the dough is between doubled and tripled.
- Once bulk fermentation is over, flour your counter 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.
Making the naan
- Heat a cast-iron skillet to medium-high heat and brush it with 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 lovely 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 the rest of the dough pieces.
- Serve hot or reserve for later.