This sourdough naan is a guaranteed fail-proof recipe for a moist, chewy, fluffy, soft and truly delicious flatbread using unfed sourdough. Very easy to put together even by novices. It can be served in so many ways, as a snack, as a starter, as a side to a curry or why not make some delicious chicken rolls to take to work, picnics or share with family and friends.
Why Is Sourdough Good For You?
According to some studies carried out in the last decades, sourdough bread acts as a prebiotic. This means that the fibre in the bread helps feed the good bacteria in your intestines. This bacteria is important for maintaining a healthy and super stable digestive system. Fermenting the dough helps break down the gluten in the dough making sourdough lower in gluten than other forms of bread. Good stuff, right? It tastes really good too.
Ingredients Needed For Sourdough Naan
Spelt flour - any flour or mix will do but spelt is nuttier and sweeter - it's by far my fave!
Milk - water can also be used or any plant-based milk for a vegan sourdough naan option
Sourdough starter (unfed) - Use unfed straight out of your fridge. There is no need to feed your starter for this recipe which is why starter discard is ideal for this kind of recipe. However, an active starter is also an option if that's what you have on hand.
Yoghurt - any plain dairy yoghurt, a creamy Greek yoghurt or a plant-based one for a vegan version will work just fine, just do not choose any flavoured ones
Olive oil - this is optional and if you still like to add oil but a neutral flavoured one, go for avocado, walnut or coconut oil
Sea salt or kosher salt - add more salt, add l or add no salt at all if you are following a low sodium diet
Turmeric - this adds colour, and health benefits as well a slight flavour depending on the quantity added. Of course, you may skip it if you don't have any on hand
Black pepper - this is a must if you want to benefit from the lovely and powerful antioxidants that turmeric has to offer.
How To Make Sourdough Naan
Sourdough naan dough does not take long to prepare but only a few minutes to put together. Honestly, it is that simple! A bit of mixing in the morning or evening and you'll be making sourdough naan to enjoy with dinner the same day or have a couple cooked for breakfast to enjoy with a nice shakshouka!
Just a few steps:
- Mix the ingredients together nicely by hand, cover the bowl and allow the dough to rise at room temperature until this has doubled in size.
- Turn the dough out onto your work surface and divide it into eight equal pieces. Form into balls and keep them covered with a kitchen towel to prevent the dough from drying out but also to keep a constant temperature.
- Preheat a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Working with one dough ball at a time, use a rolling pin to roll this flat into a round shape. It should be approximately 3.5 mm or ⅛ inch thick.
- You may lay the rolled out pieces on your work surface and then place them one by one onto the hot skillet or work with them one by one as you make the naan you place and cook into the hot skillet and allow it to cook for 2 -2.5 minutes on each side (longer if thicker). You will see some nice bubbles that will start forming and that's an indication that the naan is ready to get flipped over to the other side.
- Flip the naan over (using a spatula) and allow it to cook for 2 minutes.
- Remove it from the skillet and place it on a serving plate.
- Repeat the above steps with the remaining dough.
How to make gluten-free sourdough naan
- brown rice flour (1 cup)
- sweet rice flour + more for rolling (1 cup)
- tapioca flour (1 cup)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- milk (1 cup)
- 1 tablespoon honey
- ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
- ½ cup gluten-free sourdough starter
- 1 large egg
- Olive oil to drizzle over the cooked naan (optional)
1. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk the flour, salt, turmeric powder and baking soda. Make a well in the centre and add the milk, honey, gluten-free sourdough starter, and egg.
2. Mix the wet ingredients and slowly get the dry ingredients into the wet ones until all hydrated. Continue to mix the dough for a good couple of minutes. I prefer doing all this by hand but you can use a mixer (the paddle attachment).
3. Drizzle some olive oil over the dough and cover tightly with cling film and a clean towel or a tight lid.
4. Allow the dough to ferment for 6-18 hours, depending on the ambient temperature. This should double in size and that is an indication that it is ready. This can be prepared in the evening and allowed to ferment until the middle of the following day or less if you prefer a shorter fermentation period.
5. Divide the dough into eight equal pieces. The dough will be slightly sticky so flour or oil your hands.
6. Preheat a griddle pan or heavy skillet over medium heat until very hot.
7. If necessary, sprinkle the dough balls with some extra flour, or add some oil ( I do prefer working with flour). Roll them out into a thin (approximately 1/12) inch thick flatbread.
8. Transfer gently the rolled gluten-free sourdough naan to the preheated griddle pan, reduce slightly the heat to a medium level and cook for approximately 3 minutes on the first side or until the top has bubbled up the bottom has started to become a spotty brown one. Flip the naan and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes on the other side.
9. Remove and place on a clean cloth or paper towel. Drizzle cooked naan bread with olive oil and repeat with the remaining dough.
Absolutely! It tastes as great as the regular one and you can almost say no difference. Just use the ingredients and how to make it above.
Tip: I sometimes use this sourdough naan dough recipe to make my favourite gluten-free pizza dough or I use the ready-made naan as a sourdough pizza base, just add your favourite toppings and place them in the oven for 12-13 min.
Store the naan at room temperature in a plastic bag or in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
These can also be frozen in a freezer-safe container for up to 3 months.
Yes, very much so and there are two ways of doing this:
1) You can freeze the naan ready cooked and just heat up in the pan for 2 minutes on each side. It will taste amazing.
2) You can freeze it uncooked - just ready-rolled dough. Freeze in an airtight container separated by parchment paper or cling film. Every time you want to make one or two freshly simply place it in a heated pan from frozen - no need to thaw. Cook on each side for 3-4 minutes or until it looks nicely cooked on both sides.
Tips For The Best Results
- Starter: If your starter is newly started, your dough may or may not double in size but that is not a problem at all, ot is still okay.
- Puffiness: If the naan does NOT puff up during cooking, do not worry. This usually occurs with the first one or two until the skillet has reached the right temperature. But this can also happen if the dough is rolled too thin but it is still good to eat.
- Sticky dough: If the dough is sticky when rolling it, puff some flour onto the working surface as well as the rolling pin and this will help prevent it from sticking.
- Cook later: If you want or like to cook the dough later, divide this and shape it into dough balls which you can store in an airtight container, and keep refrigerated for up to 4 days. For best results, bring the dough to room temperature before cooking.
- Skillet: If you do not have a cast iron skillet, a non-stick skillet can also be sucessfully used.
Best Sourdough Naan Recipe
- glass bowl
- Rolling Pin
- 2½ cups spelt flour (300g)
- ½ cup milk (120 ml) or water
- ½ cup sourdough starter (120 ml)
- ¼ cup yoghurt (60ml)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil optional
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
Make the dough
- Add the flour, salt and turmeric into a larger glass or wooden bowl. Mix and make a well in the centre. Add the wet ingredients (sourdough starter, milk, yoghurt) and using your hands, incorporate the ingredients until all flour is well combined and there is no more dry flour visible.
- The dough will be smooth and rather stiff. Cover the bowl with plastic and allow it to rest at room temperature until it has doubled in size.
Fermenting the Dough
- In a 20°C/68°F kitchen, it will take approximately 8 hours for the sourdough to double in size. Warmer kitchens will take less time, colder kitchens will take longer. Seasons are great determinants- summer being a favourite.
- In the summer you may start the process in the morning to be able to cook the naans in the evening or leave it in the fridge overnight if too hot.
Make and cook the sourdough naan
- Place the dough onto your work surface and use a bench scraper to divide the dough into approximately 8 equal pieces. (approx 77g /2.71 oz each). Shape each piece into a ball and cover them with a kitchen towel. * see notes for storage or making later
- While the dough is resting, preheat a cast-iron skillet over medium heat for 5-10 minutes. Feel free to oil the skillet if you wish, but I find this unnecessary. The naan will only stick initially but when cooked it will be really easy to turn on the other side.
- Work with just one dough ball of dough at a time. Use a rolling pin to roll the dough into a round shape with a ⅛ inch thickness. Use a little flour if necessary to prevent sticking. The dough naan should be about 15-16 cm (6 inches) in diameter.
- Place the rolled dough into the well-heated skillet and cook for 2-3 minutes. Flip the naan over and cook on the second side for another 1-2 minutes. Once cooked, remove the naan and place it on a wooden board or a ceramic plate. Repeat with the remaining dough. Serve hot or at room temperature.