Naan are very popular leavened flatbreads eaten not only in India, but also in Pakistan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Iran and other surrounding Countries.
Today we can find different variations with different toppings or fillings. They are delicious served hot and brushed with ghee (or butter) and, for those who love it, with garlic.
The traditional way to cook these breads in the tandoor oven, a clay oven heated by a charcoal fire at the bottom, where the naan were pressed on the walls for cooking
The main ingredients usually consists of yeast, all-purpose flour, warm water, sugar, salt, ghee and yoghurt.
Trying to imagine how in the villages the naan were cooked I imagined that the kind of yeast available could be wild yeast.
I found that it’s possible to prepare the sourdough starter simply after combining some yogurt, flour, salt and sugar and fermenting it overnight; BUT in this case for the final dough baking powder was added. The result may be delicious but I really wanted to prepare my naan without commercial yeast or baking powder.
I still have my sourdough starter (which needed to be refreshed), this was my choice.
The naans puffed very well and in contrast to the recipe with commercial yeast, the flavor was more “floury” and less “bready”! I can’t say which ones are the best, we loved both!
Wild Yeast Naan
- 100 g sourdough starter, 100% hydration (If you don’t have it: replace with 50 g flour + 50 ml water and 1/2 teaspoon yeast)
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 150 g flour
- 130 ml lukewarm water
- 1 tablespoon plain yogurt
- 100 g flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Ghee or butter, for brushing (optional)
- Combine sourdough starter, sugar, 150 g flour, water and yogurt in a bowl, stir well and let rise for a few hours until almost doubled but best overnight.
- Add the other 100 g flour and salt, knead until smooth. Oil the surface of the dough and the sides if the bowl so that the dough don’t stick to the wall.
- Let rest 20-30 minutes.
- With oiled hands shape tennis ball sized balls (you can also make bigger naans).
- Let sit until almost doubled.
- Preheat the broiler of your oven.
- Flatten lightly and stretxh to desired size and thickness ( I like them about 5 mm thick) letting the borders thicker. Place the fist ones on a baking tray.
- Broil on the first side until lightlx browned (this takes about 2 minutes, don”t forget to check them). Flip over and broil for about one minute until done.
- Repeat until all tje naans are done.
Best you preheat the tray before baking ( be careful, it’s hot), in this way you dont”t need to flip them.