We know, we know, people are baking lots of bread these days. In my social media feed anyway, it’s lots of big crusty loaves—sourdough, no-knead and everything in between. But what if that’s not really your thing, whether due to a lack of yeast, time or interest?
Enter naan. Fans of this Indian flatbread know that it’s no consolation prize, though. Fresh, hot naan is a beautiful thing to behold, and devour, whether it’s with curry, a bowl or soup or just on its own. This recipe for Stove-Top Naan uses baking powder instead of yeast, with buttermilk helping boost the flavor, tenderness and rise.
I’ve played around with naan a few times in the past, with not-so-great results. Some were basically just pitas. Others bland. None came close to rivaling my convenience go-to, what I can grab in the freezer at Trader Joe’s. Now, I’m sure I’ve cracked the code, with a recipe that’s pretty simple to boot. Stir together the dough by hand, roll it and throw it in a cast-iron skillet.
My main recipe source, “660 Curries” by Raghavan Iyer calls for using a grill or pizza stone to cook the naan. I found an oven bake led to uneven results, though, even with the pizza stone and convection fan going. So I pivoted to a method from America’s Test Kitchen. The cast-iron skillet beautifully puffs the dough and gives charred flavor like you might find in naan made in a tandoor. Finishing up the cooking with a lid over the skillet keeps the bread soft and pliable.
This is exactly the type of recipe that can satisfy both ends of the spectrum: People who are just starting to dip their toes into bread baking and want something quick and delicious, and those who want to add another genre to their vast repertoire. No matter which camp you fall into, you’re going to love it.