Soft And Fluffy Naan Bread: A Yogurt And Yeast Delight

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Naan, the soft, pillowy flatbread staple of Indian cuisine, is a crowd-pleaser. Perfect for scooping up curries, dips, or simply enjoying on its own, mastering naan at home is easier than you think. This recipe uses yogurt and yeast for a delightfully soft texture and a hint of tang that elevates the flavor.

Why Use Yogurt in Naan?

Ingredient Dough Naan (No yeast!) – The Big Man’s World ®

Yogurt adds a subtle tang to the naan dough, balancing out the richness of other ingredients. But more importantly, yogurt introduces beneficial bacteria that aids in fermentation. This fermentation process helps break down gluten strands in the flour, resulting in a softer and fluffier naan compared to versions without yogurt.

Here’s a breakdown of the magic of yogurt in naan:

Flavor: The natural acidity of yogurt adds a touch of tang that complements savory dishes beautifully.

  • Texture: Fermentation from the yogurt creates air pockets in the dough, leading to a lighter and airier naan.
  • Tenderness: Yogurt tenderizes the gluten in the flour, making the naan incredibly soft and pliable.

  • Gathering the Ingredients

    Before we dive into the steps, let’s ensure we have everything we need:

    Dry Ingredients:

  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour (plus extra for dusting)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Wet Ingredients:
  • 1 cup plain whole milk yogurt (at room temperature)
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • ¼ cup lukewarm water (about 105°F)

  • Optional for Serving:

    Melted butter or ghee

  • Chopped fresh cilantro

  • Step-by-Step Guide to Making Yogurt Naan

    Now that we have all the ingredients, let’s get our hands dirty!

    1. Activate the Yeast: In a small bowl, combine the warm water and yeast. Let the mixture sit for 5-10 minutes, or until it becomes frothy and active. This signifies that the yeast is alive and ready to leaven the dough.

    2. Combine Dry Ingredients: In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.

    3. Wet Ingredients & Dough Formation: In a separate bowl, whisk together the yogurt, melted butter, and honey. Add the activated yeast mixture to the wet ingredients and stir well to combine.

    4. Dry & Wet Ingredients Unite: Gradually add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients in the large mixing bowl. Use a spoon or spatula to mix until a shaggy dough forms.

    5. Kneading Time: Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 8-10 minutes, or until the dough becomes smooth, elastic, and no longer sticky. If the dough feels too dry, add a tablespoon of water at a time until it reaches a manageable consistency.

    6. First Rise: Lightly grease a large bowl with oil. Place the kneaded dough in the greased bowl, turning it once to coat it with oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a damp kitchen towel and let the dough rise in a warm place for 1-1.5 hours, or until doubled in size.

    7. Shaping the Naan: Punch down the dough and transfer it to a lightly floured surface. Divide the dough into 6 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a ball, then use a rolling pin to roll each ball into a 10-12 inch oval shape.

    8. Cooking the Naan: Heat a large cast iron skillet or griddle over medium-high heat. Once hot, carefully place a rolled-out naan dough onto the skillet. Cook for 1-2 minutes per side, or until golden brown spots appear on the surface.

    9. The Finishing Touch: Brush the cooked naan with melted butter or ghee for extra flavor. Repeat steps 7 & 8 with the remaining dough pieces.

    10. Serving & Enjoying: Serve the warm naan immediately with your favorite curries, dips, or simply enjoy it on its own sprinkled with chopped fresh cilantro.

    Nutritional Powerhouse: Naan by the Numbers

    Here’s a breakdown of the approximate nutritional profile per serving (1 piece of naan):

    Calories: 180

  • Fat: 5g
  • Saturated Fat: 2.5g
  • Carbohydrates: 28g
  • Sugar: 4g
  • Protein: 5g
  • Sodium: 230mg