Naan is a catch-all term for flat, leavened bread throughout the Asian subcontinent. There are many, many variations which have developed depending on what ingredients were typically on hand in the different regions. So there are many equally traditional and authentic variations.
Naan traditionally is plain flat bread made using bread flour, Yeast, salt and water. Salt could be optional if you are having naan with a curry.
Variations like milk or yogurt is used instead of water to make dough soft and fluffy. This would change the texture and flavor of the bread. It is possible to use baking powder instead of yeast, because they both act as a leavening agent. Don’t use them together.
PeakFine’s lunch menu hosts a guest favorite with vegetarian naan bread, made fresh in house. Find the recipe below for this easy to make vegan option!
Buffalo Cheese and Roma Tomato Caprese Naan Bread | herb infused balsamic reduction, smoked bacon, arugula
Homemade Vegan Naan Bread
1 tsp. active dry yeast (1/2 package)
1/2 cup warm water
1 Tbsp. sugar
3 Tbsp. soy milk
2 tsp. salt
1 3/4-2 cups bread flour
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 tbsp. maple syrup
In a large bowl, dissolve the yeast in warm water. Let stand about 10 minutes, until frothy.
Stir in the sugar, soy milk, salt, and enough flour to make a soft dough, between 1 3/4 to 2 cups.
Knead for 6 to 8 minutes on a lightly floured surface or until smooth. Place in a well-oiled bowl, cover with a damp cloth, and set aside to rise. Let it rise 1 hour, until the dough has doubled in volume.
Punch down the dough then roll into golf ball-size pieces and place on a baking sheet. Cover with a towel and allow to rise until doubled in size, about 30 minutes.
Preheat a pan to high heat and lightly oil. Roll each ball of dough into a thin circle then add to pan one at a time. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until bubbles begin to brown and brush the top side with additional oil. Flip the bread and cook for 2 to 3 minutes on the other side. Continue until all the bread is cooked.
Find your favorite fresh ingredients at your local farmers market and don’t be afraid to fuse new flavours together. I like to dress the naan bread with a good olive oil, garlic infused truffle oil with balsamic reduction and then top it with fresh produce such as arugula for a crunch, tomato for the moisture and fresh buffalo mozzarella, season according to taste…. your flavour party is about to begin, enjoy!
Romaine Newell l Executive Chef