Thanks to this recipe, you can now whip up your own homemade naan whenever the craving strikes! Pillowy, nutty, and buttery, this Whole Wheat Naan is a baking revelation. Try it today!
This post was originally published on August 12, 2019. It was updated with new blog post information, photos, and recipe refinements on August 17, 2023.
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What's your favorite thing to order at an Indian restaurant? Is it butter chicken? Korma? Biryani? Tandoori? Naan?
Naan is definitely my kryptonite. I can't get enough of the nutty, chewy, warm bread. Soft naans are my go-to so much so that I decided to develop my own naan bread recipe and share it with you here!
Cooked until golden brown and swiped with an ample brush of melted butter before serving, this homemade bread is delicious, nutty, fluffy, and buttery. It's a delicious bread that is easier to make than you may expect.
Why You'll Love This Whole Wheat Naan Recipe
- A forgiving bread recipe
This homemade bread is made on the stovetop so it won't head up your kitchen. Also, this recipe contains yeast as well as other leavening agents like baking soda and baking powder, making it a more forgiving recipe that is great for even beginner bakers!
- Whole Wheat Flour: White whole wheat flour is best but traditional whole wheat flour also works. For the best flavor, use fresh flour with a good expiration date.
- All-Purpose Flour: Similarly, use white flour with a good expiration date. For the most tender and fluffy bread, weigh both of the flours by measuring.
- Yeast: Quick-acting yeast is the best bet. Pro-tip: to keep yeast fresh for longer, store it in the freezer!
- Baking Soda & Baking Powder: Leavens the whole wheat naan recipe, giving it great rise and a wonderful texture.
- Greek Yogurt: Adds protein which tenderizes the bread. Use 2% or plain whole milk Greek yogurt.
- Milk: 1% or 2% milk, warmed just slightly.
- Salt: Accentuates the flavor of the bread.
- Unsalted Butter: For frying the bread and swiping on just before serving!
- Flour: You can also use entirely all-purpose flour (or 4 cups) in place of the whole wheat and all-purpose mixture
- Butter: Salted butter, clarified butter, or ghee can all substitute for the unsalted butter
- Honey: Three tablespoons of granulated sugar can work in place of the honey
How to Make Whole Wheat Naan
Step 1: Combine the active dry yeast, warm water, and honey in a large mixing bowl or in the bowl of a stand mixer and let sit for 5-10 minutes, or until it's foamy.
Step 2: Mix the dry ingredients, warm milk, and Greek yogurt with the wet ingredients or until a craggy and soft dough forms.
Step 3: Using a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment or kneading by hand, knead the bread for 5-7 minutes or until the dough is smooth and elastic.
Step 4: Move the dough ball to a mixing bowl sprayed with cooking spray. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a dish towel and let the dough rise in a warm place for 1 - 1.5 hours, or until doubled in size.
Step 5: Turn the ball of dough out onto a floured surface. Cut it into 8 even wedges or pieces.
Step 6: Using a rolling pin, roll each piece of dough out into a roughly oblong shape about ⅛-inch thick.
Step 7: Preheat a large non-stick pan over medium heat. Brush the skillet with melted butter. Pro-tip: if you don't have a non-stick skillet, you can also use a cast iron pan!
Step 8: Working quickly, place 1 naan on the skillet. Brush the top with more butter.
Step 9: Cook the naan for 3-5 minutes, flipping halfway through, or until both sides of the naan are golden brown with little brown spots and the bread is cooked through. Complete the cooking steps with the rest of the naan dough.
Step 10: Brush the warm bread with additional melted butter, if desired, and serve hot!
- Bread Proofing Tips: Bread rises best in a warm, but not hot, location. I like to let my bread rise in a sunny window, though you can also let your bread rise above the fridge, in a bread-proofing drawer, in a warm corner or room, or anywhere else that the temperature is between 75- 78 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Bread Kneading Notes: You can knead this dough by hand or with a stand mixer fitted with a hook kneading attachment. If kneading by hand, you may need to knead the dough slightly longer, as hand kneading isn't as efficient as a mixer.
- Watch the Water & Milk Temperature: We need warm water and milk to activate the yeast. Too hot and the yeast is killed; too cold and the yeast doesn't activate. The ideal temperature range is 95-115 degrees Fahrenheit, which feels lukewarm to the touch. To be certain, you can measure the temperature of the liquids with a food thermometer.
- Use a Non-Stick Pan: The dough will easily stick to other cooking surfaces. Use a high-quality non-stick pan for the best results.
- Work Fast When Buttering the Pan and Bread: The pan will be hot. Save the butter from burning by working quickly. I recommend buttering the pan with one hand and placing the dough on the pan with the other hand.
- Keep Cooked Bread Warm While Making the Rest. Keep the bread warm until serving by storing it in an oven preheated to 170 degrees Fahrenheit.
Variation: Make Garlic Naan Bread
To make garlic naan bread with this recipe, just sauté 3-4 cloves sliced garlic in 3 tablespoons butter over medium-low heat for 1-2 minutes, or until the garlic just starts to turn golden brown.
Brush the garlic butter over the freshly made whole-grain naan before serving.
- Refrigeration: Store the leftover whole wheat flatbreads covered in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
- Freezing: Naan can also be frozen in a freezer-safe bag for up to 3 months.
- Defrosting: Defrost the flat bread in an airtight container at room temperature for 1 hour or until thawed through.
Though I am not a dietitian or physician and cannot say with authority whether or not naan bread is considered to be healthy, I can share that it is made with whole wheat flour, Greek yogurt, and milk. Whole wheat flour is rich in whole grains and Greek yogurt is a great source of protein, making them both nutritious ingredients in this recipe!
Toast the Indian flatbread on low heat in the toaster oven for 1-2 minutes, or until the bread is warmed through.
Yes, traditional naan breads do contain gluten, as they are commonly made with wheat or whole wheat bread.
Tools Needed To Make Wheat Naan
- Large non-stick pan: I love Caraway and Ozeri
- Heat-safe turning spatula
- KitchenAid Stand Mixer (optional)
- Food scale
- Measuring spoons
- Measuring cups
- Pastry brush
- Rolling pin
- Digital thermometer (optional)
More bread recipes
- Whole Wheat Beer Bread
- Air Fryer Bread
- Walnut Bread
- Sweet Yeast Dinner Rolls
- No-Yeast Oatmeal Bread
- Gluten-Free Corn Bread
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This recipe is adapted from Half Baked Harvest's Garlic Naan Recipe.