I cannot eat Indian food without flat bread. I will not eat Indian food without flat bread. And you know what? I shouldn’t have to either!
Bright spices, flavoured rices and melt-in-your mouth meat is all part of the experience. The only way to truly enjoy it is with torn pieces of warm and golden goodness, folded and dipped to scoop up every last delicious morsel. While there are several varieties of Indian flat bread, I decided to tackle a gluten-free version of Naan bread first and was very pleased with the results! Using a recipe I found at Food.com with a few variations, I found the perfect Naan bread that is everything it should be.
I will caution you that making this bread is a more labour-intensive process than it may seem, so I’d recommend trying it for the first time on a rainy Saturday afternoon when you feel like spending a little bit of time in the kitchen. However, I’m confident that with a bit of practice, making this Naan bread will soon become a breeze.
This recipe yields approximately six very generous pieces of Naan bread – it would be perfect to accompany dinner for four.
Gluten-Free Naan Roti – Indian Flat Bread
- 2/3 cup tepid milk (a higher fat content is best)
- 1 1/4 cup white rice flour
- 1/4 cup tapioca flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
- 2/3 cup plain Greek yogurt or sour cream
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1. In a medium-sized bowl, mix the tepid milk with 1 teaspoon of sugar and the yeast and leave it for about five minutes.
2. Meanwhile, whisk the rice flour, tapioca flour, xanthan gum, salt and baking powder together in a bowl. I also added a couple tablespoons of tapioca starch for extra flex to my bread but this step is not necessary. Add the remaining sugar as well as the oil, yogurt (I used sour cream), egg and yeast mix; stir until your batter is smooth.
3. The original recipe recommends baking the bread in the oven but traditional Indian breads are typically baked in a tandoori oven. I am partial to my cast iron skillet and felt that using the skillet would provide a similar environment to the tandoori oven. Pre-head your skillet over medium-high heat – do not oil your pan.
4. Roll the dough into six equal-sized balls. I find that using a bit of tapioca flour is most effective at preventing the dough from sticking to your countertop. Rice flour works too. Roll each of the balls into your desired shape until they’re each about 1/4″ thick. “Bake” each in your cast iron skillet, flipping to prevent burning. I find that these bake in a similar way to tortillas and pancakes in that they’ll bubble once they’re thoroughly heated through on one side.
5. Keep each Naan roti warm while baking the subsequent breads and eat as-is or brush with butter, garlic butter or melted ghee as desired.
अपने भोजन का आनंद लें!
(That’s “enjoy your meal!” in Hindi.)