Whole wheat naan

I find myself in sync with the food editors at The New York Times.

As I scrolled through photos of homemade naan last Wednesday night, searching for just the right shot to accompany this post on this traditional Indian bread, the newspaper was printing (and posting) a wonderful article on tandoor ovens.

While I won't be purchasing a $1299 tandoor anytime soon, I still found the piece interesting. Who knew that a ceramic artist now living in the Florida Keys made thousands of clay ovens for North America's Indian restaurants? Until a lot of extra money comes my way, my conventional oven will have to suffice. Happily, the results of my naan experiment were excellent, and pulling a baking sheet of puffed, zeppelin-like breads from the oven is pretty cool. If only I were as satisfied with the butter chicken I made that night.

I used a little whole wheat flour to assuage the refined-white-flour-guilt I sometimes suffer, but it's unnecessary (and not in keeping with a traditional recipe, from what I can tell). Feel free to use only white flour instead.

Whole Wheat Naan
Makes 12 breads

1 1/4 cups warm water
1 teaspoon active dry yeast
pinch sugar
1/4 cup ghee (clarified butter)
1/4 cup tablespoons plain yogurt
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 heaping teaspoon kosher salt
1-2 tablespoons vegetable oil (for greasing the bowl)

Dissolve the yeast and sugar in warm water. Let it stand for about 5 minutes, until foamy. Add the yogurt and ghee.

Whisk the all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, and kosher salt together in a large mixing bowl. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and stir to combine. Knead the dough on a lightly floured work surface until smooth, about 7-10 minutes. Allow the dough to rise in a large greased bowl, covered with a dishtowel or plastic wrap, about 1 1/2 - 2 hours or until doubled in size.

Preheat the broiler.

Punch the dough down and turn it onto a lightly floured surface. Knead for about 5 minutes, then divide it into 12 pieces. Cover the pieces with a dishtowel or plastic wrap and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Roll each piece into a thin triangle about 7 inches wide.

Place the rolled doughs onto a baking sheet or broiler tray (you can probably fit 3-4 on one tray) and place them about 5-6 inches below the broiler. Don't get them too close — remember, the breads puff up, and you don't want to set them on fire. Cook for 1-2 minutes, then flip them over and cook the other side. The breads can be brushed with additional ghee if desired.


  1. Love the use of wholemeal flour. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Ellie - Yes, it makes me feel a little less guilty eating bread with (even just a bit of) whole wheat flour in it. Thanks for stopping by!

  3. Love your tips, and I'm with you, not sure I'd go to those lengths for a tandoori oven but certainly love the results