If you’ve been searching for the perfect vegan naan, look no further than this recipe! All you need are 10 ingredients and a warm bowl of curry to complete your next vegan Indian-inspired dinner night.
I’m going to be 100% honest with you right now: I’m afraid of yeast. Irrational fear? Perhaps. But it’s taken me YEARS to work up the courage to prepare breads that require yeast. I had a bad experience with cinnamon raisin dough and a bread maker back in my teens and I think I’m still trying to recover. Anyway, I digress…I still have difficulties with yeast dough at times. Thankfully, as with many other skills, practice makes perfect. And boy have I been practicing this fall!
The perfect vegan naan recipe has eluded me for almost a year. I struggled to find a recipe that didn’t require crazy flours which would leave the dough to stick to the pan and not rise properly. But I finally found the PERFECT naan recipe that I have veganized from the amazing Half Baked Harvest version. Let me take just a second to explain some important steps in this naan-making process.
Water & Yeast
Two things about working with yeast…First make sure that it hasn’t passed it’s expiration date. Expired yeast will prevent your bread from rising. Secondly, as with any recipe that requires yeast, you’re going to have to “activate” or “bloom” it with water and sugar. It’s very important to remember that your water should be about 110*F. If the water is too hot it will kill the yeast and your bread will fail to rise.
Pan & Oil
Once your dough has risen and is pillowy soft and ready for cooking you need to make sure that you use the proper pan to fry it. You will definitely need a heavy cast iron skillet as well as a large lid. Once your pan is screaming hot add about a tsp of avocado oil to the pan. You might be tempted to use olive oil. DON’T! Avocado oil has a smoke point of 520*F, which is 50-150*F hotter than olive oil. What does that mean? It means that avocado oil will not begin to burn until it reaches a temperature of 520*F. In turn, you can heat this oil much, much hotter without setting off your smoke detectors. Trust me, use the avocado oil.
So now that I’ve concurred naan, I’ll have to try my hands at Challah bread (but that’s going to have to wait for now…).
Ingredient Health Benefits
Almonds: protein, fiber, vitamin E, magnesium, calcium, iron
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All you need are 10 ingredients and a warm bowl of curry to complete your next vegan Indian-inspired dinner night.
- ¼ cup warm water
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- ¾ tsp active dry yeast
- ¾ cup plant-based milk
- 1 cup almond yogurt (I prefer Kite Hill's plain, unsweetened almondmilk yogurt)
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1½ tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ¼ tsp salt
- 4-8 tbsp melted butter (depending on how buttery you want the naan)
In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine warm (but not hot) water, yeast, and maple syrup. Allow to rest for 5-10 minutes, until bubbly.
Add plant-based milk, almond yogurt, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Using a dough hook, mix until the flour is evenly incorporated. The dough will be sticky.
Lightly flour you workspace and gently knead the dough into a large ball. Return to bowl and cover with plastic wrap or a dish towel. Place the bowl in a warm place to rise for 1 hour* until the dough has doubled in size.
When ready to cook, cut dough evenly into 8 and form each into a small ball. Using a rolling pin, roll out each dough ball into an oval/rectangle shape that's about ¼ inch thick.
Brush each side of the naan dough with melted vegan butter. Lightly brush a VERY HOT cast iron skillet with avocado oil** and place in one piece of naan dough cooking over medium-high heat. Immediately cover with a large lid cooking for 1-2 minutes as bubbles form. Flip and cook uncovered for 1-2 minutes more.
Keep cooked naan warm by placing in a clean kitchen towel while you work with the remaining dough.
Serve with more melted butter and a sprinkle of fresh herbs and a bowl of curry.
*I have found that the perfect place to let any yeast-y dough rise is in my oven with the oven light on.
**Avocado oil has a higher smoke-point that most oils, meaning it will withstand the heat of the pan better than an olive oil will. Plus it has a neutral flavor which won’t deter from the naan.
Adapted from Half Baked Harvest’s Herbed Garlic Butter Naan.