Before I give you the scoop about easy, homemade naan bread, a brief history of what inspired this foodie's feat.  

Typically on Sunday, I bring out the slow cooker. Especially in the winter, when temperatures outside are so cold that, you needn’t worry about frozen chicken nuggets thawing if you stop by Starbucks en route to your apartment. I assure you, – your nuggets – and your chicken nuggets – will stay frozen. If you are or have ever been twenty, owned an apartment, lived in New England or all of the above – you know what I’m talking about.

Anyway, my slow cooker is ca. 1977. It belongs in the Smithsonian, right next to the first editions of Julia Child’s cookbooks, it’s that important to me. Is the enamel pretty much the same color as school cafeteria gravy? Sure. Is there unidentifiable crustiness around the knobs that may or may not be from this era? Yeah. Is it a potential fire hazard? Perhaps (thanks a lot, This Is Us). You know what though? It’s mine. It was the first kitchen appliance I got when I moved out, and even though it’s not the latest version, to me it’s the best little braiser that could ever be.

Yet I digress. This post is not about braisers, Crock Pots, nor slow cookers. It’s about making naan. It first dawned on me to make naan bread when I made ten cups of curry using my slow cooker. I ate the leftovers with rice, lentils, potatoes, more rice, noodles, needless to say, but it just got to be mundane.

What I wanted was something to soak up that delicious sauce. 

A pliable, pillowy flatbread that doubled as a makeshift forklift. I wanted to stay relatively close to the flavor profiles geographical to curry. Enter the naan. A soft, leavened, flatbread native to India. If you research flatbread, you’ll learn how vast flatbread recipes can vary across cultures and borders. On the continent of Africa, there’s chapatis. China, bing as well as many pancake recipes. The French have crêpes. Arepas imported from Venezuela. Tortillas toted from Mexico. Johnnycakes and frybreads spanning the Americas. Yaniqueques crafted from origins of the Dominican Republic.

Ellen Gibbs

Making naan is slow-going in the beginning stages, the very end is when the game starts to pick up. Don’t walk away from your pan, because the moment you do, the naan will be completely burned. Note the difference between charred and burned, you want the pan at a high temperature, because this will inflate the pockets of air in your dough, at the same time it gets a nice char, that crusty almost-burned bark around the edges. It should feel raised from the pan and sturdy when its ready to flip, about 2 minutes, tops.

Greek yogurt is the traditional ingredient used in making naan, however I have substituted equal amounts sour cream and found it to work just as well. Enjoy your naan hot, or store for up to a week in an airtight container.

This recipe I adapted from below was so good – before I knew it – I had naan left! (I’ll see myself out.)

Salted Naan Bread

  • Prep Time:1 hr
  • Cook Time:10 mins
  • Total Time:1 hr 10 mins
  • Servings:6
  • Medium


  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 7 grams yeast or 1 package
  • 2 and 1/4 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon pink Himalayan salt
Ellen Gibbs
  • Step 1

    Wake up your yeast by mixing it in the warm water, let it sit for 10 minutes.

    Ellen Gibbs
  • Step 2

    The yeast should have grown foamy, knead the remaining ingredients with the yeast mixture in a large bowl or on a flat surface for 10 minutes, or until smooth.

    Ellen Gibbs
  • Step 3

    Let the ball of dough rest for an hour in a warm dry space, covered with a damp cloth.

    Ellen Gibbs
  • Step 4

    The dough should have grown twice in size, transfer onto a flat surface dusted with flour.

    Ellen Gibbs
  • Step 5

    Set the pan on high heat, spray it with bake release and have your dough already sectioned into 6 equally sized balls of dough.

    Ellen Gibbs
  • Step 6

    Stretch the dough right before you throw it on the pan. Wait until you see air pockets inflating to flip, about 2 minutes.

    Ellen Gibbs