There is nothing quite like piping hot freshly baked garlic naan bread. It’s buttery, garlicky, soft and pillowy, and full of perfectly blistered air pockets. Leftovers are great, but it's never quite the same. So that's when a small batch recipe is perfect for one person or a small family. Plus it’s super easy to make without a tandoor clay oven and takes less than 15 minutes of actual prep work.
What is Naan Bread?
Naan bread is an Indian flatbread that is traditionally made in a tandoor clay oven. It served alongside Indian curries, and used to scoop up a spoonful of curry. My favourites to serve with naan bread are creamy butter chicken or vegan chickpea coconut curry.
What is in Garlic Naan Bread?
- all purpose flour
- instant yeast - can also be substituted with dry active yeast. To prepare the dry active yeast, first dissolve it in the water and let it sit for 5 minutes to activate. Then mix your dough ingredients together.
- plain yogurt - this is the secret ingredient that makes Indian naan bread so soft and tender.
- vegetable oil
- sugar - helps the yeast rise faster.
- salt - adds flavour.
- garlic topping - butter, garlic, and parsley.
You will also need mixing bowls, baking tray, rolling pin (if rolling out the naan), and a skillet (if cooking on the stovetop vs the oven). I also highly recommend a kitchen scale to get the most accurate measurements when measuring out your ingredients.
How to Make the Best Small Batch Garlic Naan Bread (Two Ways)
The first step is to prepare the dough. In a large bowl, mix together flour, yeast, water, yogurt, oil, sugar, and salt. Stir well to combine with a spatula until the mixture forms into a shaggy dough. Make sure to scrape off any remaining dry flour from the sides of the bowl.
Apply some water on your hands and stretch and fold the dough by folding the edges over to the centre (it takes less than a minute to fold all 4 sides). The dough is quite sticky. Cover the bowl in cling wrap and let it rest for 30 minutes.
Knead the dough using your hands. It should take you less than 5 minutes to form a smooth and soft dough ball. Transfer the smooth dough ball back in the bowl and let it rest covered for 1 hour until it is almost doubles in size.
Transfer dough onto a lightly oiled surface and roll into a log. Then, divide the log into 10 even balls by cupping them in your palm and making circular motions. Transfer the dough balls to a lined baked tray and cover. Allow the dough balls to rest for 20 minutes.
Now, let's shape the dough. Take a dough ball and gently press and stretch it with your fingers to form a circular shape (similar to shaping pizza dough). You can also roll the dough out with a rolling pin.
How to Make Naan Bread on a Skillet
Heat a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Transfer the rolled naan onto the hot skillet and cook for 3 minutes on each side. You should see the naan bread rise and form bubbles on top.
How to Make Naan Bread in the Oven
Preheat a large baking pan or pizza stone in the oven at 500 F. Place rolled naan on the pizza stone and bake for 2-3 minutes. You should see the naan bread rise and form bubbles on top To char the naan bread and make it extra crispy, turn the broiler on high and cook for an extra minute. Keep a close eye on it though, as the broiler gets very hot and can burn if left in too long.
How to Make the Garlic Butter
Combine melted butter, minced garlic and chopped parsley in a small bowl and mix them evenly. Apply the garlic butter on one side of each naan bread with a brush.
Tips for Making Naan Bread
- How to serve garlic naan bread: My favourite way to serve naan bread is alongside Indian butter chicken or vegan chickpea coconut curry. You can also use it as a flatbread and top with all sorts of toppings. Try it with a greek salad hummus flatbread, mushroom and spinach flatbread or an apple and arugula flatbread.
- How to store naan bread: Store cooled naan bread in a sealed ziploc bag at for up to 3 days at room temperature. You can also freeze them in a sealed ziploc bag for up to 3 months. When freezing multiple naan breads, layer them with a piece of parchment paper to prevent them from sticking together.
- How to reheat naan bread: If frozen, allow it to thaw first to room temperature. Then, reheat in the air fryer at 350 F for 5-7 minutes, or in a 350 F preheated oven for 10-12 minutes.
More Bread Recipes
- Quick and Easy Pita Bread
- Easy Homemade Everything Bagels
- Quick Green Onion Dinner Rolls
- Easy Small Batch Ciabatta Bread
- Homemade No Knead French Baguettes
Did you make this recipe? I would greatly appreciate a comment and rating below, letting me know what you thought of the recipe. You can also snap a picture and tag me on Instagram @aheadofthyme or share it on the Pinterest pin so that I can follow along.