Soft Gluten Free Naan (Indian Flatbread)

A little over a year ago I picked up some Indian food to go for my husband while I was caring for my father. As I took the naan out of the bag I wanted to cry, I wanted some so bad! To say the least, I was jealous. Creating a soft gluten free naan seemed hopeless. After promising everyone yesterday that I would experiment with a recipe I just had to give it a go. My husband (who eats gluten) and I loved the first batch I created. Yeah! I can have my own gluten free naan! The only regret was that I only made half of a batch. You can make this in a cast iron skillet, as I did, or check out the two techniques of an Indian chef in the video below (making a gluten version). I hope you enjoy this recipe. It is usually baked in an 800°F oven, but a heavy skillet will do very nicely. If you are allergic to yeast, see my Gluten-Free Yeast-Free Naan Recipe.

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Soft Gluten Free Naan – Gluten Free Indian Flatbread

Rating: 51

Yield: Makes 7 gluten free naan.

Soft Gluten Free Naan – Gluten Free Indian Flatbread

A soft, pliable gluten free naan ready to pair with any buttery Indian dish or eat plain.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup water, heated to 110°F
  • 1 Tablespoon honey, (or agave syrup) (or sugar)
  • 2 teaspoons instant dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk (or 1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar + enough milk to make 1/2 cup) (rice milk for dairy-free/vegan)
  • 3/4 cup white rice flour
  • 3/4 cup brown rice flour
  • 1/4 cup + 2 Tablespoons potato starch (or try tapioca starch*) + more for dusting
  • 1/4 cup + 2 Tablespoons cornstarch (or potato starch*, if using tapioca starch above)
  • 2 teaspoons guar gum (or xanthan gum)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fine sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon gluten free baking powder (for browning and texture)
  • 1/4 cup cooking oil (I used EVOO extra light in flavor)
  • 2 large eggs, beaten (skip for vegan diets or use a Gluten Free Egg Substitute
  • Unsalted butter (or Earth Balance spread), for buttering tops of naan

Instructions:

  1. If using milk and vinegar mix and set aside for 15 minutes until thick. If it doesn't reach the consistency of butter milk, use less than 1/2 cup.
  2. Add warm water to a medium sized bowl; add sugar or honey; stir to dissolve; add yeast; stir; and set aside until frothy, about 5 minutes. If it does not bubble start over with fresh yeast.
  3. In a separate, large bowl, add remaining dry ingredients; whisk thoroughly.
  4. Add buttermilk, oil, and beaten eggs, to yeast mixture; whisk well.
  5. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients; using a rubber spatula, stir until it reaches a soft dough the consistency of creamy mashed potatoes; allow to rest for 20 minutes.
  6. Scatter 2 tablespoons potato starch to a clean, flat surface; scoop 1/3 cup at a time of dough; add to floured surface; knead with dusted hands; shape into a disk as wide as your spatula. Add additional potato starch, as needed.
  7. Using a wide, thin spatula, transfer to preheated cast iron skillet.
  8. Using your fingers or a pastry roller, immediately flatten and distribute dough in pan working from the center, moving outwards (too fragile to roll out and then transfer). Be careful not to burn your forearm on the pan.
  9. Fry on each side for approximately 2 1/2 minutes; coat tops of fully cooked naan with salted butter.
  10. Repeat with remaining dough adding additional potato starch as needed for kneading.
  11. Serve warm; when eating plain, fold with buttered side inside. (Picture below is gluten free naan cooked on medium-high heat for 1 1/2 minutes on each side, removed from burner on occasion.)

Tips

If you have a gas stove and wish to cook it on top of the fire, a grease splash guard may work to hold the dough. You know, those wire-mesh screens.

If you like a dryer naan, cut the buttermilk back as much as half.

http://glutenfreerecipebox.com/gluten-free-naan/

Visit Carla’s Gluten Free Online Store.
In collaboration with Massachusetts General Hospital, 50% of all proceeds are donated to their Center for Celiac Research and Treatment.

This entry was posted in Bread, Casein-Free, Corn-Free, Gluten Free Indian Recipes, Gluten Free Recipes, Gluten-Free and Dairy-Free Recipes, Gluten-Free Dairy-Free and Egg-Free Recipes, Gluten-Free Egg-Free Recipes, Kids, Nut-Free, Soy-Free, Sugar-Free, Vegan Gluten Free Recipes, Vegetarian. Bookmark this blog post.

44 Responses to Soft Gluten Free Naan (Indian Flatbread)

  1. Janet C. Fowler says:

    sorry for the double post – didn’t see it at first.

  2. Janet C. Fowler says:

    I’ll try again to post a question: I need to replace the xanthan gum because I am having IBS like reactions to it. I was going to try gelatin and/or Psyllium powder (both of which I’ve read about from other people’s recipes on the web).

  3. Janet says:

    I decided to eat GF a couple years ago, and recently came to the realization that xanthan and guar gums give me reactions similar to IBS. So I’m wondering if either gelatin or organic golden flaxseed meal would work as a substitute (I found both of these as substitutes on the web from people who are having same reactions I do). Thank you for this recipe.

  4. Lisa Branton says:

    Just wondering if naan bread can be made without yeast?

  5. Facebook Comment – April 3, 2014,

    “Well, today I made this GF Naan Bread and it turned out fantastic! It was perfect…I used a tortilla press to flatten the dough in between two sheet of parchment paper so they don’t stick and then fried them in the frying pan, quick and easy!……they were sooo delicious! This recipe I would recommend for pizza crust as well….love the taste, beautiful texture! I’m a believer!!!”

    ~K.F.F.

  6. Gale says:

    I made this tonight and it was awesome! Tastes just like the “real” thing. Thanks for sharing.

  7. I have been looking for different things to make for my husband who is borderline diabetic. But we need to watch carbs. Can you tell me how much carbs and sugar is in this recipe

  8. Facebook Question – March 23, 2014,

    “I use gluten free flour; its all the flours and starch mixed together. My question is how do I do the substitutions ?”

    ~L.T.S.

    My reply,

    “When using an all-purpose gluten-free flour that already contains xanthan gum, guar gum, or other gum(s), substitute 2 cups + 2 teaspoons of all-purpose flour for the white rice flour, brown rice flour, corn starch, and potato starch. If the flour does not contain any gum just use 2 cups of flour and add 2 teaspoons of xanthan gum. Don’t forget to also add baking powder, either way. In addition, since gluten-free all-purpose flours differ in their ratio of flour to starch, expect a different consistency. This recipe is low in starch compared to many gluten-free all-purpose flour blends.”

  9. Althia says:

    I made these tonight and they were excellent this was the first time I have ever had Naan…YUM the texture extremely smooth with no after taste my husband and son also enjoyed them. This will definitely be made again.
    Can I mix all the dry ingredients together and store in a airtight container so it’s on hand when needed?
    Thanks for the recipe!

  10. Tiffany says:

    This tastes like “real” flat bread! I made this recipe this morning for my daughters lunch. I followed the recipe without making any changes and it came out tasting, feeling and looking like regular naan. We had almost given up hope on finding any gluten free bread recipes that would actually taste good. We were so happy this morning to find this. Thank you so much for sharing this delicious treat. This is going to be our go-to recipe for flat bread.

  11. Dawn says:

    Could you use an all-purpose GF flour in lieu of the individual ones?

    • Dawn,

      That should work okay, however, it may not contain enough starch. If you have some handy, try adding 1/4 part cornstarch or potato starch plus the AP flour. Let us know which brand you use and how they turn out!

      Carla

  12. Facebook Comment,

    “I made the naan bread this weekend….absolutely amazing! It tasted so good and the texture was so “normal” you would never know. Thank you!”

    ~ S.A.

  13. daniela says:

    I used to make gluten naan twice a week when a managed a indian grocery/cafe. My fiancée loved it. I have been looking for a GF recipe. This looks good. I can’t afford to buy the individual starches right now, but I have a mashed potato disaster that pretty much turned into potato dough, flax meal and ener-g egg replacer. Maybe if I use what I have in lieu of what starches I don’t have individually with yeast/butter/yogurt mix, I might have edible, beautiful naan like yours. We’ll see…

  14. LaurieO says:

    I made curry for dinner last night and watched sadly as my husband and son ate the naan that I once would have used to sop up the sauce. Today, looking for something else altogether, I stumbled across your site (and this recipe)! Hooray on both counts!! Now I wonder; can I make these in quantity and freeze to have on hand? I’ve tried commercial GF wraps and find them to taste (and fold) like cardboard. I’d love to be able to pull a wrap out of the freezer for a quick lunch…. I’ve bookmarked your site and will be back.. and back…. and back…… Thanks so much!!

  15. Heather says:

    I added a little extra water to account for a dry climate and elevation, and melted the butter into a cast iron skillet just before putting the dough in to cook. The naan was fantastic! Thanks for a great recipe!

  16. Emily says:

    Hi Carla! What temp do you preheat your cast iron skillet at (medium high?) And how long do you preheat it? You dont add any oil to the skillet, right? Thanks!!

    • Hi Emily,

      I left the preheat temperature out, as it will depend upon how you like them cooked. In step no. 11, I show a photo of one and explain that I used a medium-high temperature. I like mine on medium. The more naan you cook, the temperature of your pan varies. So, you may need to adjust it here and there.

      Yes. Use an ungreased pan.

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  18. Mike says:

    The recipe fails to instruct what to do with the oil!

    • Hi Mike,

      Sorry about that. The recipe has been updated, though the changes may not show up for you right away as the pages are cached. The oil goes in when the eggs and buttermilk are added.

      I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we have.

      Carla

  19. Susan Peters says:

    Carla, just had to send you a note. We were sitting around wishing for some quesadilla . . . your Naan recipe was perfect in place of the flour tortillas. Thanks for sharing all the great recipes.

  20. gem says:

    I wonder if….I have bean flour (chickpea) wonder how that might work for indian breads too; w/o using wheat?

    I will have to try your naan as I love naan and miss it.

    • Hi Gem,

      Chickpea (garbanzo bean) flour is bitter. I wouldn’t suggest using it. Hope you enjoy this gluten free naan bread whenever you get a chance. I’ve made it twice so far, and really enjoy it.

      Carla

      • Mel says:

        Can I use 3/4 cup brown rice flour twice so as to replace the measurement for the white rice flour?
        Thanks!

        • Hi Mel,

          Yes. White and brown rice are interchangeable cup for cup. I just liked the white color of white rice flour in this recipe. If I had used all brown rice flour it would have been a tad darker.

          Enjoy!
          Carla

  21. Facebook Comment – April 16, 2013,

    “Hi Carla! Just finished making a batch of the GF Naan Bread. It’s so good… I have a pic on my FB page, they are not shaped as nicely as yours :-) The recipe is amazing. Thank you so much!!!

    I Replaced the White Rice flour with Sorghum flour, and used 1/2 canola and 1/2 EVOO and also used rice milk. I used eggs this time, next time I’ll try the egg replacement.”

    ~S.R.

  22. Jodie says:

    These were amazing!! I have tried several other GF naan bread recipes and these are by far the best. I love your recipes! Thanks Carla!!!!

    Jodie:)

  23. Annette says:

    These were fabulous! Soft, chewy, and folded without cracking. I made them this evening to go with butter chicken and rice. Everyone loved them, even the wheat eaters in the house.

    • Annette,

      Thank you for taking the time to leave feedback. I’m so happy the gluten-free and gluten eaters in your family enjoyed the naan. I very seldom have time to make recipes a second time due to my constant recipe development, but this one is on our list of “must have again”!

      Thanks,
      Carla

  24. Harriet says:

    Do I still need water if using lactose free milk, lemon juice and more baking powder?
    Thanks Carla! You’re the best!

    • You’ll just have to experiment since your’re replacing the yeast. I haven’t done this myself. I would keep the water, as you are not substituting it with anything. However, if your lactose free milk and lemon juice is thinner than butter milk cut it back to half. You can always stir in some extra, even after it rests for the 30 minutes. I had a half of a naan that had been resting for about an hour. I also added half of the buttermilk after it rested. I decided it was a bit too thick after watching the video above.

      Definitely watch the video so that you can see the consistency of the dough.

      Good luck!
      Carla

  25. Ali says:

    In addition to being gluten-free and vegan, due to multiple food allergies, I am also allergic to RICE. I am wondering if you have any suggestions for substituting the rice milk and rice flours. It would be such a treat to be able to have some Naan! Thanks in advance!

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