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Naan is luscious Indian flatbread, similar to a tortilla, but thicker. With one simple alteration, you can roll or pat them out thinner to use as tortillas. The flavor and texture are so good that they should be a sin to eat. By far, this gluten free naan is my most raved about recipe. People liken them to their gluten counterpart. Naan is full of possibilities.
There are two types of naan. One is closer to a bread texture and the other is soft. This is a soft gluten free naan recipe.
The story behind the recipe:
A little over a year ago, I picked up some Indian food 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 badly! Putting it mildly, I was jealous. Creating a soft gluten free naan seemed hopeless at the time. After promising everyone that I would experiment with a recipe, I just had to give it a go.
My husband (who eats gluten) 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, at first. However, it is absolutely incredible made on a pizza stone (as pictured above). The temperature traditional naan is cooked at is 800°F. Therefore, 500 to 600°F would be best.
You can make this in a cast iron skillet, as I did, at first. However, it is absolutely incredible made on a pizza stone as pictured. The temperature traditional naan is cooked is 800°F. Therefore, 500 to 600°F would be best, the highest your oven can be set.
Soft Gluten Free Naan – Gluten Free Indian Flatbread
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Yield: Makes 7 individual naan or 2 large
A soft, pliable gluten free naan ready to pair with any buttery or saucy Indian dish or eat plain.
1/2 cup water, heated to 110°F
1 tablespoon honey
2 teaspoons instant dry yeast
1-1/2 cups white or brown rice flour
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons potato starch
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 teaspoons guar gum
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon gluten-free baking powder (omit for tortillas)
1/4 teaspoon gluten-free garam masala (optional)
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup neutral-flavored cooking oil
2 large eggs, beaten, at room temperature
Unsalted butter, for buttering naan
To Make in a Skillet:
Combine warm water, honey, and yeast in a medium-sized bowl. Set aside until frothy, about 5 minutes.
In a separate, large bowl, add rice flour, potato starch, cornstarch, guar gum, salt, and baking powder. (Omit baking powder when making thin tortillas.) If using, add garam masala. It provides additional flavor. Whisk thoroughly; set aside.
Add buttermilk, oil, and beaten eggs to yeast mixture; whisk thoroughly.
Add the dry mixture to the wet mixture. Stir using a rubber spatula until it reaches the consistency of soft dough, like creamy mashed potatoes. Allow the batter to rest for 20 minutes.
Preheat a heavy skillet over medium heat, preferably a cast iron pan.
Dust a sheet of parchment paper generously with potato starch. Add up to 1/3 cup of dough, and using starch-dusted hands, pat out to a thin patty, about 6 inches round. Add additional potato starch, as needed.
Invert the patty into the preheated skillet and remove the parchment paper. Fry for 1-1/2 to 2-1/2 minutes on each side and until patches of golden color develop. Repeat the above steps with the remaining dough.
If desired, using a stick of butter, coat each side of the warm naan. It is a good way to remove starch that still shows. Serve immediately. If desired, top with roasted garlic, honey and cinnamon, or cinnamon and sugar.
To Make in the Oven on a Pizza Stone:
Follow the above instructions except preheat your oven with a pizza stone on the center rack to 500°F (450°F if using unbleached** parchment paper) for 20 minutes.
Pat half the dough out into a pear shape (the traditional shape of the dough due to its weight) or any shape you desire, on a large piece of foil or unbleached parchment paper**. Dust foil and dough generously with potato starch as needed to prevent sticking.
Transfer, along with the foil or paper, to the heated stone using a pizza peel (extra-large spatula) or the back of a baking sheet. Bake for 3 minutes. Turn oven to high broil. Broil for 2 minutes. Remove immediately and serve as suggested in the above step number 8. Repeat the above steps with the remaining dough.
If your naan breaks when you fold it, allow the rest to cool off and rewarm in the microwave, which softens them.
*If you like dryer naan, cut the buttermilk back as much as half.
**Be sure to use unbleached parchment paper that is safe for use up to 450°F.
When you add the buttermilk, also add 2-1/2 teaspoons of garlic paste. To make the garlic paste, while mincing the garlic, smear it onto a chopping board, scrap it up, and chop it some more. Do this repeatedly until paste-like.