Sourdough Naan Bread

using discarded sourdough starter

I based this on my naan bread recipe from “A Handful of Flour”, but turned it into a sourdough version that doesn’t require commercial yeast.

My sourdough starter had been in the fridge and I used the discard straight from there. This dough benefits from being kept in the fridge overnight before using, so make it a day or two before you want to bake. It will keep for up to two days in the fridge.

If your starter is very active, you may want to reduce the resting time a little accordingly.

For the 250g bread flour, this time I actually used 150g of type 55 (T55) for its extensibility plus 100g of type 00 (T00), but any strong bread flour will do. Plain flour is actually lovely for a very soft type of naan bread as well, but it won’t be up to the long ferment in the fridge.

Makes 6 naan breads

INGREDIENTS

  • 60ml tepid water
  • 120g wheat sourdough starter (unfed)
  • 250g strong white bread flour
  • ΒΎ tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 generous tbsp natural yoghurt
  • melted butter or ghee for frying
  • optional toppings - herbs (coriander / parsley), chopped garlic, onion seeds, chilli, chilli flakes

METHOD

Weigh out your water and sourdough starter, and stir gently in a large mixing bowl to combine.

Weigh out your flour and salt and add to the mix, along with your oil and yoghurt, and thoroughly combine together. If it is too dry add a tablespoon or two of lukewarm water very gradually to loosen it, but you don’t want the dough to be too wet and sticky.

Knead the dough until it is soft and firm, then place it in a lightly oiled bowl. Cover, and leave to rest at room temperature for 2-3 hours.

Then place it in the fridge overnight (or even for two nights – this dough is quite forgiving). (I have cooked it without refrigerating it overnight and it will still work if you are pushed for time, but you will get less volume and a less soft dough so if you can, the extra time is really worth it.)

When you are ready to cook your naan breads, heat a heavy griddle pan brushed with melted butter or ghee. Knock back the dough and divide into six equal lumps.

Work with them one at a time (keeping the rest covered), and use your hands to shape them into teardrop-shaped naan, roughly 2-3mm thick. Place it on the griddle pan and cook over a medium heat until the dough starts to puff and bubble. Turn it over and cook the other side, until there are no bits of uncooked dough left. This will take about 3-4 minutes per side (depending on how hot your pan is). You will probably need to cook the naan in batches, so keep the cooked ones warm under a low grill or in a preheated oven.

Brush them with a little melted butter to serve, and top as you please. I’ve been loving rubbing them with garlic cloves and butter, or sprinkling with chopped fresh coriander and chilli.