Yess! I made Naan(Indian flatbread) and….it tastes even better than the real Naan! I actually tried this recipe for the first time last year sometime in summer. I loved it but I wanted to test it once again before I posted the recipe so I waited. And then summer came and along with it all the chaos and the ‘busyness’ that I forgot all about this bread and the pending recipe validation! But how could I forget? Seriously, how could I forget about this delicious bread? I don’t know guys…. I have no explanation except that the medication, Methotrexate that I take for my RA clogs up my brain (yes I do suffer from brain fog 🙁 )
Anyways all is well that ends well, right? So I finally remembered that I needed to test this recipe again and I did so as soon as I ordered some plantain flour. Yes plantain flour is needed in this recipe although the majority of the flour is cassava flour. However, the plantain flour combined with the yeast is what gives this bread its unique ‘bread like’ taste and flavor (UPDATE: Since posting this recipe, I have tried making this naan with just cassava flour too and it comes out great too. Of course plantain flour gives it a better taste but the texture and taste is still good even with just cassava flour too). The first time I made this bread I just couldn’t get over how close it was in taste/flavor to the ciabatta that I used to bake in my pre-AIP days! It is absolutely delicious! It tastes great just as is ! And if you top it with grassfed butter (yes a successful #aipreintro for me!)or EVOO, it is bliss! Super super yum! The cauliflower Naan recipe that I posted before is good but this one is the real deal!
You can cook these naan on a pan (for best naan like texture) or you could bake them in the oven. Or you could also bake this bread in a baking tin or tray as a focaccia bread and it comes out great as well! So many options with one dough…isn’t that great? I show you all the options in my video!
Now if you have never used plantain flour, I will highly recommend you try it. I also use it to make my delicious AIP banana pancakes which is a regular recipe I make almost every week! Along with plantain flour, dry active yeast is needed in this recipe and yes, dry active yeast is allowed on the AIP diet. Check out The Paleo Mom’s post on this. Basically, Sarah says that active yeast is ok on the AIP diet as long as it is gluten free and there are no allergies to yeast. Alright, so now that we got this clarified and out of the way let’s get down to the recipe!
Some things about the recipe:
- I recommend using only Otto’s Cassava Flour for this recipe especially since of late my experience with Anthony’s Goods Cassava flour has been disappointing (sorry to say but their quality has changed considerably and the consistency of the flour has been varying a lot so I have had to stop using it). I know Otto’s is the most expensive brand however if you look out of amazon, you might get better prices for it at other online Paleo stores like ShopAIP etc.
- If you do not have plantain flour, you can use only cassava flour for the whole recipe and it still comes out good. Adding plantain flour makes it more tasty I think but you can use just cassava flour too!
- I have not tested this recipe with any other plantain flour brand other than the one linked to in the recipe below. So I don’t know if other plantain flour brands will produce a similar result.
- I recommend about 1 1/2 to 2 hours fermentation for this recipe but I have once made it by fermenting the dough overnight (for 8-10 hours) too and the bread tastes even better! However, I usually only ferment it for a couple hours.
For the best textured Naan, I prefer cooking this on a pan on the stove. Check out my video to see how I make it in different ways!
Do try this recipe and let me know in the comments below how you like it! I will so appreciate that! Linking this recipe to the Paleo / AIP Recipe Roundtable hosted by Phoenix Helix this week.
- In a cup or a small bowl, add the warm water (water should be between 100 and 110 deg F) and the maple syrup. Then add the yeast and stir with a spoon to let the yeast completely dissolve/mix into the water. Cover with an inverted cup or a dish and keep aside for about 10-15 mins until the yeast gets activated and gets all bubbly and rises to almost double its volume.
- Take a large glass mixing bowl and add the cassava flour and the plantain flours (if not adding plantain flour, just add all the cassava flour) to it. Add the sea salt too. Now add the yeast mixture (risen by now) and stir to mix. Add the rest of the warm water and mix with a spatula to form a dough. Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel and place a dish on top and leave aside for about 1 to 2 hours (1½ hours is perfect!) (If the room temperature is less than 70 F, then keep the dough inside an oven with the oven lights on)
- To the fermented dough, add a tbsp of extra virgin olive oil and knead gently (don't knead too much) until smooth. Divide dough into about 5 - 6 balls.
- On a parchment paper take each ball and flatten using your fingers to form a 3 inch dia round circle(or an oval naan shape). The thickness should be at least ½ an inch. if its too thin, then it will be like a tortilla.
- Heat a non stick pan or a cast iron pan until hot. Then cook the naan on the pan for about 2-3 mins on each side on medium heat. Brush with some olive oil on each side. Finish cooking all the naan this way.
- Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Take each ball of dough and press onto the parchment to form a 3 inch dia naan. Place about 2 -3 naan on tray and bake at 375 F for 12 mins on one side and then flip and apply oil on the other side and cook for another 5 mins.
- Alternatively if baking this as focaccia bread, you can press all the dough onto a parchment lined pan and press with hands till dough is about ½ inch thick. Bake this at 375 F for about 20-22 mins until golden brown on bottom.