Vegan naan bread

Vegan naan bread

naan bread toppings

I’ve always loved naan bread. I remember we used to go to our local Indian Restaurant (in Australia) and my favourite part would be the hot naan straight from the oven.

Unfortunately, I never tried to make it myself because I always thought that it would require a proper tandoori oven. But after teaching myself to make decent enough pizza in a normal oven, I thought “Why should naan bread be any different?”

In fact, really, you can quite easily make proper naan bread even if you are vegan, and even if you don’t have a tandoori oven… The only catch: You have to cook it about 3 minutes longer. I think I can live with that!

In this recipe I have replaced milk with almond milk and natural yoghurt with coconut cream. The naans are coated with garlic-infused olive oil, parsley and chilli. A traditional Indian restaurant would use something like ghee, which is clarified butter.

The advantage of our approach is that not only is it 100% vegan, but a LOT healthier. In fact, ghee is so fattening that you put on a pound of weight just by looking at it. Fact!

This vegan naan bread recipe is best enjoyed straight of the oven with a nice curry (coming soon), some good friends and some cold lager.

decorating naan bread

ready naan breads

naan bread with curry

naan bread curry

makes
6
PREP
2 hours
COOKING
6 min
makes
6
PREPARATION
2 hours
COOKING
6 min
INGREDIENTS

BREAD

  • 450 g of strong flour
  • 7 g sachet fast-action dried yeast
  • 150 ml of almond milk
  • 150 ml of coconut cream*
  • 2 tsp brown sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp olive oil + extra for bread glazing and pan glazing

TOPPING

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely diced
  • handful of parsley, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp of mild chilli flakes
  • sprinkle of sea salt

METHOD
BREAD

  1. Mix the flour, yeast, sugar and salt in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Pour in the lukewarm almond milk, coconut cream (at room temperature) and olive oil. Stir everything together with a large wooden spoon.
  3. When the mixture has mostly stuck together turn the mixture out on to a work surface or bread board.
  4. Knead the mixture by holding one end of the dough in one hand and stretching it out with the other hand. Reform the dough, turn it 90 degrees and start again. Repeat this for 10 minutes (see photo below).

bread kneading

  1. When the dough is shiny and smooth, put it in a large mixing bowl, coat it in a thin layer of olive oil and cover the bowl with a tea towel.
  2. Leave this in a warm place (but not too warm – ie not next to an open fire!) for between one and two hours (until it has doubled in size).
  3. Place a greased baking tray in the oven and heat to 250° C / 480° F.
  4. Empty the dough out on to a work surface and push the air out with your fingertips.
  5. Cut the dough into 6 even pieces and roll each piece into a rough ball. Roll out each ball with a rolling pin until it is about half a centimetre thick (see photo below).

shaping naan bread

  1. When the oven is hot, take the baking tray out and place 2 rolled-out naans (or as many that will fit) on the baking tray and immediately put in the oven.
  2. Cook for 6-7 minutes or until the naans are golden brown.

TOPPING

  1. Warm up olive oil in a pan.
  2. Put diced garlic into the warm oil and fry it off very gently (on a low heat & stirring frequently) until the smell of raw garlic is gone.
  3. Apply garlic infused oil to baked naan breads with a brush. Sprinkle them with a bit of parsley, chilli and salt. Serve warm.

NOTES
* You can either buy 100% coconut cream (not milk) or you can refrigerate can of full fat (that’s important) coconut milk for at least 24 hours. Carefully take it out of the fridge – be sure not to move or shake the can. Open it and your should see a layer of coconut cream rise to the top – carefully scoop it out with a spoon and set aside to bring to room temperature before using in the recipe as fridge cold cream will kill the yeast. Keep the watery part too, you can use it in smoothies or curries.

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NUTRITIONAL INFO
calories
444
22%
sugars
16 g
18%
fats
13 g
18%
saturates
5 g
25%
proteins
10 g
20%
carbs
72 g
28%
*per naan
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4.8
4 reviews, 28 comments
REVIEWS & QUESTIONS
Maria:
What do you mean by "strong flour," as I've seen this phrase used in several of your recipes?
    Ania
    Ania:
    Strong flour is simply another term for bread flour. Hope that helps! Ania
Sam robins:
Just made this with our lentil curry...so so good swapped the almond milk for oatly... as allergic to almonds. They tasted so good. Thank you
    Ania
    Ania:
    Brilliant news Sam! I'll be adding a recipe for Peshwari naan soon... Watch this space!
Guen:
Hlo! Thanks for the great recipe, we made some yesterday and they were delicious :D one find we had: if you bake them in a hot pan with some olive oil, they become even fluffier and softer for extra tastiness and curry absorption abilities. Naans are originally baked in a Tandoor grill - so the fast heat increase is essential to getting lots of oven spring. Cheers!
    Ania
    Ania:
    Hey Guen,
    Glad to hear you liked the recipe. Nice idea to do it in a pan! Ania
Ellie:
Fab recipe, these turned out brilliantly, and were perfect with the pumpkin and coconut curry. Thank you!
    Ania
    Ania:
    Thanks so much, Ellie! That's brilliant to hear! :)
swapna:
Hi
what is strong flour referred in Australia
    Ania
    Ania:
    Hello,

    This little chart is very useful:

    • Cake and pastry flour = soft flour

    • All-purpose flour = plain flour

    • Bread flour = strong flour, hard flour

    • Self-raising flour = self-raising flour

    • Whole-wheat flour = wholemeal flour

Tiffany:
I made these the other week and although they smelt and tasted fantastic, my wholemeal flour meant that they came out rather 'dense' not fluffy like a regular naan. More like a pitta, I guess. Gutted. I also sneaked a bit of crushed smoked garlic into the dough - the flavour was amazing.
Would you recommend just using plain flour, or maybe 50/50?
    Ania
    Ania:
    Hi Tiffany,

    Wholemeal flour is actually quite a different beast to white flour as it contains the bran (whereas white flour contains only the endosperm). To be honest, I'm surprised it came out as well as it did! My recommendation would be to use either "bread flour" or "strong flour" as it has the high protein count needed to make Naan properly.
Melanie:
Hi all! I'm new to the vegan cooking world, and I have just one question about your recipe! What is a possibility in terms of "strong flour?" I'm not familiar with what flours are considered a strong flour. I appreciate the help! I'm an Indian food nut so I am incredibly excited to try this recipe!
    Ania
    Ania:
    Hi Melanie,

    Great to hear that you are excited! Strong flour (sometimes called bread flour) is flour with a higher protein content which helps to create more gluten and more rise in baked breads. It is a white flour but is different to all-purpose flour (which has a lower protein content)…You should be able to find it in a big supermarket. I hope that helps! Good luck!
Nancy:
This looks so good! Is there a gluten free option? 😕
    Ania
    Ania:
    Hi Nancy! No, I haven't tried got one, I'm afraid. :(
Sheida Norouzi:
Looks so yummy! Can I use unsweetened almond milk?
    Ania
    Ania:
    I'm glad you like it! Yes, unsweetened almond milk is what I used. Good luck!
Anna:
Many thanks for your kind answer. Yes the water roux or tangzhong is very nice and easy to play with also in order to veganize lots of bread and brioche recipes. Btw i will explore your blog with pleasure.
    Ania
    Ania:
    Fantastic, so nice to hear that you like the blog! x
Anna:
Hello . Pleased to know your interesting blog . I look forward to try your naan bread and i would like to ask to you If you ever use tangzhong method for baking , i love so much for fluffy bread. Many greetings from Italy.
    Ania
    Ania:
    Hi Anna,
    Many thanks for your lovely comment and if you do make our naan bread, we would love to hear how you got on. No, we've never tried tangzhong method but you got us intrigued, we will research it for sure. Thanks so much for new inspiration!
    Ania
hanna:
hello Ania
I tried this recipies
they are great! i loved
thank you very much
Hanna
    Ania
    Ania:
    My pleasure:) So glad to hear that!
    Ania
Dawn:
Mm....I love naan! It reminds me of all the dinners with my dad on our "father daughter date nights" when we would choose an ethnic restaurant to dine at and we would almost always end up at an Indian restaurant. He is gone now, but every time I see naan bread it brings back such wonderful memories of him. Can't wait to try this!
    Ania
    Ania:
    Thank you Dawn, I'm glad that this recipe brought back nice childhood memories. I wish we had naan bread in Poland when I was growing up:)
Dawn @ Words Of Deliciousness:
I love your naan recipe, nice and healthy. Your pictures are beautiful. Very delicious.
    Ania
    Ania:
    Thank you so much, Dawn. Yes, naan bread gets bad rep sometimes, but there are certainly ways to make it less unhealthy and still super tasty:)
Jess:
Yum going to give these a try next time I have my vegan friend around for dinner!
    Ania
    Ania:
    Thanks, Jess. Please do - hope you and your friend like them.
michelle @ Boards&knives:
Beautiful looking recipe and photos! I love naan bread.
    Ania
    Ania:
    Thank you so much, Michelle.
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