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Photo of vegan whole wheat naan stacked in an earthenware plate with black cheesecloth next to it.
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5 from 7 votes

Whole Wheat Naan

If you love a good naan but hesitate to indulge because of all that white flour, here's the bread you've been waiting for. This whole wheat naan is made entirely with wholegrain flour, and it is just as soft and puffy as the Indian restaurant version you are used to. Use it to scoop up a spicy curry or sabzi for an exquisite--and healthy--Indian dinner.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Resting time for dough1 hr 10 mins
Total Time1 hr 50 mins
Course: Bread
Cuisine: Indian
Diet: Vegan, Vegetarian
Keyword: Whole Wheat Naan
Servings: 8 naan breads
Calories: 226kcal

Equipment

Ingredients

  • teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • cups lukewarm water
  • cups whole wheat atta flour (use this or white whole wheat flour if possible.)
  • 1 tablespoon vital wheat gluten (optional but highly recommended)
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ cup vegan yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoon salt (you can cut down the salt if you eat less salt or are salt-free)

For optional garlic-herb butter topping

  • 4 tablespoon vegan butter
  • 2 tablespoon cilantro (finely chopped)
  • 4 cloves garlic (minced)
  • ½ teaspoon salt

Instructions

  • Place the yeast and sugar in a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. Add ½ cup lukewarm water and let the yeast stand five minutes so it "blooms" and becomes frothy.
  • Add the flour, vital wheat gluten, baking soda and vegan yogurt. Use the dough hook attachment on your stand mixer or knead with your hands and drizzle in the water until you get a soft, pliable dough. I needed a total of 1 ¾ cups water on a dry, cool day. You might need more or less water depending on the weather where you live. Continue kneading for five minutes until the dough is very smooth. Add the oil and continue kneading until the oil is absorbed, which should take another minute. The finished dough should stick very slightly to the bottom of the bowl but should come off easily and should not feel too tacky (see photo).
  • Shape the dough into a smooth ball and place in an oiled bowl. Turn the dough once so the top is coated with oil. Cover tightly and place in a warm spot in your kitchen.
  • In about an hour the dough should have doubled. Knead it very briefly to deflate, then cut into eight pieces. Roll each into a ball, coat each ball lightly with flour, and set aside, covered with a kitchen towel, for 10 more minutes. Resting the dough this way makes it easier to shape the naans.
  • Shape the naans. I find it easiest to create a teardrop shape by first using the rolling pin to roll the naan into an oval. Then I pick up the dough and use my fingers to pull the edges out gently, creating a teardrop shape. Be careful as you can tear the dough when you do this. If you do, patch it up and continue shaping. You can also just roll the naan into a round or an oval and roast it.
  • Once you've got your naan in the desired shape, place it back on a flat surface and use your fingertips to gently make indentations in the naan.
  • Heat a griddle until it's very, very hot. Don't oil it. Place the naan on the hot griddle and wait a minute until bubbles appear all over. Check the bottom of the naan and if there are nice char spots on it flip it over and cook another minute. Flip over one more time and quickly brush on oil or vegan butter or cilantro-garlic butter and remove to a plate lined with a kitchen towel. Wrap the hot naan immediately in the towel to keep it soft.

Make the optional garlic-cilantro-butter topping

  • Place all ingredients in a saucepan and melt the butter over low heat. Continue to infuse over low heat for five minutes. Turn off heat.
  • Brush the garlic-herb topping over the hot naans as soon as they are cooked.

Notes

  • Nutrition info is for the naan and does not include the garlic-herb butter. To keep this naan healthy you can skip the butter and brush on a bit of oil or cooking spray.
  • You can skip the vital wheat gluten in the naan dough but it really helps create a more authentic texture in the naan, and it has the added benefit of upping the amount of protein in the recipe. If you skip it make sure you knead the dough a little longer to help the gluten develop.
  • Baking naan in oven: Preheat your oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit/235 degrees Celsius. If you have a pizza stone place it inside the oven before you begin to heat it. Otherwise place a baking sheet in the oven. Once the oven has preheated place a naan --or two depending on how many your baking sheet will hold without overlapping -- on the hot pizza stone or baking sheet. Once the naan puffs up and bubbles and forms char spots flip and bake the other side for a couple minutes more. Oil after removing from the oven.
  • Storage instructions: Place the naans, still wrapped in a kitchen towel, inside a ziploc bag and refrigerate for up to three days. To freeze the naans, place them in a freezer safe bag or airtight container after they have cooled. Freeze for up to three months. You can reheat the naans on the griddle. Thaw the naans first if you froze them.You can also wrap the naans in a damp paper towel and reheat in the microwave.

Nutrition

Serving: 1naan | Calories: 226kcal | Carbohydrates: 41g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 652mg | Potassium: 218mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 5IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 22mg | Iron: 2mg