Gluten-Free Indian Wholegrain Naan Flatbread Recipe

I’ve always been more than a little envious of gluten-based flatbreads. Naan is one of the DH’s favorite things, and I definitely wish I could have tried the flatbread made in the home of the Bangalorean family that I saw on our last visit to India. But, I’ve learned over the years that the best consolation is coming up with my own gluten-free version of a dish at home later. That’s exactly what I did one evening when I found myself drowning in our favorite spinach chickpea curry recipe and out of rice. I had tried a recipe using all white flours from the gluten-free mall’s recipe index, and I liked it, but I wanted something a little more sophisticated and healthier for me, too. So, I played around with flours until I came up with a satisfying brown and white rice flour naan that had just enough teff to give it a lovely “wholegrain” flavor but not too much to overpower the bread. The resulting bread was lovely, and a huge improvement on the original. So, the next time you have curry- why not try a northern starch rather than a southern, and try my recipe for wholegrain Naan flatbread. Even if you don’t have curry, butter or margarine with dill or any traditional sandwich filling is great in this flatbread. The best part? Despite its fluffy, yeasty interior the crispy exterior is strong enough to keep it together when you slice it open, and sturdy enough to handle a heavy filling… even lots of whole chickpeas slow simmered in an Indian curry.

I am very pleased to enter this flatbread recipe in Bread Baking Day, with its theme of “small breads.” Enjoy more of the Book of Yum’s Indian Food Recipes and Reviews

Looking for more gluten-free flatbread recipes?

Try Ginger Lemon Girl’s Millet Flatbread

Kate’s GF Mock lavash Bread

or

Naomi’s Sweet Potato Pita

Gluten-Free Naan / Roti – Indian Flat Bread (Gluten-Free)
Ingredients
1 cup tepid milk (i used soy milk, but any kind of milk is fine)
1/2 cup brown rice flour (superfine)
1/2 cup white rice flour
1/2 cup sweet rice flour
3 tbsp. teff flour
1/2 cup tapioca flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon gluten free baking powder
2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons dried active yeast
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1 cup or more plain/natural yogurt
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
Directions
In a bowl mix tepid milk with 1 teaspoon sugar and the yeast, then
sit bowl in warm place for 4-5 minutes.

Sift the flours, Xanthan gum, salt, baking powder into a bowl or
food mixer. Add remaining sugar, oil, yogurt, egg and mix until smooth.

Preheat oven to the highest setting. Make dough into 6 equal sized
balls. Roll out balls into round shapes that are about 1/4 in. thick .[my note: I rolled the dough out on parchment paper- you can then peel off parchment paper after transferring or bake directly on paper. I also put my hand inside a small plastic ziploc to pat out the dough rather than using a rolling pin, using liberal amounts of extra teff flour to decrease stickiness.]

Preheat a heavy baking tray in oven to 550 or so. Remove tray and put the naan on it [on or off of parchment paper]. Return to the oven for 3 mins, or until the naan puffs up and turns light brown. Place tray under the broiler 30 seconds to 1 minute for extra browning.

(my oven only heats to 550 and the first time it took me more like
5 minutes or six to get it brown. But then the second time i almost
burned it, so watch it carefully. My hubby liked it better the
browner it got.)


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17 Responses to “Gluten-Free Indian Wholegrain Naan Flatbread Recipe”

  1. OMG.

    *MUAW*

    I *knew* you would have a recipe for Naan! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!

    I can’t wait to make this TONIGHT!

  2. I know how difficult it can be to look for alternatives and yet come close to the texture and taste of the original dish. You seem to have managed it well.
    Thank you for both your entries.

  3. I just finished making this (and cleaning up the HUGE mess in the kitchen — haha). The last few that I did turned out the best. But I did have some problems that maybe you have suggestions for.
    1) You don’t say in your directions when to add the milk/yeast mixture to the rest of the mix. I ended up just adding it when I added the sugar, oil, yogurt, etc. But I figured I’d ask.
    2) I couldn’t find sweet rice flour anywhere today, so I did some research and one person said that one can substitute tapioca flour for sweet rice flour. So I ended up putting in 1 cup tapioca flour (since it already called for 1/2 cup) and obviously no sweet rice flour.
    3) When it was all mixed up, it was WAY too thin. It was more like a batter than a dough. I ended up having to add a ton more flour until it finally doughed up.
    So… do you think it was the substitution of tapioca flour for sweet rice flour that made it not dough up? Or does the recipe not call for enough flour? Or maybe I didn’t measure properly (I spooned the flour into the measuring cup and leveled off with knife instead of packing it in)?
    Sorry for all the questions but I’d really like to give this another try, just hoping to get it right next time. Cause the ones that turned out were quite good! Thanks.

  4. Hi Sienna,
    You’re right- I intended that the reader add the milk/yeast in with the rest of the wet ingredients.

    I will make the recipe again, because it has been a while, but I think it should be correct as written. (I’ll get back to you on this, though!) I wouldn’t substitute tapioca for sweet rice… I’d just add more rice flour, which I think is closer to the right texture.

    You may be able to find sweet rice flour at your regular grocery store as “mochiko” in a square box. I think it’s made in Hawaii (but don’t quote me on that!). Alternatively you may find it at a Japanese store. A health food store or online flour company is probably the most convenient regular source.

    I’m glad you tried the recipe and told me about your experience! I’ll try to post here in the comments after I make it again, or post at your blog(?) once I have news! :)

    -Sea

    PS You can always contact me on the right by email or post and I’ll try to get back to you quickly, especially if you have recipe questions..

  5. Thanks Sea for your quick reply! I’m excited to hear about your results when you try it again. And I’ll take your advice about looking for “mochiko” and/or looking for it at a Japanese store. Thanks again!

  6. This looks absolutely yummy! Do you have any ideas on how to do it dairy free as well? I’m not sure what would happen if I left out the yoghurt and used rice milk. Any thoughts?

    Thanks!

  7. Hi Eric,
    I wouldn’t recommend substituting rice milk for the yogurt- it has a very different texture and protein levels. What you might try would be one of the soy, rice or coconut yogurts on the market- or try substituting a recipe for coconut yogurt from online. I can’t promise it will work perfectly, though. Otherwise… I might be inclined to try a nut “cheese” as a substitute. It would have a higher protein count and could have a nice creamy texture. Sourdough starter (a la Bette hagman) might add a nice sour touch. I’m dairy free at the moment too, and dying to make some yummy whole grain flatbread.

    For more of a “white bread” type flatbread I’ve been making Bette Hagman’s recipe for pita bread in her GFG bakes bread cookbook. My DH looooves it. However, it is sweeter and less savory than this recipe.

    Hope this helps!!!! If I try to make it with a dairy sub I will post in the comments here again with an update.

    -Sea

  8. Jyothi Mcminn Says:

    I am also on diet. I am Indian and make this with 2 cups of gluten free ap flour, 1/2 stick of butter softened, 1/2 tsp. of salt, a pinch of baking soda, 1 cup of lactose free milk and 1/2 of sugar. knead the flour and cover it with a towel for 30 minutes and roll it out and cook it on the skillet with a drop of oil and after is golden brown on both sides, add a dab of softened butter. it comes out great. To roll it out I use white cornmeal. Enjoy.

  9. [...] so we rocked the gluten-free naan action for the Indian Feast.  She and Ken came prepared with this recipe, which we veganized.  It was some superlative naan, I assure you.  I should mention that before [...]

  10. Hi … I just tried this today and it basically was a liquid and couldn’t be used. I went over the amounts several times to see if I had made a mistake but I know I put in the ingredients exactly as listed! I noticed someone else had the same problem. Have you tried making it recently? If so, do you still recommend the same measurements? thanks

    Anne

  11. I am currently dairy free (and have been for 8 months or so) so can’t test the recipe. What I am suspecting is that I used a very thick yogurt (like, stand on its own type yogurt) and some of the testers are using a thin yogurt. Unfortunately I can’t test it until I’m eating some kind of yogurt again… well, I could test it, but I couldn’t eat it, and these days I have no time to bake stuff I can’t eat. Eek! I’ll definitely come back to this recipe when my diet is more normal again. Sorry ladies.

    -Sea

  12. To answer the yogurt question/concern perhaps if they tried draining it overnight so that it looses most of its moisture, it would still be very creamy, just not so wet. To do so, put several layers of food grade cheese cloth in a strainer and dump in enough yogurt so you have same measurement as recipe calls for after it drains. Set strainer over a bowl and let drains away in your refrigerator. Might help end the runny dough situation.

    Just a thought.

  13. Tried this last night, and it takes WAY more flour than this recipe calls for, at least a cup. In my experience, most gluten-free baking recipes result in a kind of batter, like this one did when made as directed. But to make Naan, you need to be able to form dough into “patties,” and that’s not possible unless the dough is sufficiently dry so that it doesn’t stick to everything.

    The technique I finally settled on was this:
    1. Take a piece of foil and sprinkle liberally with (GF) cornmeal.
    2. Place a glob of wet dough/batter onto the cornmeal-covered foil (about a 1/2 cup worth).
    3. Dust the top of the glob with rice flour.
    4. Using a flat implement (I used my French bowl scraper, but you could use a large barbecue spatula, or a bench scraper) that has been dusted with rice flour, press the glob into a flat “patty” (I had to moisten the bowl scraper to get the rice flour to stick to it).
    5. Bake as directed.

    The result is something like the Naan I used to make before we went g-free, but since it’s almost all rice flour, it tastes very, well, ricey. If I do this again, I’ll probably try substituting at least half of the rice flour with a combination of potato starch, sorghum flour, or millet flour.

  14. I’ve been intending to re-test this recipe as I’ve had more than one report that it turns out wet. The difference may be a matter of the type of yogurt used or there may have been a typo in the original. I had to go rice-free for a while and now am doing “rice-light” in my diet, but will try it and get back to you all.

    -Sea

  15. I made this using the instructions from the Indian version of 2 cups GFAP flour
    and in the directions it only states 1/2 sugar. I put in 1/2 cup because the ingredient previous to that was 1 cup lactose free milk (which I substituted organic yogurt) and the texture and consistency was thick enough, only it is way too sweet. I am not sure why anyone would sweeten naan bread anyway. I have made some fabulous naan bread using regular flour, and wanted to have a gluten free solution. I will go back to my original recipe and use the flour substitute of Gluten Free AP flour and let you know how that works.

  16. LadyLoy, In the ingredients it clearly states 2 TSP sugar. So to put half that amount (which is what I intended by the directions) would be 1 TSP, not 1/2 cup. Of course, 1/2 cup sugar would be too sweet. There have been a few issues with this recipe that I believe comes from the type of yogurt used (European vs. greek type) and I’ll be testing it again soon, now that I am eating rice again.

    -Sea

  17. [...] my dissertation and even find time to develop new recipes here. You may have seen my old recipe for A gluten-free wholegrain Indian Naan. It called for yogurt, greek yogurt specifically (European yogurt is too runny). But this [...]

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