This Sourdough Discard Naan Bread is so easy to make and is a fantastic way to use up any sourdough discard you would normally throw out. In just a few hours, you can have hot and fresh homemade flatbread ready to pair with your favorite curries, stews, and salads.
While I have yet to master the perfect loaf of sourdough bread, using up my sourdough starter discard is something I've become quite good at.
My favorite types of bread recipes are the ones that are quick, easy, and practically foolproof. There's not much worse than waiting all day for your bread dough to rise only for it to turn out to be a dud (ask me how I know).
This sourdough discard flatbread is the perfect recipe for those just learning how to work with sourdough starter and naturally leavened bread. The sourdough naan dough is easy to work with and very forgiving. Plus, you can have this naan bread ready in just a few hours.
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Why You'll Love This Recipe
- Subtle Sourdough Flavor- Using sourdough discard gives this naan bread a nice, but not overwhelming tang. If you're new to sourdough bread and you're not sure about the flavor, this naan bread is a good place to start.
- Easy to Make- This sourdough discard naan recipe is very forgiving and is perfect for those just starting to dip their toes into the world of sourdough bread-making. Just mix all of the ingredients together, wait a few hours, and cook! The dough itself is easy to handle too so, you don't have to worry about dealing with a sticky mess.
- Perfect Side Dish- Naan bread is a fantastic side dish for all kinds of recipes. Of course, it pairs well with curries and stews, but it's also delicious alongside salads, soups, and rice dishes.
Here are some notes on key ingredients. For a full list of ingredients, check out the recipe card below.
- Sourdough Discard- This recipe was created and tested using my 100% hydration sourdough discard.
- Flour- I've tested this recipe with both all-purpose flour and with bread flour. Both turn out great! The bread flour version has a bit more chew thanks to the extra gluten, but both flours can be used interchangeably in this recipe.
- Water- Use warm water (about 105-110°F) to help activate the yeast in your sourdough starter.
- Sugar- Just a little sugar gives the naan bread some flavor and helps with browning.
- Kosher Salt- For flavor.
- Greek Yogurt- Plain Greek yogurt adds a little fat, which gives the naan bread a softer texture. It also adds a bit of tang, complementing the flavor of the sourdough discard. I used yogurt with 2% milkfat when testing this recipe.
- Olive Oil- Just a bit of olive oil adds moisture and fat, giving the naan bread a softer texture and better crumb.
Step by Step Instructions
Here is how to make this sourdough discard naan bread recipe.
Step 1: Make the dough. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together your sourdough discard, water, and sugar until the discard is thoroughly dissolved. Add the flour, kosher salt, olive oil, and yogurt to the bowl and stir until a shaggy dough is formed.
Step 2: Let the dough rest. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for approximately 5 minutes or until smooth. Place the dough into a lightly oiled mixing bowl, cover, and allow to rest until puffy, but not quite doubled in size. Depending on the temperature of your kitchen, this may take anywhere from 2-4 hours.
Step 3: Roll out the dough. Preheat a cast iron skillet on the stovetop over medium heat. In the meantime, turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and divide it into 8 equal pieces. Form a ball with each piece of dough, then roll them out into ¼-inch thick circles.
Step 4: Cook the naan bread. Working with one piece of naan bread at a time, place the rolled-out dough into the dry, preheated skillet. Cook until the surface begins to bubble, about 1-2 minutes. Then, flip the naan and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes on the other side. The naan should fill with air and puff up. If not, flip it over again for an additional minute. Remove the cooked naan to a plate covered with a tea towel to serve warm or to a wire rack to serve cool.
Tips For Success
- Measure your ingredients by weight. When it comes to bread-making, accurate measurements are key. If you don't already have one, I recommend purchasing a food scale to measure your ingredients by weight (grams) instead of volume (cups). This will help you get the consistency of the dough just right.
- Use a little extra flour to prevent sticking. While the dough shouldn't be too wet or sticky, if you notice it sticking to the counter or your rolling pin, dust it with a bit of flour.
- Get your pan nice and hot. After practicing this recipe many times to get it just right, I found that having the pan at the correct temperature is essential. If you want naan bread that puffs up and has those classic brown spots, you need steam. It's best to let the skillet preheat for several minutes before adding the first piece of naan.
- Don't stress if your naan doesn't puff up. If your naan bread doesn't puff u, don't worry. It will still be delicious! Just try turning up the heat a bit the next time you make them to help create the steam needed to puff up your naan bread.
- Make ahead. You can easily make the dough up to 3 days in advance. Just cover it tightly with plastic wrap and store it in the refrigerator. Then, bring it to room temperature before rolling it out and cooking.
- Sourdough Starter- You can use either fed or unfed sourdough starter in this recipe. It's not picky! If you want to use dry active yeast, use one whole packet (7 grams) and increase the amount of flour to 270 grams (2 ¼ cups) and the amount of water to 120 grams (½ cup).
- Flour- I've used both all-purpose flour and bread flour in this recipe. If you want to use whole wheat flour, I recommend replacing half of the white flour with whole wheat. Keep in mind, you may have to increase the water a little bit to keep the same hydration. Knead in an additional tablespoon of water, one at a time, until your dough becomes tacky but workable.
- Water- You can use milk instead of water if preferred.
- Greek Yogurt- Buttermilk, sour cream, milk, or softened butter can all be used as substitutes for yogurt in naan bread. Keep in mind, that each of these may require you to adjust the amount of flour in the recipe.
- Olive Oil- Any oil you enjoy or even a bit of melted butter can be used in place of olive oil. Since naan bread is a pretty blank canvas, flavor-wise, try adding flavored oils such as garlic or herb-infused oil.
- Sugar- Since we use such a small amount of sugar in this recipe, you can really substitute it for any sweetener you prefer. Try brown sugar, honey, or maple syrup.
Toppings and Flavors
- Garlic & Butter- Brush warm naan bread with a mixture of butter or ghee and grated garlic. Better yet, mash some roasted garlic cloves into the butter for a richer flavor.
- Cilantro- Mix some fresh chopped cilantro with a little olive oil and salt for an herbaceous naan bread dipping oil.
- Toasted Cumin- Work some toasted cumin seeds right into your dough for a warmly spiced and fragrant bread.
What to Serve with Sourdough Naan Bread
Homemade naan bread is a wonderful side dish for many recipes and can be used in many different ways. Here are a few of my favorite foods to serve with this sourdough discard naan bread.
- Red Curry Lentils with Sweet Potato and Spinach
- Potato and Cauliflower Tikka Masala
- Falafel Gyros
- Lemon Dill Hummus
- Black Bean Corn Feta Dip
- Soups and Stews
- Wraps or Sandwiches
- Naan Bread Pizza
Storage and Reheating
How to Store
- Room Temperature- Allow the naan bread to cool completely before storing it in an airtight container or sealable plastic bag for 3-4 days.
- Refrigerator- I don't recommend storing naan bread in the refrigerator. Naan bread, like all bread, stales quickly in the cold, dry environment of a refrigerator.
- Freezer- Store leftover naan bread in a freezer-safe plastic bag or container and freezer for up to 3 months for the best quality.
How to Reheat
If you want to reheat frozen naan bread, you'll want to give it about an hour or so to thaw a bit on the counter first.
- Oven- Preheat the oven to 400°F. Place the naan bread directly on an oven rack positioned in the middle of the oven. Heat for approximately 5 minutes or until warmed through and softened.
- Stovetop- Heat a little butter or olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Warm the naan bread for 30 seconds on each side.
- Microwave- Place a single piece of naan bread on a microwave-safe plate and lay a damp paper towel over it. Heat on high in 15-second intervals until softened and warm. Take care not to overheat the naan or it will become very tough and hard.
Frequently Asked Questions
Both popular flatbreads, naan bread and pita bread have a few key differences. Naan bread is typically made with ingredients such as yogurt, milk, or eggs to give it a fluffier texture and is traditionally cooked in a tandoor oven. Pita bread, on the other hand, is usually made with just flour, salt, water, and yeast.
Naan bread is similar to other types of white bread when it comes to nutritional value. Making naan bread at home eliminates any added preservatives that you might find in store-bought naan bread. If you want to make your naan bread more nutritious, try swapping some of the white flour for whole wheat flour.
Yes, absolutely! This recipe isn't fussy when it comes to the type of discard you use. Cold or room temperature, fed or unfed - it all works.
Certainly. Make the dough up to 3 days ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator until you're ready to make the naan bread. Alternatively, you can make a big batch of naan bread and store them in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Naan bread can be made in either a cast iron skillet or a heavy-bottomed stainless steel pan on the stovetop. Do not use a non-stick skillet as the high heat required to make naan bread is not good for the non-stick coating. Alternatively, you can make naan bread in the oven on a pizza stone or in a pizza oven.
More Sourdough Recipes
- Dutch Oven Sourdough Bread
- Sourdough Sandwich Rolls
- Sourdough Discard Pizza Dough
- Whole Wheat Sourdough Crackers
- Sourdough Irish Soda Bread
Sourdough Discard Naan Bread
- 120 grams (½ cup) sourdough discard unfed, 100% hydration
- 60 grams (¼ cup) warm water about 105-110°F
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 210 grams (1 ¾ cups) all-purpose or bread flour
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- ⅓ cup Greek yogurt plain, 2% milkfat
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together your sourdough discard, water, and sugar until the discard is thoroughly dissolved. Add the flour, kosher salt, olive oil, and yogurt to the bowl and stir until a shaggy dough is formed.120 grams (½ cup) sourdough discard, 60 grams (¼ cup) warm water, 1 teaspoon granulated sugar, 210 grams (1 ¾ cups) all-purpose or bread flour, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, ⅓ cup Greek yogurt
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for approximately 5 minutes or until smooth. Place the dough into a lightly oiled mixing bowl, cover, and allow to rest until puffy, but not quite doubled in size. Depending on the temperature of your kitchen, this may take anywhere from 2-4 hours.
- Preheat a cast iron skillet on the stovetop over medium heat. In the meantime, turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and divide it into 8 equal pieces. Form a ball with each piece of dough, then roll them out into ¼-inch thick circles.
- Working with one piece of naan bread at a time, place the rolled-out dough into the dry, preheated skillet. Cook until the surface begins to bubble, about 1-2 minutes. Then, flip the naan and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes on the other side. The naan should fill with air and puff up. If not, flip it over again for an additional minute. Remove the cooked naan to a plate covered with a tea towel to serve warm or to a wire rack to serve cool.
- This recipe was tested using an unfed 100% hydration sourdough starter in a 68°F kitchen. I let my dough rise for approximately 2 hours.
- Bread flour and all-purpose flour can be used interchangeably.
- I recommend measuring your ingredients by weight using a food scale.
- Make sure you let your skillet get nice and hot so that your naan bread gets puffy and bubbly.
- Make Ahead: You can easily make the dough up to 3 days in advance. Just cover it tightly with plastic wrap and store it in the refrigerator. Then, bring it to room temperature before rolling it out and cooking.
- Storage: Store leftover naan bread in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.