Gluten-free Naan

Naan is one of the things I miss the most since I stopped eating wheat.  It is a versatile bread, and makes great mini pizzas for a quick snack!

In October, I tabled for the Co-op at the 9th annual Bellingham Gluten Intolerance Group information fair at St. Luke’s Education Center.  Next door to me was Josh from Flax 4 Life (who make delicious gluten-free flax muffins locally), and we started talking about the gluten-free lifestyle and he told me his wife Karissa was also a blogger.  Then he told me the news I was waiting to hear – that she had successfully made gluten-free naan.  Guess what I did?  Yup, you got it – after I went back to work I looked up her blog straightaway!

I will be the first to admit that when I saw that the naan recipe contained yeast, I was discouraged.  I don’t have a great history with successfully completing recipes for yeasted breads – I can never get them to rise properly, even when following the directions to a tee, and my kneading leaves a lot to be desired!

As my last recipe demo of the year got closer and closer, I decided to finally put my fears aside and tackle the naan recipe with only thoughts of success – what a good way to end the year, right?  Guess what, it worked…and not only that, it was delicious and super easy!

I think this recipe works best in a cast iron skillet.  You do need a lid, and I didn’t have one, so I just used a cookie sheet to cover the skillet and it worked just fine.  If you don’t have a cast iron skillet (you should really get one, you know!) then you should probably use a little more fat than I did for frying the naan so they don’t stick.  A well-seasoned cast iron skillet won’t require as much lubrication as you cook as stainless steel or other pans, so you can use less as you go through your batch of dough.  The original recipe called for a whole tablespoon of butter for each piece of dough, but I used considerably less than that.

The recipe was originally created by Artisan Bread in Five, and the same dough can also be made as a crusty boule with a few changes to the recipe.  You can find videos and step-by-step photos on their blog of the process.  They have a GF section in their cookbook that I really want to check out after making this recipe, and I will be exploring their blog for more gems.  Karissa at Gluten Free, Frugally adapted the recipe and essentially gave me the courage to go for it.  You can freeze both the dough and the cooked naan, so it is a great recipe to make in a big batch and then just pull them out of the freezer as you need them.

The next time I make these (which will be soon!) I am going to try to tweak it a little by using olive oil instead of the canola, as well as frying them in a little olive oil.  I am a huge fan of butter, and I’m sure that I will make them with butter again, but changing those two components ups the healthy factor a bit – plus I also love the flavor of a good olive oil!

Happy New Year, and enjoy the naan!!!

photo of gluten free naan bread

Gluten-Free Naan © 2010 Sassy Sampler

Gluten-Free Naan


  • 1 c brown rice flour + more for sprinkling the dough
  • 3/4 c sorghum flour
  • 1 1/2 c tapioca flour
  • 1 T granulated active dry yeast
  • 1 1/2 t sea salt
  • 1 T xanthan gum
  • 1 1/3 c lukewarm water (110°F)
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 T + 2 t canola oil
  • 1 T honey
  • Clarified butter (ghee) or butter


  1. Mix the flours, yeast, salt and xanthan gum in the bowl of a stand mixer (or a large bowl, if you are preparing by hand).
  2. Add the water, eggs, oil, and honey to the dry ingredients.  Mix with the paddle attachment (or with a large spoon) for a few moments until the dough has fully come together.  It will be very soft and airy.
  3. Put the dough in a large, clean bowl and cover it with a clean towel.  Put the dough in a warm place and leave it to rise for about 2 hours.
  4. Take the dough and break off a chunk about the size of your fist.  Place it on a floured  silicone baking mat or a piece of plastic wrap.
  5. Place a piece of plastic wrap over the top of the lump of dough and flatten it into a round shape with the heel of your hand.  Peel back the plastic wrap and sprinkle a little brown rice flour on top of the dough.
  6. Replace the plastic, and gently roll dough out to about  1/8” – 1/4” thick disc (depending on your preferences).
  7. Heat a small pat of clarified butter over medium heat in a skillet that has a lid (cast iron works the best).  If you don’t have clarified butter, you can use regular butter, but you will have to take care so it doesn’t burn (clarified butter doesn’t tend to burn) – you will have to wipe out the pan after you cook each naan.
  8. Carefully peel the dough off the mat/plastic and place it in the skillet.  Put the lid on to keep the heat in and cook for about 2 minutes.
  9. Flip it over and cook for about another minute or two, until cooked through.
  10. Repeat steps 4-9 until dough is gone!
  • If you don’t have a cast iron skillet with a lid, but have the skillet, use the bottom of a cookie sheet as a make-shift lid.  Just be sure to wear an oven mitt—it will get hot!
  • Let the naan cool on a wire rack.  If you are freezing them, wait until they are fully cooled and then put them in a large freezer bag with parchment paper in between them so you can pull out one or two easily from the freezer.
  • A friend of mine has a tortilla press and is going to try using this recipe to make tortillas – after working with the dough a couple times now, I think he will have great success with that and I will eagerly be awaiting a sample…

Gluten-free Naan PDF