Sourdough Discard Naan with Garlic Butter Topping

I started out with this new recipe for sourdough naan feeling a little apprehensive, but was delighted with the results after the first try! The combination of warm milk, bread flour and sourdough discard makes this flatbread so soft and chewy, plus it bubbles up beautifully in the hot oven. Having spent some time in the Middle East as aide workers, my husband and I love trying Middle Eastern foods at home. Thankfully, our children inherited our love of Middle Eastern cuisine, so this naan flatbread is the star at the dinner table whenever I serve it. This sourdough naan is similar to my Iraqi Naan Recipe and uses many of the same techniques for baking the bread at high temperatures (like I was taught by my middle eastern friends) vs. frying it on a skillet. Baking the naan on a hot pizza stone gives it a lovely amount of bubbles and creates a fluffier texture than frying each piece on a skillet. After trying the oven baked version, you may as well toss the skillet (just kidding, you may need it to scramble eggs), because oven baked naan is certainly the winner! You may enjoy trying out my Middle Eastern Chicken and Rice, Potato shakshuka or Slow Cooker Morroccan Chicken as main dishes to pair with this delicious sourdough flatbread.

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Sourdough discard naan with garlic butter topping

Sourdough Naan with Garlic Butter Topping

marilynpeight
This soft and chewy naan flatbread is a must try at home. The taste of freshly baked naan certainly rivals store bought flat breads, plus this soft and chewy flat bread is super easy to make from scratch!
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Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Resting time: 2 hours
Course Bread
Cuisine Mediterranean
Servings 10 flat breads

Equipment

  • Pizza Stone (linked below)
  • Stand mixer (linked below)
  • Stainless steel measuring cups (linked below)
  • Whisk (linked below)

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup warm whole milk
  • 1/2 cup sourdough discard stirred down
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 2 1/4- 2 1/2 cups bread flour *see note

Garlic butter topping:

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder *see note
  • few dashes salt optional

Instructions
 

Preheat oven to 500 degrees:

  • Whisk the warm milk (100-110 degrees Fahrenheit), sourdough discard, salt and honey in a large mixing bowl, or in the bowl that comes with your stand mixer. Add flour, 1 cup at a time, and mix for several minutes between each addition. Add the last 1/4-1/2 cup of flour sparingly until a slightly sticky, but workable dough is formed. Once the dough is soft and pliable, shape it into 10 balls, then place them on a lightly greased baking sheet and cover with a damp tea towel to rest.
  • Allow the dough to rest for two hours. During the last 30 minutes of resting, preheat the oven and a lightly greased pizza stone (greased with olive oil or avocado oil). Shape the balls of dough into flat disks around 1/4 inch thick, using a rolling pin or the hand shaping method (instructions below).
  • Working in batches, bake the disks of Naan for 2-3 minutes per side until bubbly and beginning to brown on the tops and bottoms *see note. Melt the butter for the garlic butter topping, then stir in dried parsley, garlic powder and salt. Brush the tops of the warm naan flatbreads with the garlic butter topping, then serve and enjoy!

Notes

All purpose flour can also be used in this recipe, but the amount of flour may need to be adjusted slightly. All purpose flour creates a flatbread that even softer in texture and less chewy, because it contains a lower gluten content than bread flour. 
You can also roast a whole head of garlic for the garlic butter topping.  Remove the roasted garlic cloves from the skins and place into a blender along with melted butter and the remaining spices. Blend until smooth, then brush onto the warm naan flatbreads. 
Use caution when operating the oven at high heat. Be sure to wear oven mitts and avoid standing in front of the open oven door for longer than necessary while baking the flat breads. 
Additional notes and step by step photos below. 
Keyword Sourdough discard naan, no yogurt, oven baked naan, Iraqi flatbread
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Equipment needed for this Sourdough Discard Naan:

  • Pizza stone A pizza stone is very useful for baking the flat breads. Pizza stones hold heat more evenly, creating a better environment for the naan flatbreads as they bake.
  • Stand mixer A stand mixer is useful for mixing up the naan dough in a jiffy. You can also mix the dough by hand, just be sure to mix until the dough is nice and soft, but avoid overmixing the dough for a softer end result.
  • Measuring cups I prefer to use stainless steel measuring cups to measure out the flour and sourdough discard for this sourdough naan. A glass measuring cup with a pour spout is useful for measuring out the milk, and for heating it at 10 second intervals in the microwave until warmed to touch.
  • Whisk A whisk is needed to whisk together the wet ingredients before adding flour to the sourdough naan dough.

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Ingredients needed for this sourdough discard Naan with garlic butter topping: honey, milk, garlic powder, salt, bread flour, parsley flakes, butter and sourdough discard.

Step 1: Whisk the warm milk (100-110 degrees Fahrenheit), sourdough discard, salt and honey in a large mixing bowl, or in the bowl that comes with your stand mixer. Add flour, 1 cup at a time, and mix for several minutes between each addition. Add the last 1/4-1/2 cup of flour sparingly until a slightly sticky, but workable dough is formed. Once the dough is soft and pliable, shape it into 10 balls, then place them on a lightly greased baking sheet and cover with a damp tea towel to rest. *Note: using a damp tea towel will prevent a crust from forming on the dough balls as they rest.

Which oil gives the best flavor on Naan flatbread?

I prefer to use olive oil for greasing the pizza stone and sheet pan. Flavor wise, olive oil pairs the best with Naan flatbread because it also originates from the Middle East. If using the hand shaping method, you will need additional oil to lightly grease your fingers and palms before handling the bread. Some even like to serve a little olive oil on the side to dip the Naan flat bread into!

Step 2: Allow the dough to rest for two hours. During the last 30 minutes of resting, preheat the oven and a lightly greased pizza stone (greased with olive oil or avocado oil). Shape the balls of dough into flat disks around 1/4 inch thick, using a rolling pin or the hand shaping method.

How to use the traditional hand shaping method for shaping naan flatbread:

Take a little olive oil and rub it on your palms and fingers, then press the edges of the dough down with your fingers until only a walnut sized lump in the center remains. Take the dough and slap it out between your palms, stopping to stretch it out a bit every once in a while. Once you have the desired shape you can place them directly onto the hot stone to bake (working in batches). This dough is fairly stretchy and pliable, you can also gently stretch the dough outward in a circular motion until the desired thickness and round shape is achieved.

Step 3: Bake the disks of Naan for 2-3 minutes per side until bubbly and beginning to brown on the tops and bottoms. Melt the butter for the garlic butter topping, then stir in dried parsley, garlic powder and salt. Brush the tops of the warm Naan flatbreads with the garlic butter topping, then serve and enjoy!

Serving tips:

This garlic butter topped naan is delicious with homemade cilantro lime sauce. I also like to spread a little cream cheese on top for a quick snack. If you have leftovers, the flatbreads make delicious pizza dough! Simply top the flatbreads with your favorite pizza toppings, then bake them at 400 degrees for around 10 minutes until the toppings are hot and bubbly.

Storage tips for this sourdough Naan:

Sourdough naan is best when fresh, but you can also reheat day old sourdough flat bread, using the warm setting on your oven for about 10-15 minutes. If I have enough leftover (which is rare), I like to freeze the flatbreads for a quick pizza dough as mentioned above. The flatbreads can be kept frozen for up to 3 months, or kept at room temperature for 24-48 hours.

Feel free to pin this recipe for later, and be sure to tag me on Instagram to show off a photo of your own dinner using this sourdough Naan flatbread!

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