This recipe for naan (flatbread) pizza is an absolute favorite in our home. But I’ll admit, I only make it once in a while. Not because it’s a difficult recipe, but because it is somewhat time consuming, and most likely makes a huge mess.
If you’ve never eaten fresh authentic naan bread — well you’re missing out. I was first introduced to this kind of bread years ago when we lived in Northampton MA and started trying the Indian cuisine. WOW. It’s sooooo good. It’s like a fluffy, chewy cloud of dough that tastes great with hummus, oil & herbs, butter, vegetables, meat, anything really.
So then I thought about it and I figured, why not try making my own naan bread? So I did! This isn’t quite like the real stuff — but it’s still pretty good. It’s a chewy, soft flatbread. It was only natural that I’d also use it as a pizza crust.
This recipe will make about 5-6 smaller pizzas (no bigger than the size of a dinner plate). We like to make several small pizzas so we can vary the sauce and toppings on each and have a buffet of different pizza to try.
What you’ll need:
For the naan:
1 package of active yeast (fast rise, pizza dough are fine too)
1 3/4 lukewarm water
3 1/2 cups of white flour
pinch of salt
coconut oil to cook the dough
For the pizza:
Your ingredients can vary based on what kind of pizzas you want to make. We enjoy having fresh herbs, lots of veggies and red sauce on only half of the pizzas. So here’s what we usually have:
1 cup red sauce (whatever flavor your family enjoys — we LOVE Paul Newman’s Sockarooni!)
1 red pepper
2 white potatoes (peeled and thinly sliced)
baking sheets / stones to bake the pizzas in the oven
How to pull it all together:
First you need to make the naan. Dissolve a tbsp of the yeast in a bowl with 1 3/4 cups of lukewarm water.
Then add the flour and salt and mix it all up – feel free to use your hands or a spoon. It’s not going to look like a smooth ball of dough – but rather a sticky blob. Once the dough is mixed, cover and put aside for about 20-30 minutes.
While the dough is rising, I like to prep all the pizza toppings. We usually do a couple pizzas with potatoes on them, so I slice up my potatoes and have them boiling on the stove. I also will saute up some peppers. Today we only had red peppers so that’s what I used. I chop up the rosemary and basil from the garden and get a bowl of olive oil ready. Dump some red sauce in another bowl and of course the big bowl of mozzarella cheese!
By the time all that is set up, the dough is ready to be rolled out and cooked. First you want to get the oil in a large skillet pan on medium high heat. You want a good coating of oil for the dough to sit in and bubble up – I use a 12″ pan so I need about a 1/4 cup of coconut oil.
While that’s heating up start making the naan pizza bases. Remember to flour your surface really good — this dough is VERY sticky. Take about a baseball size chunk of dough and roll it out to a thin disk. Think of the size like a personal little pizza. You want it to be about a 1/4 inch thick.
Carefully lay into the hot oil. You’ll see the sides get fizzy and bubbly. Leave it here for about a minute or two (feel free to check by lifting a side with tongs). It’s time to flip once the bottom side has pockets/bubbles that are golden brown. Once you flip the dough, cover the pan and leave for about 30-45 seconds. Uncover, and remove the golden bread onto a separate plate. Repeat this process until your dough is finished, or you’ve made enough pizza bases for your meal. If you don’t use all the dough right away, it’s good in the fridge for a couple days.
Now it’s the fun part! Start by preheating the oven to 400 degrees. Set up whatever baking sheets you’ll be using. We use a large pizza stone and several smaller baking stones. Fit the naan onto your baking surfaces however it will fit, it’s fine if edges are touching. Then create the pizza masterpieces! Like I said before, we like some pizzas with red sauce and some with no sauce. I use a silicon brush to brush olive oil over the non sauced pizzas, then sprinkle fresh herbs over it before covering with cheese and assorted toppings. YUM!
Once your pizzas are topped, place them in the oven and let them back for about 10-15 minutes. Then remove from oven and let cool for a few minutes before slicing them up and devouring the homemade deliciousness.
This is a great family dinner making activity as well, my daughter loved being a part of the action and making her very own little pizza just the way she wanted.
Do you have a favorite pizza recipe you make at home? What’s your favorite toppings?!