Oh the sweet smell of freshly baked, warm bread. I take so much pleasure from eating warm bread, especially buns and small flatbread. The sensation of breaking a bread apart and eating it with nothing but a little bit of olive oil, salt and cilantro is wonderful. To me there are very few things that are so simple, yet delightful. If you think I am over-exaggerating then you most likely never had a home made oven baked vegan naan bread.
Now before you think it is too much work let me tell you this vegan naan bread is very easily made and all you need is a little bit of time and patience – except for the ingredients that is.. don’t forget those.
There is just one thing I like to emphasize. When you mix the dough it will be very sticky. I wouldn’t recommend sticking your hand into it but I did it just for the sake of showing how it should look like. Fight the urge to add more flour and just cover it with a damp cloth or cling film once it is mixed and let it rest in a warm place in the house.
Once it doubled in size you tip it onto a board or straight onto the kitchen counter. Just make sure to dust it very, very generously with flour. Otherwise it will stick to the surface like glue. I fold the edges towards the center until it stops being too sticky and punch it down a few times.
Unlike pizza you won’t be able to throw the vegan naan bread dough up in the air and swirl it around to get a flat dough. It is simply too soft for that. Let’s just say I had bit of a wasteful morning cleaning up after trying said tossing technique.
There are many ways of eating these. You can serve them alongside curries, stews or have them with some home made hummus or other dips. I can highly recommend a sundried tomato hummus or a nice chickpea salad.
- 3 tablespoons coconut cream
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon dry yeast
- 200 ml (3/4 cup) warm water
- 2 teaspoons coconut sugar
- 375g (2 cups) all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Take a large bowl and pour the flour, baking powder and baking soda into it. Create a well and pour in the yeast, sugar, oil and water. Give the ingredients in the well a gentle stir and let it rest until it goes slightly frothy - about 5 minutes
- Take another bowl and mix the coconut cream with the apple cider vinegar.
- Once the yeast and water mix turned frothy add the coconut cream to the large bowl and stir starting from the center. You can do this by hand with a wooden spoon or use a mixer for it. Mix it until it is evenly combined.
- The mixture will be quite sticky - resist the urge to add more flour.Cover the dough with a kitchen towel and set aside to rise for about 45 minutes in a warm place.
- Once the dough has doubled in size, get out a big board and dust it generously with flour. You can alternatively do this directly on the kitchen counter but this is easier to clean up. Dust your hands with flour and fold the dough by lifting the edges towards the center and punching it down. Down overwork it just make sure it reaches a level at which you can form it without it sticking to your hands.
- Divide the dough into 8-12 balls. It depends if you prefer small or big naans. Take a baking sheet and line it with baking paper. I tend to bake these in two batches so I prepare two trays. Gently roll out the dough and place the naans on a baking sheet. Set them aside to rise another 30 minutes.
- When you are ready to bake the naans lightly brush the top with a little bit of olive oil. Bake your naans in a preheated oven at 180°C (350°F). Bake them for about 4-5 minutes and make sure they are golden brown on the bottom before you flip them to bake them for another 4-5 minutes on the other side.