This vegan sourdough naan is a great sourdough recipe for beginners! It's easy, delicious, and only takes a few hours to ferment. This is a great way to use up sourdough discard!
Over the past 1.5 years I have absolutely fallen in love with sourdough. I started making bread during our first lockdown in the spring of 2020, with my Dad's direction and expertise! We had family zoom calls with our extended family, and my Dad taught us all his tips and tricks for making sourdough.
At the time, I didn't think I was really going to get into it. My Dad had been making sourdough for about 3 years, and while I had seen him mix up the dough many times - I wasn't that interested. Little did I know how therapeutic it is to work with dough like this.
I would love to share some more sourdough recipes soon for those interested. But, I thought that this Vegan Sourdough Naan would be the perfect sourdough recipe to start with. It's so easy, you can't go wrong.
I think a lot of the hesitation around sourdough is that people thing it is complicated. In reality, it's quite easy as long as you have a kitchen scale, some patience, and an active sourdough starter!
What Is Naan
Naan is a traditional Indian flatbread. You may have tried it before alongside an Indian curry, or dipped in hummus. It is traditionally cooked inside a tandoor (clay) oven, but for the purpose of this recipe, we're cooking it on the stove top in a cast iron skillet.
This recipe is my dairy-free take on traditional naan - which typically includes yogurt and butter. While I love traditional naan, I wanted to enjoy a homemade version after going dairy-free. This Vegan Sourdough Naan recipe has not disappointed! For a traditional naan recipe and to learn more about the origins of naan, as well as some great recipes to enjoy it with - check out Urban Farmie's Traditional Naan recipe here.
Benefits of Sourdough
Why bake with sourdough? Not only is it fun and therapeutic (truly) but it’s also a healthier to bread mad with regular yeast. Here's why:
- In the process of fermentation, bacteria begins to pre-digest starches, making the bread easier to digest
- This process also breaks down gluten, which results in a bread that is low in gluten and easier to digest for those with a sensitivity (though not completely GF)
- It’s also more nutritious in the sense that the good bacteria also produces an enzyme called phytase, which breaks down phytic acid. Phytic acid is found in grains and prevents absorption of nutrients. With this broken down, we can more readily absorb minerals such as magnesium and phosphorous
- The natural yeast feeds on glucose, resulting in bread that is lower on the glycemic index + helps to keep blood sugar levels more stable
Naturally fermented homemade sourdough is SO different from any bread that you can buy at the grocery store. Not to mention so much tastier!
Tips For The Best Vegan Sourdough Naan
- Don't over-work the dough. As with any sourdough, you want it to retain some of those beautiful bubbles and air pockets that "leavan" the dough - aka make it rise!
- Roll out each naan individually right before cooking for the most tender and delicious results.
- While you can definitely make this recipe ahead of time and store in the fridge, it is best enjoyed hot off the stove! There's something so delicious about freshly cooked naan - it's tender, crisp on the outside, and chewy on the inside.
- If you are storing the naan to enjoy later, you can reheat it on a hot cast iron skillet for a few minutes on each side. I find that this brings back some of the delicious texture and flavour, as opposed to enjoying it cold out of the fridge.
- Serve with homemade hummus, curry, or even as a taco shell for fish tacos! When using naan as a soft shell taco, I just roll the dough a little bit thinner.
Please tag me @nourishmintkitchen and share on your IG stories if you make this recipe, I would love to see your creations!
Vegan Sourdough Naan
- ½ cup 100% hydration sourdough starter discard
- ⅔ cup full fat coconut milk (warmed)
- 1 ½ cups all purpose flour (210 g)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- 2-3 tablespoon olive oil for cooking or avocado oil
Mix The Dough
- Mix together the sourdough starter and full fat coconut milk in a large bowl. The coconut milk should be lukewarm and not too hot - you don’t want to kill off the live bacteria in the sourdough.
- Add the flour, baking powder, sea salt and stir to combine into dough. You may want to get in there with clean hands and give it a little knead - ensure there are no dry bits and the flour is fully incorporated.
- Cover the bowl with a warm damp cloth and let rise for 3 hours. Sourdough is very temperature dependent - the warmer it is the faster it will rise.
- Heat a large cast iron skillet on medium / high heat.
- Divide the dough into 8 even balls. They should be about 50 g each, or you can make larger naan if you prefer.
- On a floured surface, roll each dough piece out into ~ ¼ inch thickness. The dough may be a little sticky, so use extra flour on your rolling pin if needed.
- Brush the cast iron pan with some olive oil, and place the dough in the pan. Cook on either side for about 1 minute - watching for bubbles to form. It's time to flip the dough when there are lots of bubbles and the bottom side turns golden brown in colour.
- Transfer to a plate and repeat with each piece of dough. Enjoy with fresh hummus, sea salt, and parsley!