Gluten-free Naan 2.0

by Leanne Vogel (Healthful Pursuit) on March 29, 2012

For more on the flavors of India series, check out: Dhal Aloo Kofta, Aloo Palak, Payasam Pudding, and Malai Kofta.

I’ve done it. I’ve mastered the art of the gluten-free naan. Seriously… it’s perfect and I’m so happy I get to share it with each and every one of you.

This recipe has been reworked at least 19 times. I’ve gone through countless bags of rice flour, burnt my stomach on the cast iron pan (yes, I cook in a tank top sometimes), sliced my index finger and nearly bled out (exaggerating but it did hurt a bunch), singed my hair, and ate so much bread that there were moments I didn’t think I’d be able to continue.

But I powered on in hopes that with every tweak I made, I’d be that much closer to achieving the exact same stickiness, bubbled top, light, pull apart consistency that an authentic naan has.

What I’m trying to say is that it’s so ridiculous like the real thing.

dude.

Even if you aren’t gluten-free, you should make these. I’ve brought samples to the office for my coworkers and no one believes it’s gluten-free! Oh yes, did I mention they’re dairy-free, too? Dairy-free naan. Ah!

yum.

Gluten-free Naan

Gluten free, Dairy free, Corn free

Enjoy authentic naan even if you’re gluten-free or dairy-free.

Yield: 8 naan

Servings: 8

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Ingredients

Dry

  • 3/4 cup brown rice flour + more for flouring surface while frying, explained below
  • 1/4 cup + 1 tbsp sweet rice flour
  • 3/4 cup + 3 tbsp white rice flour + more for adding, explained below
  • 1/2 cup potato starch
  • 1/3 cup tapioca starch
  • 1/2 tsp Himalayan rock salt
  • 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
  • 4 tsp demerara sugar
  • 2 tsp gluten-free active dry yeast

Wet

  • 1/3 cup full fat coconut milk
  • 1 tsp coconut vinegar or apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil or ghee, melted *see note
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • ghee or coconut oil for frying, approximately 8 tsp

Directions

  1. Combine dry ingredients in bowl of food processor with dough blade until combined.
  2. Remove the lid to the processor and add all wet ingredients but the water. Blend until combined. Continue to keep the machine running and add water slowly. Once it’s all added, allow to run for 3 minutes.
  3. If mixture is not pulling away from the sides of the bowl at the 3 minute mark, add additional white rice flour until it does, about 1 tablespoon at a time. My naan was perfect at 1.5 tbsp added. If you’re not sure what consistency is perfect, remove the lid of the processor and poke your finger in the dough. If the dough sticks to your finger, it needs more flour. It it doesn’t stick, you’re good!
  4. Flour a clean surface with a bit of white rice flour. Remove the dough from the bowl and form into a ball. Place in a bowl, cover with a clean kitchen cloth and allow to sit in a warm place for 40 minutes. I like to place it on top of my oven after I’ve baked something. It’s a perfect spot!
  5. Once 40 minutes has passed, check on the dough. It should have increase in size by about 40%. In the bowl, cut the dough ball into 8 sections like a pie and cover with the cloth to keep from drying out.
  6. Heat a large cast iron skillet on medium-high heat for at least 5 minutes. When heated and about to place naan on the pan, drop 1 tsp ghee or coconut oil and allow to melt.
  7. Meanwhile, flour a silicon mat with a bit of brown rice flour. Place 1 section of the dough (you may find that the cuts in the dough have almost disappeared, this was just to give you an idea of the size of the dough to use for each naan, don’t worry about it too much) on the mat, and kneed for a couple of seconds. Roll into a rough ball and place plastic wrap over top. Roll out to about 1/4-inch thick in an oval-like shape.
  8. Flip the silicon baking mat over so that it’s on top and peel the dough away from the baking mat so it’s left on the plastic wrap.
  9. Then, flip the dough on to your free hand and peel off the plastic wrap. You should now have a naan in one of your hands. Place it in the hot pan.
  10. Allow to cook about 1.5 minutes, until bubbles form and the bottom is golden. Flip over with a spatula and allow to cook for another 30 seconds. The trick here is to not overcook it on this second side. It should be slightly undercooked as it will continue cooking while it cools. I know this sounds ludicrous, but trust me!
  11. Place on a cloth or cooling rack and repeat another 7 times with the remaining dough, oiling the pan with 1 tsp ghee or coconut oil each time. If you do not oil, it will not work well.

Serve immediately, or allow to cool completely and wrap in paper towel and store in an airtight container either in the fridge (will keep for 3-5 days) or freezer. When ready to eat, microwave pieces in the bag or container for 45 seconds each. If you do not have a microwave, or wish not to use it, you can steam the bread for 15 seconds.

I have not tried this recipe with other flours. Well, I did… and none of them worked. I’m not sure if certain ingredients can be subbed out for others. I tried a vegan version with flax eggs and it didn’t work. I tried a potato-free version and it didn’t work. Something tells me that this wont be the last of the naan on HP. I’ll master a vegan version if it takes me another 19 tries! And if you master it before me… please share?

note2: ghee is made from dairy, but all lactose and casein is removed in the clarification process. Use your own personal judgement when opting for a dairy-free diet. If you’ve chosen to omit, use vegan suggestion above.

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Okay now for the step by step instructions for all those visual folks!

Throw the dry ingredients in the food processor with the dough blade. I’m sure this could also be made in a stand mixer, I just don’t have one so I improvised.

Allow to combine fully before adding all your wet ingredients.

Just don’t add the water just yet.

The consistency should be crumbly.

Keep the machine running and slowly add the water.

Allow to beat for 3 minutes.

You can peak through the top of the food processor to check the consistency. It should look something like this.

After the 3 minutes is up, take off the lid and test the dough with your finger. If dough comes with your finger, the mixture doesn’t have enough flour.

Get the machine up and running again and add white rice flour until the dough pulls away from the sides, or until a finger inserted in the dough comes out clean.

Get ready to pull the dough out of the bowl.

Place on a white rice floured surface and form it into a ball, gently.

Place the dough in a bowl and cover with a kitchen towel. Let it sit in a warm place for 40 minutes while you prepare for the next step, walk the dogs, dream of naan, or make a curry.

A couple of minutes before the dough is ready, set out some brown rice flour, rolling pin, knife, plastic wrap and a silicon baking sheet. Also, now’s the time to get your cast iron on medium-high heat for 5 minutes before you start using it.

Eyeball or cut the dough into 8 sections in the bowl. Keep the dough covered when you’re not using it so it doesn’t dry up. Place the the 1/8 dough ball on a lightly floured silicon baking mat and kneed a bit before rolling it into a ball and covering the top with plastic wrap. Push down on the ball to flatted, then roll it out with your rolling pin.

It should be about 1/4-inch thick.

Once you’re done rolling, flip the silcon baking mat over and peel away from the dough.

Then, flip the plastic wrap over so the dough is over your hand. You’ll have a long piece of dough over your wrist, palm and fingers. Place the dough in the heated pan and get excited!

It will start to bubble. This is perfect. Let it cook for about 1.5 minutes until the bottom is golden. Flip over with a spatula and allow to cook for another 30 seconds.

The trick here is to not overcook it on this second side. It should be slightly undercooked as it will continue cooking while it cools. I know this sounds ludicrous, but trust me!

Place on a cloth or cooling rack and repeat another 7 times with the remaining dough, oiling the pan with 1 tsp ghee or coconut oil each time.

If you do not oil, it will not work well.

Sit back and enjoy your naan.

Then, go back to the kitchen to make another batch.

Story of my life.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I had to move my hair appointment from Friday to yesterday so I could get in with a stylist that had experience doing side shaves. Yup, I did it… and I LOVE it!

Cool thing was, the stylist ended up being someone I knew from way back in the day, 7 years to be exact. Such a small world! I’m really happy with the way it turned out. I’ve always wanted to shave my head but I don’t think I’ll ever have the guts to do it…  so this is probably as close as I’ll ever get!

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{ 64 comments… read them below or add one }

Lauren @ What Lauren Likes

Love the hair!! This recipe rocks :D

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Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat

You’re a genius Leanne (or should I say, a foxy looking side-shaven, super stylish gluten free genius!!) These look so delicious. I bet you’d even have your Indian friends from the ashram fooled!

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Beth @ Tasty Yummies

YES to the super amazing looking naan and super yes to the hair. You look amazing and I knew you would. I love it on you. Now you are making me rethink growing mine out :)

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Danielle

Omg I got SO excited when I saw the categories grain-free and yeast-free under your title! I guess its too good to be true. Can’t have rice flour or dry yeast :-(

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Leanne (Healthful Pursuit)

I’m so sorry, Danielle. MAJOR typo. Still working on a yeast-free version but not having much luck. Wont give up, though!

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Katarina

Wow, these look so delicious! You have made a great job with these :)

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Brittany @ GOtheXtraMile

First of all, thank you for the gluten free naan. I cannot wait to make these!
And second of all, you totally rock the side shaved hair. I absolutely love it!

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Rachel

Hi Leanne,
These look wonderful. Have you ever tried cooking dough on the grill? We make our pizza’s that way and we always eat few without toppings and call them naan. Very yummy and with no added oil for cooking.

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Leanne (Healthful Pursuit)

I tried that with these and they turned out rock hard :( also tried with no oil and they were pretty bad too. But you’re right, grilling dough does make fabulous pizza crust!

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Alex@Spoonful of Sugar Free

You are so wonderful, Leanne! Now I have to go buy a bunch of ingredients ….never a bad thing!

And you look good! Love the new hair :D

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Lisa ♥ Healthful Sense

This is genius!! I love naan!!
I love your hair too =)

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Deanna

Your side shave looks beautiful! And so does your naan.

Couple of questions – did you try with apple cider vinegar instead of coconut vinegar? I don’t have coconut vinegar and it seems a waste to go buy a bottle for such a tiny amount. Also, did you use the superfine brown rice flour, or just regular – like Bob’s red mill?

Of all the grains, rice seems to be the easiest for me, and naan is the one bread I’ve really missed. So, I definitely will be trying this. Today, even, maybe, if I don’t have to drive across town for special vinegar. And, after I do it the “right” way first, I’ll see if I can de-nightshade it, too. And possibly veganize it. Got to see how it’s supposed to turn out first, though. :)

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Leanne (Healthful Pursuit)

Hi Deanna, thank you! I used apple cider vinegar a couple of times, shouldn’t be an issue. As for the brown rice, I just used normal brown rice flour from bulk barn… no superfine needed! If you do make all those changes, I’d love to hear how they turn out! I’ve had a heck of a time trying to make them vegan.

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Courtney

I have to admit that I was a little skeptical about the side shave when you first mentioned it, but I totally dig it on you! It looks fantastic!

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Leanne (Healthful Pursuit)

Thanks Courtney! I was so scared when she cut off the big chunk of hair. I think I even cursed a bit. As soon as she started styling it though, I fell in love!

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Andrea

Love your hair Leanne!

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Erin

The side shave looks so cool! Also, that is a just a gorgeous picture of you in general.

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Evan Thomas

This looks terrific! I can’t remember the last time I had naan.

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Susan

Looks lovely. I love everything gluten free!

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Stephanie

Wow!! you are so talented to create those delicious looking naans!! I’ve been wanting to try more naans recently but have been weary of gluten. Just one question, is cream of tartar necessary?

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Leanne (Healthful Pursuit)

I haven’t tried the recipe any other way than with the cream of tartar as I wanted it to give it fluffy action! I purchase tart o cream, a cream of tartar replica that doesn’t use corn or gluten. If you don’t have any, you could try to use a mixture of baking soda or baking powder, just not sure what the result would be. Sorry I can’t be of more help, Stephanie!

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Averie @ Averie Cooks

You did a side shave?! you are BRAVE and can totally rock it!!

And the naan, heavenly!

I ordered those probiotics based on your recommendation from yesterday b/c I know you’ve done TONS of research and although Ive been happy with mine for 5=6 years, change can sometimes be good!

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Leanne (Healthful Pursuit)

Thanks Averie! Would love to know what you think of the probiotics!

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Sarena (The Non-Dairy Queen)

Oh Leanne, this looks perfect! Definitely making this soon! YUM!

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Healthiful Balance

Yum, this looks so so delicious!

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Tracy

I really like the side shave on you! It emphasizes your facial structure while still leaving your long locks.

Can’t wait until you come out with a vegan version of the naan, they look amazing! I love the bubbles :)

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katie @KatieDid

you look gorgeous. And I’m SO impressed with this recipe, I can’t believe all the time and effort that you put into it but it clearly shows in those beautifully charred bubbles that resemble traditional naan. Pinning this and I need to get around to trying this!

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Christine @ Oatmeal Bowl

LOVE the haircut!

And yay for GF naan. My kids love this stuff. Well, so do I. :D

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jeanne

19 times?! You’re crazy/amazing! Ps. You pull off the hair really well. I would look terrible with that style Haha

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margaret bobb

Wow! …the hair looks amazing on you! …the naan looks amazing, too–but no yeast for me either! …if you ever come up with a yeast-free version, I would love to try it! …but then, I’m thinking *gasp* LOL–there’s probably no such thing as yeast free naan, huh.

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Lou

Your hair is awesome…. and kudos on the recipe – it sounds amazing and I can’t believe the amount of work you must have put in to perfect this :)

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Charlotte

Oh, it’s like you’ve read my mind. I’ve been obsessed with naan lately and to find a gluten-free recipe? YOU ROCK!

AND SO DOES YOUR HAIR!!! Love this look on you! :)

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Nora @ natural noshing

Love this post!!!!
1. GF naan, ahhhhhhh I love you! Can’t wait to make this!
2. I’m totally digging your new hair cut!!!! Glad you went for it, it looks fabulous!
3. I can completely sympathisize with kitchen battle wounds when trying to figure out a recipe, glad u didn’t give up :) u rock!

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Donna

Lazy soul that I am…alas…I imagine I’ll bookmark this (intending to one day attempt it) …but will probably go out and purchase wonderful spiced pappadums (also GF) I have access to …as in….NO WORK INVOLVED…Sigh! Your fabulous step-by-step instructions for the naan are very clear and appreciated however!…Love your look by the way…you simply radiate health, joy and beauty!

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Brianne

I’m so proud of you — this recipe looks fantastic. Sadly, I don’t have all the ingredients in my house right now (and don’t have access to them at the store… Dang you, Germany!!!) so I’ll probably have to do some tweaking of my own. But I’m going to try to pull something together because they look flippin’ fantastic and OH how I miss naan.

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Frugal Jen | Frugal, Freebies and Deals

Hey Leanne-

I found this GF version of chapatis- http://showmethecurry.com/allergy_free/gluten-free-chapati.html
that you might want to check out sometime. Their flour mixture containers more whole grain type flours, so it might interest you: Amaranth Flour and Sorghum Flour.

Curious if somehow your recipe could be morphed into some sort of pizza crust..

jenetta

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Leanne (Healthful Pursuit)

Wow, thank you Jenetta! You are such a great resource for recipes… seriously! Hmm I think the dough is too soft for pizza, but my first version of naan posted last week would totally work for pizza!

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Frugal Jen | Frugal Freebies and Deals

No problem.. I love researching stuff like that.. you should see all my bookmarks..it’s ridiculous!!

Cool.. I will revisit the 1st recipe.

jenetta

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Leanne (Healthful Pursuit)

I do not doubt that you have a billion recipes bookmarked… unreal!

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Frugal Jen | Frugal, Freebies and Deals

Oh. unfortunately not just recipes..since I blog for a living it is pretty much everything under the sun.. and I am totally unorganized with the whole thing!

jenetta

Laura @ Gluten Free Pantry

Love, love, love this recipe! We are crazy about Indian in this household and this naan looks fabulous. Have a wonderful weekend!

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Tracey G

Leanne, I made this last night for us and 4 guests. We all LOVED IT. I added some garlic powder in it to make my favourite – garlic naan, it was so light and chewy, it all got eaten. Even the gluten eaters went back for seconds. I served it with your Kofta recipe and some GF onion bhaji, brown rice, mango pickle and papadums (a friday night feast!). Seriously delicious. I also have made your date balls and my BF makes chia puddings for his morning breakfast, you have- so far, a 100% success record in this house, keep up the great work!

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Leanne (Healthful Pursuit)

Wow, it does sound like quite the feast! Bhaji is on my list to create one of these days. So good. I’m so happy to hear the naan worked out and that everyone liked it. That’s the best :)

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Jenny

I’M SO EXCITED!!!!!! There is NOTHING I’ve missed more since going gluten free, than naan! Indian food just hasn’t been the same without it. Thank you :D

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lou

i love,love,LOVE your new haircut!!!
it looks so good :)
as for the naan,yum! i wonder if there’s a way i can make sans the eggs and still have it turn out…

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G McNeal

Do you think these would work with an egg replacer, like flax gel? I can’t have egg, but was so excited about your recipe. Also, noticed that someone else mentioned superfine brown rice flour. I’ve been looking for it in Calgary area and can’t find it…..any suggestions? I think I’m going to try the recipe with an egg replacer just because it’s been so long since I’ve had naan. Looking forward to it!

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Leanne (Healthful Pursuit)

I’ve tried to make it with flax eggs and haven’t had much luck, but an egg replacer product may work. I didn’t use any ‘superfine’ ingredients, just regular brown rice flour. Enjoy!

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Jenny$1983

I know this is late, but I love your hair like that! You look great :)

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Leanne (Healthful Pursuit)

Thanks, Jenny! I’m still loving it, too :)

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Elaine Zink

Hi Leanne,
I’m new to GF and I want to use whole grains when possible. I have a whispermill grain grinder and when I grind regular wheat I have to use 1/2 cup more flour to a recipe (probably due to the fact that there is no settling when you grind fresh) for the recipe to work properly. Do you use freshly ground flours or are you buying packaged ones? I have read that I can grind brown rice and millet and stuff like this in my grinder, and wondered if it would yield more because it’s fresh. I’m trying to figure it all out and where to buy everything for GF baking. I was so excited to see Naan! I love it and can’t wait to try it. Thx for posting your great recipes!
Elaine

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Leanne (Healthful Pursuit)

Hi Elaine – most of the flours I use in my recipes are store-bought. I haven’t made the leap to making them myself yet. I did however, just purchase a scale that I intend to use for a couple of my recipes going forward to help with these sorts of issues. Enjoy the naan!

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Sarah

I made these tonight and they were great! Thanks for all of your trial and error! Delicious! I mixed them in my stand mixer and they worked out wonderfully.

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Leanne Vogel (Healthful Pursuit)

That’s awesome, Sarah! I just got a stand mixer for Christmas and was hoping to try out making some naan in it. Great to know that it works!

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Veeta

Hi Thank you for the naan bread. I know this post is so late after you made it but I have a question. You stated that this was a dairy free naan but I saw eggs in the ingredients list. Is this a typo? Just wanted to make sure before I make it.
Thanks so much

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Veeta

Oops Just saw someone else ask the same question. Sorry to bother you thanks.
Veeta

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Melisa

Hi Leanne!

I am super excited about making the naan! I am compiling a menu as we speak. Oh, my family is in for a treat! Thank you! I will be sharing this on my page if that’s OK with you.

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Leanne Vogel (Healthful Pursuit)

I hope you enjoy it as much as we do, Melisa! Can’t wait to hear how you like it :)

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Denise`

Hi! I am so anxious to try making a Naan that I can eat, but I have a question on the ingredients. You have 1/3 cup coconut milk . My family cannot stand the taste of coconut milk in food. Does the taste go away or is there something I can substitute? We only order coconut free curries, etc because even that subtle taste is a deal breaker. Thanks for any suggestions. So eager to make my first bread!

Denise

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Leanne Vogel (Healthful Pursuit)

Hi Denise – I haven’t tried it with any other kind of milk, but I’ve been told that other dairy-free milks work okay. Enjoy!

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Meghan

I’m so glad you did it :)
Looks righteous!

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Alice

I made this naan with Ener-g egg replacer because we can’t have egg due to food allergies. It worked really well! I used 1/4 cup warm water mixed with 3 tsp Ener-g egg replacer. I also used granulated sugar in place of demerara sugar. I used coconut oil instead of ghee.

Thanks for working this 19 times so my first attempt would come out well. =)

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Namita

I’m Indian and your naan sounds pretty much like the real deal. I have gluten intolerance so I rarely .gi near naan, but I’m giving this a try soon! Thanks!

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Jane

Hi Leanne

Thanks for putting this together! I know I am late to the game here, but is it possible to sub out the demerara sugar for date sugar or coconut sugar? I am doing a cleanse and can’t have any sugar (other than the ones mentioned).

Thanks!
Jane

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Leanne Vogel (Healthful Pursuit)

I bet coconut sugar would work!

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