Grain Free Naan Bread with Cassava Flour! A simple and flavorful Middle Eastern bread recipe, made grain free and in 20 minutes or less! No oven required, just a skillet and few simple ingredients. Great with hummus, yogurt sauce, or by itself. Paleo and vegan option.
Did I ever tell you I studied abroad starting at the age of 12? Yep. Most summers were spent in different countries. From age 12-16 I lived in Brazil, Quebec, and Germany. Then after age 17 (college years and beyond) I spent time France, Great Britain, Switzerland, South Africa and Zambia, and of course New Zealand (thanks to my kiwi husband). In fact, working at an orphanage in Zambia is where I contracted an intestinal parasite (back in 2006), which then led me to healing a a new gluten free lifestyle. Quite a journey, but that’s story for another day. And no, I don’t regret going.
Okay, back to my point here.. I love traveling, I love meeting new people, and I love experiencing the new culture and food.
One of my favorite new found discoveries while living abroad in Europe was Middle Eastern Food. The best Naan bread and hummus I ever had was in Germany, close to the Czech border! I know, not really authentic Turkish food but it was as close as I was gonna get as an exchange student. I am sure Turkey or India make better Naan bread, but I have yet to travel there….YET! It’s on my list.
Anyway, the German family I stayed with took me to this little hole in the wall Turkish restaurant. Like I mentioned above, it’s where I fell in love with hummus, dolmas, and the oh so soft delicious and fluffy Naan bread. The aroma of this place itself would immediately make you salivate. Such great flavors, fresh herbs, vegetables, curries, and more! Gah…I miss it.
Fast forward to today. I still love all those foods but have yet to find a good gluten free Naan bread or recipe, let alone a grain free Naan bread recipe. Yes, having to eat gluten free does put a damper on trying to recreate a fluffy bread recipe, but I was determined.
One of the hardest things about gluten free baking/cooking if finding a good starch (gluten or grain free) that is interchangeable with that of regular flour or whole wheat flour. Tapioca, potato, and rice flour work well, but it takes a tango of the three. Meaning, a little of this flour, that flour, etc. Kinda like when I made Serena’s amazing gluten free and dairy bread recipe. It was awesome, but it took more than just one flour. You see what I am saying here?
I was on a the hunt for one gluten free healthy starch flour that would replace it all.
Which leads me to this grain free Naan bread recipe.
And to my new obsession with CASSAVA flour!
Let’s first look at cassava.
- Cassava, also known as yuca, cassava is a delicious root vegetable. It’s a long tubular root with a thin brown skin and white inner flesh. Although, don’t ever eat it raw. Nope, not good for you!
- It’s pulp is used to make tapioca pearls (and later can be used for starch in gluten free baking)
- It’s rich in carbs and glucose –> Great for post-workout (endurance or HIIT training) glycogen replacement in muscles
- Naturally gluten free and grain free
- Good source of minerals, especially Copper and Potassium, Thiamin, Folate, Manganese.
- Think of it as a sister starch for the tropical roots like yam, plantains, and taro.
But here’s the thing. I never really new Cassava, when properly prepared, could be made into a flour. A healthy grain free starch and flour that has a 1:1 ratio to that of regular flour. BINGO! GAME CHANGER all thanks to the lovely folks Ottos! And no, they are not paying for mentioning them, it’s my personal display of LOVE!.
So you know what this means, right? It means I can make my beloved Naan bread (and so much more) grain free without sacrificing texture or taste. I means I can eat more good GRAIN FREE carbs without having to add any other flour. That just makes me and my gut happy! Gluten free baking with real food ingredients/nutrition –> YES!
Grain Free Naan Bread
- 1 1/4 cup cassava flour (see notes below for other flour options)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1- 2 tablespoon avocado or olive oil
- 1/3 cup plain yogurt - See notes for paleo and vegan friendly option
- 1/2 cup water (Add a little a time until you get dough like batter)
- dash of salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper or chili pepper
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar (optional)
- garlic and herbs to taste.
- In a bowl, sift the flour and add baking soda plus salt. mix well! then slowly add in your water, 1 tbsp oil, and yogurt a little at a time until you get a dough like mixture. You could need more or less water depending on the brand of cassava flour you use.
- Roll the dough into 4 logs or about 4 medium size balls (a little smaller than a baseball) Then roll each one out with wax paper in between until you form an oval shape.
- I made mine a little thicker but you can make thinner if you want You don't want to crack the dough when rolling through
- And make sure the other balls are covered when you are doing this so they don't dry out.
- Shape the corners so they are nice and round.
- Place each flattened dough on skillet or griddle one at at time on medium high heat. cover with lid and wait 1 minutes or so.
- If you are using real flour, it should take less time.
- Drizzle more 1 tbsp oil/vinegar on top and flip to other side. Cover and cook one minute or until they start to puff or brown. The thicker your dough, the longer it takes to rise or bubble/cook.
- Remove and repeat for the next.
- Once all cooked, sprinkle with garlic or herbs, balsamic vinegar, and oil/ghee if desired.
- Serve with hummus or yogurt sauce
if you don't have cassava flour you can use whole wheat or white flour but I would let it sit after you make into a dough for about 10 minutes covered.
For paleo/vegan option use coconut cream (solid portion) or coconut yogurt in place of real yogurt.
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You see, it’s pretty simple to make. Just combine your ingredients, roll into balls, roll out each ball, and place on a skillet. Bam! DONE!
NOTE – The lighter Naan breads you see above are with the balsamic oil added on the skillet. The darker Naan bread pieces (like the one below) are with the added balsamic vinegar and thicker. I loved both!
This Naan recipe is some what traditional, but I left out the yeast to make it more similar to a flatbread and because I didn’t want to wait around for the yeast to rise. Am I am impatient or what? Haha! It still has a soft chewy texture though! Feel free to add in active yeast (like in this recipe) for more FLUFF.
The flavor is spot on and the texture of the grain free Naan bread is unreal. We ate it up in no time!
Especially with eggs for breakfast, or as a pizza crust, and with hummus, or even by itself. And the best part? We didn’t have to turn on the oven! Haha
Now, go make this and get ready for some serious hummus cravings! Please tell me I’m not the only one obsessed with hummus?
p.s. Want to learn more about paleo and safe starches? Definitely give this article a read!
Favorite Middle Eastern Dish or Recipe?
Have a great Meatless Monday!