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.
Is there a way to make Naan Bread gluten free or paleo?
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!
What is cassava flour and is it healthy?
- 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!
- Think of it as a sister starch for the tropical roots like yam, plantains, and taro.
- 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
- Cassava flour is healthy and good for the gut! Anti–inflammatory and gluten-free! It also aids in the digestive process acting as a prebiotic fiber..
- Good source of minerals, especially Copper and Potassium, Thiamin, Folate, Manganese.
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.
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!Print
Grain Free Naan Bread with paleo/vegan options
- 1 1/4 cup cassava flour (see notes below for other flour options)
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
- 1/4 tsp of salt
- 2 tablespoon avocado or olive oil
- 1/3 cup plain yogurt or 1/4 cup non dairy milk – If using milk option, add in 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup purified water (Add a little a time until you get dough like batter)
- Pinch of black pepper
- Extra high heat oil for cooking (i.e avocado oil, grapeseed oil, butter, or coconut oil- naturally refined).
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar (optional for serving)
- garlic and herbs to taste.
- In a bowl, sift the flour, baking soda, cream to tartar, plus salt. mix well! Next slowly mix in your yogurt or milk, 2 tbsp oil, and a mix together. Then slowly add in your water a little at a time until you get a dough like texture. If you are using milk, add your apple cider vinegar last and then mix.
- NOTE– You might need more or less water depending on the brand of cassava flour you use.
- Roll the dough into 4 -5 medium size balls (a little smaller than a baseball)/
- Place dough balls on wax paper and roll each one out between 2 pieces of wax paper in until you form an oval shape. Shape the corners to round after. Alternatively, you can use a tortilla press to make the dough even.
- You can roll the dough thinner but you don’t want to crack the dough when rolling. The thinner the dough, the crispier the bread on the outside and less dough texture in the middle.
- Next, heat a non stick pan, cast iron, or grill pan with oil on medium high.
- Place each flattened dough on pan one at at time on medium high heat. Cover with lid and wait 1 + minutes. You will start to see the edges puff up. If you are using regular flour, it might take less time.
- Drizzle more a splash of more oil on top and flip to other side. Cover and cook an additional 1-2 minutes. The thicker your dough, the longer it takes to rise or puff/cook through.
- 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
- f 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.
- Cassava flour is a little chewier in texture, so the middle of the bread might feel that way, but it will still taste wonderful!
Keywords: bread, appetizer, naan, grain free, paleo, healthy, vegan, gluten free flatbread
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!
Oh, one more NOTE! The naan pictured below was rolled out thicker and I used a cast iron. The pictures at top, I rolled out the dough thinner and fried in a griddle pan.
This Naan recipe is somewhat 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?