Grain Free Naan Bread with Cassava Flour! A simple and flavorful Middle Eastern bread recipe, made grain free with simple ingredients! No oven required. 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!Print
Grain Free Naan Bread with paleo/vegan options
Note – This recipe has been updated January 2020 using yeast to soften bread. If you’d like the original quick (no yeast) version, see notes!
Before starting – proof yeast
- 3/4 c water warm
- 2 tsp active yeast
- 1 tsp sugar or honey (use sugar for vegan option)
For the Naan Bread Batter –
- 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 cup cassava flour
- 1/2 c tapioca flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 tsp of salt
- 1 tablespoon olive oil ( 2 tbsp if batter gets to thick)
- 1/4 to 1/3 cup plain yogurt, non dairy yogurt or coconut cream/milk
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
- Pinch of black pepper, if desired
- Extra high heat oil for cooking (i.e avocado oil, olive oil, butter, or coconut oil- naturally refined).
- Combine warm water, yeast, and sugar in small bowl. Let it sit for 10 minutes until fizzy (proofed). Set aside.
- In a bowl or stand mixer, sift the flour, baking powder, plus salt. Mix well! Next add in your yeast mixture. Combine with flours.
- Next, slowly mix in your yogurt or milk, 1-tbsp oil, vinegar, and a mix together with spatula or spoon. The batter should be thick, but not so thick you can roll it with hands. If the batter seems to dry/thick, add in 1/4 cup more warm water. It should look and feel like pizza dough. NOTE– You might need more or less water depending on the brand of cassava flour you use.
- Knead the dough for 5 minutes with dough hook or with hands.
- Place the dough in an oiled bowl and cover with cloth. Place in warm dark place and allow to rise for 90 minutes or until doubled in size.
- Once the dough has risen, flour your hands and counter space to prepare dough.
- If the dough is extra sticky, let it chill for 20 minutes, then flour your hands before rolling. Roll the dough into 6 -7 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.
- 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.
- Drizzle more a splash of more oil on top and flip to other side. Cover and cook an additional 1-2 minutes. The thicker the dough is rolled out, the longer it takes to rise or puff/cook through.
- Remove and repeat for the next until you get 6-8 naan.
- Serve with hummus, curry sauce, or dipping sauce
Cassava flour is a little chewier in texture, so the middle of the bread might feel that way, but it will still taste wonderful! You can resolve this by adding yeast.
QUICK NAAN WITHOUT YEAST – You will need.
- 1 1/2 cup cassava flour, 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, 1/2 tsp of salt, 2 tablespoon, olive oil, 1/4 -1/3 cup plain yogurt or non dairy milk – adjust with thickness of batter if needed, 1 tsp apple cider vinegar or lemon juice, 1/2 to 2/3 cup purified water, oil or butter.
- Follow same cooking instructions above, skipping the 90 minutes rise for yeast. Simply skip straight to rolling into balls and cooking. For printable original version, click here.
- Category: bread/appetizer
- Method: stove top
- Cuisine: middle eastern
Keywords: bread, appetizer, naan, grain free, paleo, healthy, vegan, gluten free flatbread
Things to consider: This Naan recipe is somewhat untraditional, since I left out the active yeast. Am I am impatient or what? That being said, the grain free version still has a soft chewy texture! For real naan bread with active yeast, check out (this recipe/ .
What to serve with paleo naan bread?
ANYTHING! But it’s especially with eggs for breakfast, a mediterranean dip, or even use as a pizza crust. 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?