Garlic Sesame Naan: a soaked whole grain recipe

I don't think this naan is necessarily traditional, but it sure is tasty! It is surprisingly light and fluffy for being almost all whole wheat! 

I adapted the recipe from this one I found on the King Arthur Flour site. I added more whole grain flour, extra sesame seeds, and thought some minced garlic would be a nice upgrade. I also adapted it for soaking, which makes it even more nutritious because it allows your body to absorb more of the nutrients found in the whole grains. I'm going to try a sourdough version next, which is even healthier than a bread made with store-bought yeast. But my starter needs a little lovin' before I can attempt that!

Recipe notes:  
--You can use traditional whole wheat flour instead of the white whole wheat, but they will probably be a bit heavier and darker.
--Feel free to increase the sesame seeds and garlic to taste. 
--If you don't have whey, I bet water would work fine. But whey is easy to make: just strain some plain whole milk yogurt through cheesecloth to make a thickened Greek-style yogurt, or strain longer to make cream cheese. The remaining liquid is whey and is great for soaking grains or stirring into soups. If you have any foodie friends who are into cultured dairy, they might just have some extra whey lying around that they're willing to share with you. :)

Garlic Sesame Naan
(whole grain, soaked)
makes 8-10 small loaves

3 cups White Whole Wheat Flour
3 tablespoons butter, melted
3/4 cup plain yogurt
1/2 cup whey
2 teaspoons yeast
1 large egg
1/2 cup Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
3 cloves minced garlic


Gently warm the yogurt and ¼ c. whey. Whisk in the melted butter. Add to mixing bowl with whole wheat flour. Allow to soak in warm place 7-24 hours.

After soaking time, gently warm the remaining ¼ c. whey, and dissolve yeast in it. (If you have instant yeast, you can add the liquid and yeast directly to the mixing bowl without dissolving first.) Add it to the soaked mixture along with the egg.

Whisk together white flour, salt, baking powder, and sesame seeds. Add to soaked mixture. Add chopped garlic. Knead by hand or with dough hook of stand mixer until it is smooth and stretchy, only adding a little more white flour if necessary to keep from sticking. 

Put the dough into a greased bowl, cover, and set it aside to rise for about 1 1/2 hours, or until it's about doubled in bulk. 

Divide the dough into 8-10 pieces, and roll and/or stretch each piece into rustic circle about 1/8 inch thick. Let the pieces rest while you heat an iron skillet to medium high heat. Cook each one about 2-3 minutes on the first side, until if puffs slightly and the bottom is nicely browned. Flip over and finish cooking. Keep warm in a tea towel while you cook the remaining pieces. Serve warm, brushed with melted butter. (Or just rub the warm naan with a stick of butter.)

We ate ours with this delicious spinach dhal. We have a tradition of eating lentils after a holiday or any time we feel we need a little cleansing. Steven said as we were eating this dhal, “This might be our new cleansing meal!” We at the leftover naan as pizza: spread with sauce, topped with sausage, mushrooms, olives, and cheese, and baked until hot and melty. It made a delicious and easy meal! 

This is part of Real Food Wednesday, Pennywise Platter Thursday, and Simple Lives Thursday


  1. ooooh, I LOVE NAAN bread! Have you ever tried with sourdough starter? I am bookmarking this! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Thanks for posting... I have a question. By "whey" do you mean whey powder, or leftover whey from making cheese? (I hope you mean the cheesemaking kind, because we sure generate that around here.)

  3. Jen - I haven't tried it with sourdough yet but next time I plan to!

  4. Stealthy Mom - I used whey that I had drained from kefir. You could also use whey from yogurt. It needs to be a "live" whey - not one that has been heated in the cheesemaking process. Hope that helps!

  5. Ahhh. The whey is the culture... We make our own yogurt, too so have whey to use there. I am so glad you did not mean the powdered whey from GNC!

  6. Yum! I need to make these soon!

    1. Let me know what you think! :)

    2. AMAZING! They are so good, I'm munching on one right now! :)

    3. Yay! Glad they turned out for you!

  7. These are SO GOOD, Joanna! I made them up this morning to go with dinner tonight and just had to try one while they were warm. I didn't have any whey, so I just used 1 1/2 c. yogurt and proofed the yeast in warm water. Thank you for the recipe!

  8. I just found your blog and love your soaked bread recipes! I'm trying your oatmeal honey bread today... So excited to have homemade bread again! It's been too long!
    One question about your naan, is it possible to not use whey? I don't ever have it on hand, but I use plain yogurt frequently. Do you think it would work if I were to just use yogurt?
    Thanks so much!