Vegan Gluten-free Naan flat bread! Gum, Soy, Nut free

Pictured above..Naan Take 2. See them holes!

I got requests after my veganized Naan post, for a GF Naan. and I got obsessed with trying to figure out how yeast breads work gluten free ! I started baking breads back in early 2009 and it took me about one whole year to figure out gluten.. ha! and now I had to figure out what to do without all the gluten that makes the bread so airy, soft and in general bread as I know it!
For the regular Vegan-ized, but with gluten Naan – 4 ways(Plain, Avocado, Garlic and Stuffed with Cauliflower, see here.

Naan take 2.

I was initially going to make this post a story of how I got here with several other breads, but this is already going to be a picture heavy post… so another post will be dedicated to the gf sandwich loafs, tarts and buns.

I baked 2 bread loafs with Bob’s All purpose GF flour. One had pureed blueberries in it and tasted decent, but the top fell most likely because of a little extra moisture. The second Bob’s Gf loaf didnt fall, but I couldnt take the chickpea aftertaste in it. Then I made my own sorghum + rice + starch mix and made a loaf, tart and buns with it. The problem I had with those were a- I used long grain white rice flour and that is a bit gritty and b- I think my taste buds have not got accustomed to the sorghum taste yet.
Most of these were very edible, The tart and buns were consumed, the blueberry loaf was gone, the bob’s chickpea loaf and the sorghum loaf were a tad bit dry, so they were not going to be eaten without some intervention. I made crackers out them.. Made bread crumbs and then added a binding flour, water and spices and voila.. crackers! and they were gone in a day.Naan Take 1 with a little Sorghum. Its a teeny one, hence well shaped.
If you have heard of glutenfree steamed Indian cakes like Idli (Rice and Lentil steamed cakes) and Khaman/Dhokla(Chickpea flour savory cakes), you will know why I thought of steaming the bread. The steamed cakes are very moist and soft.
And I used oats and potato starch as major ingredients, because I kinda know what to expect in terms of taste and texture with them. Please make sure to use glutenfree oats.
I need a glutenfree sampler person who knows these new tastes, to give me feedback about if the final product is supposed to be the way it is. I mean to accept that this is how a gluten less bread would feel, texture wise., or this is how sorghum tastes like! So, if you are close to Seattle downtown and would love to sample some gf goods, ping me!:) I promise I will pass on only the good stuff.Vegan gluten free Naan

This is gum , soy, nut free.

1/2 cup finely ground gf Oats (not quick oats)
1/2 cup Potato Starch
1 teaspoon active yeast
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons agave syrup
1 Tablespoon organic canola oil
1/4 cup warm water +1.5-2 Tablespoons water
1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon carom or fennel or nigella seeds
Top with nigella or sesame seeds

In a bowl, add 1/4 cup warm water and yeast and let it sit until frothy. 10 minutes.
In another bowl, whisk oats flour, potato starch, baking powder, seeds, salt, cumin powder, black pepper, very well.
Add in the dry ingredients to the yeast mix. Add salt, agave and oil and mix well to combine.
Add a tablespoon of water at a time to make a thick batter (not really flowy) . Pictures of the process are from Naan take 3.

Spray top with water so the dough doesnt dry out.
Cover with damp towel or plastic wrap with enough space to double, and Let sit in warm place for 1.5-2 hours or until doubled.
The batter will turn doughy because Oats will absorb the extra moisture.
Below- after rising for 1.5 hours.
Oil hands and pick the dough up and gather into 1 or 2 balls. You can make two, 6 inch flat breads, a bit less than 1/4 inch thick. I made one 8 inch 1/4 inch thick and a small dinner roll for Naan take 3.
Pat the dough into desired shape on parchment. Use parchment size that will fit in your steamer and leave some space for the steam to circulate.
Sprinkle some seeds on top and pat them in.
Spritz top with water. Cover with towel and let rise for 45 minutes to an hour, until almost double.(Let is Rise well. (below, after 45 minutes of rising)
Start up the steamer. Place parchment on steamer tray. Place steamer in container when water is boiling(steam is getting produced continuously).
Cover and steam for 12-14 minutes.
Carefully lift tray or parchment out. Lift up the flatbread and flip it and place on dry parchment, so the bottom doesnt get soggy. (below, parchment has been peeled off the bottom)
You can leave it be at this point and serve after a minute. Or do a quick grill.
Start up a pan on high heat.
Place the flat bread with bottom on heated pan.
Cook for half a minute. Flip and cook for another half a minute.
Let bread cool for half a minute before serving. Serve hot with any favorite indian curries or lentil soups. or cut it up to use as pita or a side.
Substitute spices with dried basil and olive oil to make a pizza base. Top with roasted veggies, cheeze, do a quick broil and serve!
You can also make small dinner rolls and steam them. This quantity will probably give 6.
Store in refrigerator for not more than 2 days. Freeze with parchment separating the flatbreads and ziplocked with least amount of air.
Reheat on pan or toaster and use.
(below fresh Naan bite!) Naan take 3.. gone in 3!It looks like a long process, but most of it is just rise time. Once you have the breads patted and ready, you can steam them 2 at a time on the steel steamer, or more if you have multilevel bamboo or digital steamer.
I had used 2 Tbsps sorghum flour and 1 Tablespoon cornstarch in the first batch. And the dough was similar.
If you want to try variations, keep atleast 40% Oats and 40% starch and add other flours of choice in the other 20%. Keep the batter moist and let it rise well.You can also use this newer flat bread recipe. shape into a long oval and bake.

Naan take 2.. day 2 after refrigeration.. still soft and airy!

There are other ways of cooking I have tried and I will do a post about them, but steaming gives the softest bread, and it doesnt get hard or stale as quickly.
If you do try the bread, please do leave me feedback!
This bread is starchy and I will work on a less starchy, more flours and a sandwich loaf version. Till then.. Wish me luck in more successful adventures with gf breads!
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    • Breadlover says

      I got a steamer to do idles as I gave up on bread! Need gf and no yeast, vegan. It seems to most I have can have one or two of the categories but not all. A steamer is great for vegetables and I can do a meal all in the one thing. Brilliant!
      And thank you Richa I am eating with so much more variety and happiness ( and so is my husband!)

  1. says

    You are rocking the GF bread making. You almost need to stop because you are making us look bad :) hehe. Seriously though, you are right about adjusting to the taste of sorghum. I don’t know how to describe it, but I can totally smell and taste it in my mouth right now. Something that I am finally getting used to/enjoying. That naan looks AMAZING! I cannot wait to make it. You are a machine. xo

  2. says

    ahhhhh you made the GF naan!!!! so happy. bookmarked. thanks richa! so looking forward to your gluten free adventures. i will send you some GF articles i have that could help you with your baking adventures 😀

  3. says

    Thank you Leaf.. yes, this one had very few ingredients and a good amount of whole grain!

    Thanks Priyanka. Let me know when you do!

    Thanks Rithika, try it. i dont have arrowroot on me, so i cant compare. you can add a bit of gum to it if the dough is too crumbly.

  4. says

    Thanks Cara, i was not going to post it coz i messed up the take 3 a bit while clicking pictures of the process and making it and also making dinner at the same time.. it got a bit stuck on one side.. but hey shapes dont really matter when the result is super fab!
    Its your hyper appreciation that keeps me going!

  5. says

    Oh my goodness! Richa!
    Thank you so much!

    Now I definitely don’t have an excuse to make naan bread – I’ve never tried making my own because gluten-free breads are hard. And I’m still learning about the yeast/rise stuff (it’s so complicated).

    I would very much like to see many more gf breads from you! And I look forward to seeing a less-starchy one too, as I’m not sure how I would take to the starch. The only starch I have ever used it tapioca.

    This really does look insane, though. I wish you would open up a bread bakery!

  6. says

    I took so long to get back to you. It was nice meeting another Indian blogger who blogs vegan and gluten free. Baking was my first passion but after being gluten free I am re polishing my skills.

    I like your steaming part of the naan. Do check my Gf Naan without gum but it is broiled. I am happy to be your new follower in 2012.

  7. says

    Thank you Easyfoodsmith!

    Thanks Vicky. Yes I am going to try some steaming in the oven for a sandwich loaf.. lets see

    Thanks Shannon, you can try the with gluten version too.

  8. says

    thanks Isobelle, potato starch is not that bad.. well we eat a lot of potatoes anyway..:) you can use less of it and try.. i think it should hold well because of the oats.

    Thanks for the follow Balvinder! great to meet u too!

    Thanks An, let me know when u do!

  9. says

    Mallory, you can use a mix of sorghum and fine rice flour, but you will need to add some(1 teaspoon) xanthan or guar gum to it so it can hold together.

  10. says

    I don’t think I’ve been this excited about a recipe for a very long time! My husband who has celiac loves Indian food and was so sad to have to give up his beloved naan bread. Thank you so much Richa!

  11. says

    This looks awesome! I’ve tried experimenting with GF roti’s but I didn’t quite get it right. I’ll try these naan’s and see how they turn out. Thanks for bringing this awesome recipe to Sugar Free Sunday! :)

  12. says

    I’ve been avoiding gluten and I’d love to make a bread like this. It looks great! One thing I learned and have to warn you about is that oats are likely to be contaminated by gluten during processing. If someone has celiac disease, they should buy gluten-free oats.

  13. says

    Thanks Andrea. I can eat gluten so i dont always make sure about the oats. I do have both Bob’s GF oats and the old fashioned, and both act the same in the breads for me. Let me know if you try the Naan!
    I made some flat breads and loaves without oats too. working on making the recipes a bit better before posting.

  14. says

    Just came across your blog via Pinterest. So happy to find a vegan and GF naan! Also, I don’t live far from downtown Seattlle and would love to sample anything you’ve made!

    • says

      I am go glad you found me too! great, now i have another tester.. yay! hubbs is the main tester, but is not really too reliable in terms of taste feedback:) he is a sweetie though!

  15. says

    Wow! Just found this from pinterest as well, I haven’t had Naan in YEARS! I have celiac and live in Issaquah so next time you need a taste tester we are just up the road!

    • says

      great that you discovered me! this Naan has be tried and tested by a couple of bloggers with great results! give it a go and let me know!:))

  16. says

    I haven’t eaten naan bread since I went vegan, years ago, and now that I eat largely gluten free, I’ve stopped looking in the shops! Yours does look light and fluffy, but then rice idli do, so it’s no surprise, really:) It seems just a little strange to think of steaming them, but a quick dry fry afterwards will give that just from the tandoor effect, I guess. I’ll have to bite the bullet and try some very soon. You are amazing to put the time and effort into making breads that you don’t even need to eat – thank you for your results:)

    • says

      Thanks Christine. I’ve tried baking with added steam and other ways as well, but nothing comes close to the Steamed airy soft and moist glutenfree bread. Even a sanddwich loaf if steamed first is so much better

  17. says

    This recipe looks lovely and I’m so happy you came up with a gluten-free naan. I make them sometimes and love them. One thing if you are still experimenting is that I might suggest trying the dough without letting it rise before shaping. Gluten-free yeast doughs are generally fairly sensitive to handling and so it often yields the best results if you only let it rise once after shaping. Unfortunately I don’t do oats, even gluten-free oats, but I will try making a variation on this recipe because it sounds amazing. I love the steaming idea. I’ve steamed gluten-free bread before with good results.

    Thanks for the inspiration!


    • says

      Thanks Sea! i will give that a try as well. i havent tried other variations yet. i need to make an oat free version and will try your suggestion. Steaming does do wonders for a gf bred doestn it!:)

  18. says


    I have made this today, first time I have made flat bread and by steaming method. My feedback. I wasn’t struck on the taste by it’s self. Think that may be due to not ever tasted bread made with oats, not sure I like that taste. However, I put vegan butter on it and it was ok but even better when I dipped it in some chilli sauce. I guess the sauce took the taste of the oats away. The texture was brilliant, soft, never had GF bread so soft – well impressed. I was thinking that it was a lot of yeast for two flat breads but on looking back I misread the amount. I used a small sachet which may be more than a teaspoon, not sure. I am interested in the steaming method and wanted to know if oat flour has to be the main flour used in this method of making bread? I make vegan chapatis which are lovely but I don’t use oat flour. Is there a reason behind oat flour?

    • says

      Hi Lorrainne,
      Thank u for trying the Naan recipe. the sachet might have 2.5 tsps which might have added a yeasty or bitter flavor to the bread. the starch also can add an after taste. add cumin seeds or nigella seeds into the dough to help eliminate that.

      Oats help keep the bread stay soft and they seem to work best for gf breads. you can however use other flours as well. See my burger buns. you can sub the oat flour with rice or other flours and steam in the oven. and these biscuits which are oat-free

    • says

      Thanks for that info. Big mistake with the amount of yeast I mistakenly used got stomach cramps last night, was not well at all. Never mind will not make that mistake again. I was looking at those other recipes, in Uk we cannot get the pepper jack, never heard of it. However, I will be giving other recipes a go. I am going to try the oat flat bread again with the proper amount of yeast to see how it turns out and if I still have problems with the taste then I will do it again and substitute with another flour, may be just reduce the oat flour – it’s all experimental but must read the ingredients properly next time lol Great site very inspiring, I loved the texture, the softness of the bread, this is what I am looking for. A healthy, soft, vegan gluten free bread.

    • says

      oh no. check the yeast. sometimes yeast has additives which can also cause stomach issues.

      you can use the dry flour mix from the recipes i mentioned, to make this naan, instead of all oat flour. pepper jack is vegan cheese shreds for the cheesy biscuits. the dry flour ratios though should work fine for this naan. i am working on a page with general gf mixes to use to make naans and yeast breads, cakes, cookies etc.

  19. pongodhall says

    I work on replacing the dreaded wheat with buckwheat and the even more dreaded yeast with a pinch of baking powder, any non stretch or tendency to crumble is sorted out with good spoon of phylium husk. It does work and I still get the flavours. Not the same I know.
    You mentioning dhokla got me wondering if fruit salt would be better than baking powder (when steaming), what do you think?
    Thank you so much for wonderful and imaginative site, I really do look forward to getting my posts and I spend ages rummaging!

    • says

      fruit salt might help with the initial leavening. you can omit the yeast and add more baking powder and steam it and it will work out similarly. also buckwheat is quite heavy, so maybe add a bit of starch so the batter can hold the airyness.


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