Nan Bread

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What is good bread? Good bread comes from good dough.

If you knead a mixture of flour and water for 15 mins or so, this helps the protein in the flour to form into long strings. These long strings of protein create a spongy texture which traps pockets of air. When the dough is baked, the pockets of air conduct heat, helping the dough to cook through. The pockets of air will also expand a little in the heat of the oven, helping to make a lighter bread.

Interestingly, you don't actually have to knead dough to create a good texture. A slightly wet dough mixed very quickly (without lots of kneading) and left for 24hrs or so will naturally allow the long strings of protein to develop.

This is the secret to making nan bread on a camping stove (or fire) using lightweight aluminium pans. Mix up the dough the night before you plan to make nan bread.

- the highest-protein bread flour you can find
- yeast
- a little salt (be careful because salt inhibits the action of yeast)
- some nigella seeds
- some water - enough to make a slightly sticky dough

You won't need to knead it. Time will create a good, spongy texture.

Handling sticky dough is a lot easier if you carry a separate little bag of flour. If you smother the sticky dough in dry flour, you'll be able to pick it up and shape into individual nan breads.

Cook on the hot, bare metal of a griddle or an aluminium camping pot until it starts to char. That's all.

I should say this is kind of on the edge of what is possible. It's very easy to end up with hot, raw dough if you don't cook it for long enough. You have to push it as hard as you dare right up to the point of burning. It might take a couple of tries to perfect but stick with it. Hot, fresh nan breads are a fantastic accompaniment to a curry.

You can make a curry paste from a pile of onions, garlic, fresh ginger, spices, tomato puree etc. Cook odd as much water as possible so that it's lighter to carry. To turn this into meal add some water and some meat or lentils etc to the curry paste, heat it up, and serve with the nan breads.


Mar 8, 2017
Preston, England
Good stuff, you could also do it on a tile or flat stone in your hot coals. Use a blowing stick or air pump to get those coals really going (like a bellows)

The thermal mass in the tile/stone will really help. A bit like doing it in a real tandoor oven.

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