This soft, flaky, buttery flatbread is an excellent accompaniment to many dishes. But making naan from scratch takes quite a bit of time.
Can naan bread be frozen if it is a bulk batch? Yes, you can freeze naan. It freezes well and can be kept in the freezer for up to six months. However, you must follow certain rules to ensure it stays at its best while it is frozen.
Today we’ll look at three ways to freeze naan effectively, plus some tips on how to properly thaw and reheat this flatbread.
What Is Naan Bread?
One of the most famous types of flatbread in the world is naan bread.
A leavened bread is one whose dough has been leavened by some type of leavening agent, usually yeast.
An authentic Indian naan is baked in a wood-fired tandoori oven. The extremely high temperatures used to bake it leave some areas slightly charred and crispy.
The naan is exceptionally soft, slightly flaky (depending on where you get it), fluffy, and slightly charred, and has a buttery flavor that is often accompanied by a garlic or herb butter basting.
Indian, Indonesian, Malaysian, and Myanmar are among the countries that very much enjoy this bread.
Can You Freeze Naan?
Let’s ask the big question: Can you freeze naan bread? And even more importantly, is it a good idea to freeze it?
It holds up well against freezer effects for several months. Whether or not you should freeze naan bread depends on your taste.
Any bread product that is frozen loses its fresh baked aroma and super soft texture – and, in the case of naan, its buttery fresh-baked taste.
You shouldn’t expect frozen and thawed naan to be the same as fresh naan. But that kind of applies to all frozen ingredients and products.
How Does Freezing Affect Naan?
There are many benefits to freezing naan, regardless of whether it’s store-bought or homemade. You can always have a side or accompaniment available, you can thaw and reheat it quickly, and you can even save some money.
You’ll need to test your specific naan recipe first to see how it changes when it is frozen. Some naan recipes will be less affected by freezing than others, so you’ll need to test it yourself.
It is possible that the bread will dry out or become brittle. Fixing this is extra work and takes some time.
Similarly, there are tricks you can use to prevent or fix soggy or tough naan bread, but soggy and tough naan bread is much harder to fix – you may not even be able to.
There will still be tasty flatbread, but it won’t have the same fresh baked flavor and texture as freshly baked naan.
Despite all these “downsides,” you should still consider freezing naan since most recipes are fantastic.
Try another recipe for making naan for freezing if yours don’t work. It will still save you a ton of time and energy.
How To Freeze Naan Bread
Your choice of how to freeze naan bread is entirely up to you!
1. Individually In Freezer Bags
The easiest, quickest, and least labor-intensive method is this one.
Place one naan inside a large freezer bag and seal tightly. Continue until all naans are sealed.
At the most, you can stack two naan loaves on top of each other in the freezer – if you stack too many, the bottom layer of naan will be squashed.
You can stack frozen naan on top of each other without worrying about them getting squashed once they have frozen.
In this method, you have to buy a lot of freezer bags (which can get expensive). Fortunately, they are reusable – just wash them with warm soapy water, rinse them thoroughly, let them dry, and store them.
2. Wrap With Plastic
Although this method takes a little more work, it is still very effective – plus a large roll of plastic wrap or saran wrap probably costs as much as two large freezer bags.
Make sure you wrap each naan individually with plastic wrap. Don’t wrap it too tight, but make sure it’s airtight.
Lay out the naan in an individual layer in the freezer, then let them freeze.
The wrapped frozen naan bread should be stacked on top of each other.
Using this method will likely result in some degree of freezer burn, but you can minimize this risk by using the foil trick listed in the tips section.
3. Place In A Freezer-Safe Container
If you don’t want to use a lot of plastic or are lazy, this method is perfect for you.
Place all of the naan pieces in a freezer-safe container. If the naan is too big, cut it into smaller pieces. Do not fold the naan over when stacking it.
Between the pieces, place layers of non-stick paper or plastic wrap.
The entire container should be placed in the freezer.
If you don’t add baking paper or plastic wrap between the pieces of naan, they will likely freeze together.
It is therefore best to store specific portions of naan together in an airtight container, either with plastic or non-stick paper.
Tips For Freezing Naan
To prevent excessive freezer burn, wrap the naan (or container) in aluminum foil. This will give the naan better flavor and texture when thawed and reheated.
In order to avoid soggy naan when defrosting, do not fold the naan when freezing. Instead, freeze naan in individual layers, flat.
It helps to use the oldest naan first, leaving the newest for last, as well as ensure that no naan goes bad in the bottom of your freezer!
How Long Can You Freeze Naan?
Both store-bought and homemade naan should not be frozen for longer than a month – the texture and flavor won’t be as good as they would be within that time frame.
Naan will still be edible and relatively good for longer periods of time; however, the longer you keep it frozen, the less tender, soft, fluffy, and buttery it will be when thawed and reheated.
If you keep naan for more than 6 months, it is likely to be ruined by freezer burn – even when it is wrapped in foil.
How To Tell If Frozen Naan Has Gone Bad
It’s been frozen for too long (even if it’s less than a month) if your naan bread shows any signs of freezer burn.
There will be sogginess, toughness, chewiness, and even dryness to it if it has excessive freezer burn.
In any case, if your naan is discolored in any way, it means it has gone bad – bread shouldn’t change color, even when it is frozen.
Mold growth can also be seen by the naked eye. Mold isn’t always bad, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry.
How To Thaw And Reheat Naan
If you want to thaw and reheat naan bread, you can either do so quickly or slowly, or you can use an oven or microwave.
To quickly thaw your naan bread in the oven:
Naan pieces should be placed on a lined baking sheet after they have been removed from the freezer.
Don’t overbake the naan – it only needs about 5 minutes to bake at 420 degrees Fahrenheit (210 degrees Celsius).
The time required will vary depending on the size and thickness of the naan. The goal is to quickly thaw it and remove excess moisture.
To slowly thaw your naan bread in the oven:
It will take roughly 1–3 hours for the naan to thaw inside the fridge. Don’t remove the coverings.
After that, place it on a baking sheet and bake it for three to four minutes at 350°F (180°C).
Naan that has been slowly thawed can also be quickly reheated in the microwave:
Don’t remove any coverings or containers from the naan as it slowly thaws inside the fridge for approximately 1–3 hours.
Microwave it for 10–20 seconds, checking doneness after each session, at the highest heat of your microwave.
It’s a quick method, but it won’t get the crispy bits back to crispy.
Can You Re-Freeze Thawed Naan?
In general, you should never re-freeze any ingredients, including naan.
The first time the bread was thawed, you already introduced new bacteria, plus the old bacteria from pre-freezing became active again.
So, if you freeze the bread for a second time, it will have already deteriorated even further. This will just cause the bread to spoil in the freezer, and it would continue to deteriorate the second time you thaw and reheat it.
This is why it’s important to portion the naan before freezing — only thaw and reheat what you need!