Naan bread, like pita bread, tortillas, and even ordinary loaves, can be frozen and it is remarkably easy to do so. It doesn’t matter if you have bought them from the store, made them yourself, or have some left over from an Indian takeaway. The best thing of all is that the quality of naan bread doesn’t change much after it has been frozen.
So why write a guide to freezing naan bread if it’s so simple to do? Well, not only will we tell you how to freeze naan, we will go into more details about naan bread. We will tell you how long it can be frozen for, how to thaw it out, and what to do with defrosted naan. We will delve into the ins and outs of freezing naan dough.
Freezing Naan Bread
All you need to freeze naan bread is a freezer bag or bags, depending on how many naans you have to freeze. You don’t need to separate them as they won’t stick together.
Place the naan bread into the bag, squeeze out the air to stop freezer burn, and seal the bag. It’s a good idea to put a label on the bag saying when you froze it. It is easy to forget, especially if you usually freeze a lot of items.
What is Freezer Burn?
Freezer burn happens when air reaches the surface of the frozen food and dries out the product. It can appear as grayish-brown spots. It isn’t unsafe to eat food that has freezer burn but it just doesn’t look very pleasant. This is why it is important to squeeze the air out of the freezer bag.
If you plan to keep your naan bread in the freezer for more than a month, it is a good idea to wrap them individually as freezer burn is more likely to happen with older products. You can use aluminum foil, freezer wrap, or plastic wrap.
However, this, of course, is more time-consuming and takes away from the simplicity of freezing naan bread. You also end up using a lot of either foil or plastic. As you know, too much plastic is being thrown away and ending up in our oceans. However, on the plus side, wrapping individually does slow down the process of deterioration.
If you can avoid wrapping naan bread individually, do it. The chances are quite high that you won’t be freezing them for longer than a month anyway.
For How Long Can You Freeze Naan Bread?
We would advise you to keep naan bread in the freezer for no more than three months. It won’t go off after this time, but it might start to lose its quality. It might not be as flavorsome as when you froze it and it may start to develop freezer burn. Naan which you froze a week ago will taste better than naan that was frozen three months ago. However, don’t be put off. The difference is minimal with naan bread and the chances are that you are going to dip the bread in a curry which will be flavorsome.
Perhaps you might find some naan bread in the back of the freezer with a date of nine months ago. It is still worth defrosting it and trying it. What we will say is, don’t use it if it’s over a year old. The quality is bound to be compromised and it’s not as if naan bread is that expensive. What is a good idea is to put a list on the freezer door with the date the naan bread was frozen as well as putting a label on the freezer bag. This gives you an extra reminder.
The Best Ways to Defrost and Reheat Naan Bread
There are a number of ways to defrost and reheat naan bread (see also How To Defrost Bread). All work equally well, so it is up to your personal preference.
A non-stick pan
This is probably the best method as you can both thaw and reheat your naan bread on the same surface which speeds up the process.
You need to have a non-stick pan as you don’t want the naan bread to stick. Put this pan onto a medium heat and allow it to warm up. Then put the naan bread onto the pan without any oil or butter otherwise it will just fry. Shake the pan every 30 seconds to ensure that the naan bread doesn’t stick. After around three minutes, the naan should be thawed and warmed up on one side. Turn the naan bread over and warm up the other side for up to two minutes. Just touching them in the middle will give you an indication of whether they have warmed up sufficiently.
There is a possibility that your naan bread can dry out. If so, again don’t add oil or butter, but use water. Just spray on a little water or use wet hands to dampen it. You don’t need too much water for it to have an effect.
On Your Worktop
The easiest way to defrost your pieces of naan bread is to just take them out of the freezer and put them on your worktop. Leave them for about an hour and they should be thawed. You can also take them out of the bag and lay them in a single layer. After around 20 minutes, turn them over. They should be defrosted within half an hour.
Now all you have to do is to warm them up. Put them in a non-stick pan and heat for one to two minutes on each side. You can also put them in the oven or the microwave as we will explain shortly.
If you are thawing your naan bread on the counter, you can get the curry prepped while you are waiting. Then all you will have to do is warm up the bread and you’re ready for a delicious meal.
In the Oven
This is not the easiest way to defrost and reheat naan bread, but it is an option. First, preheat your oven to medium and then put in the naan bread. You will have to keep checking on the bread to see if it has thawed so you will need to be in the kitchen for the whole process. The pan method is definitely quicker. However, if you are cooking the curry, you will be working on the stove so it shouldn’t take too much effort to keep checking the naan bread.
In the Microwave
Microwaving the naan bread is another option and one that takes very little time. Put the naan bread on a plate that is microwave-safe. Microwave on defrost for 30 seconds and check the bread. Keep doing this until the naan has defrosted. To warm the pieces up, turn the microwave onto full power and heat in 15-second intervals until the naan has warmed up.
If you are microwaving more than one naan bread, you can both thaw and reheat for a few seconds more.
How to Stop Naan Bread From Drying Out
Water is the solution here. Try it out with just one naan bread first to make sure that you are adding the right amount of water. You can use a damp paper towel or a spray bottle. If you are defrosting and thawing naan bread in the microwave, put a damp piece of paper towel in between each naan.
What to do with Thawed Naan Bread
Naan bread is a staple of Indian cuisine and defrosted naan can be used in the same way as fresh naan bread. Maybe you want to make your curry from scratch or perhaps you might go out and buy a jar of curry sauce. There are lots of varieties out there. If you don’t like anything too spicy, try a korma. If you want a bit of a kick go for a madras or even a vindaloo. Chicken tikka masala (see also Freezing Cooked Chicken) is a popular dish, but you can use any meat with the sauce. Vegetarians and vegans don’t need to feel left out as curries lend themselves well to many vegetables.
You don’t just have to limit yourself to Indian cuisine when it comes to using naan bread. It goes well with other stews and especially soups. It will make a change from an ordinary bread roll. You can also stuff naan bread with anything you want and have it instead of a sandwich. Warm a cheese-filled naan bread in the oven and see the cheese ooze out as you eat it.
Is it Possible to Freeze Naan Bread Dough?
Perhaps you enjoy baking and cooking. Maybe you want to impress your dinner guests. Then why not make your own naan bread? However, it makes sense to make a big batch if you’re going to go to this much trouble. What we are going to look into here is if you can freeze naan bread dough for future use.
The resounding answer is yes, you can freeze naan bread dough and there are two ways of doing this.
- Roll the dough into small balls and wrap each one in plastic wrap or freezer wrap. Put them into a freezer bag and squeeze the air out of it. Seal and put the date on the bag.
- Roll the dough into balls and then flatten them into discs. Stack them one on top of the other with a piece of parchment paper or plastic wrap in between each one. The paper stops them from sticking together. Put them in a freezer bag and squeeze the air out to stop freezer burn.
The difference between these methods is that the balls take up to three hours to thaw out, while the discs just take half an hour. It is best to thaw them in the fridge.
Naan bread dough is usually best kept in the freezer for up to three months. Again, it won’t go off, but the quality might be compromised.
Freezing dough is a good idea if you want to experiment. Just freeze the normal dough, but when it has defrosted, add herbs or spices. Garlic naan bread is very popular in Indian cuisine so why not give it a go?
However, a disadvantage of freezing naan bread dough is that it takes time. In addition, you will be using a lot of plastic wrap and, as we have said, plastic isn’t good for the environment.