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Pav is one of the famous Indian bread. It’s popular street food combination, Pav Bhaji is famous not only in India but in other countries too.
Pav is used in so many other street foods, like, Vada Pav, Misal Pav, Cheesy Pav Sliders, Masala Pav, Dabeli etc. Out of all these, Pav Bhaji is my favourite. In fact, my husband and kids too, love eating it.
During the weekends, I used to take a break from cooking and kitchen, and we all would enjoy the outside food. Pav Bhaji has always been one favorite dish of ours, to order. But during the lock down days of these Covid times, as we were not going out at all, we were missing our weekend binge eating. Hence, I finally thought to try making pav at home.
Well, I am glad, I did that!! Now I can make perfectly soft and spongy pav buns at home. Finally, I am happily playing with the yeast and making the best breads at home.
Do check out my White Bread recipe from the blog. It is easy and gives amazingly soft bread!!
What is a Pav?
Pav is a type of bread made with flour and yeast. It is the most popular bread from Maharashtra in India, which is used in various fast food dishes. They are small sized bread loaf. You will be amazed at the so many different ways it is made with bhaji (Indian veg keema), cheese and masala etc. It’s combination dishes like Pav Bhaji, Vada Pav, Misal Pav, Daebeli etc. is now world famous.
One recipe, Two Breads!!
Yes, this Pav recipe that I am sharing with you today, is a double bonus recipe! With this recipe in your pocket you’ll be able to bake deliciously soft pav and it is a good enough recipe for a huge loaf of bread too. There’s just a tiny little change in the recipe for baking bread, which I have mentioned in the Note section, at the end of this article.
So, what say? Isn’t it a keeper recipe?! Believe me, once you’ll try it out, you’ll feel silly for not baking it at home till now.
Easy-breezy and simple recipe, with only a handful of ingredients, and you get wonderful pav.
Important Points for baking Pav
Just like any other bread, baking Pav also has some simple but important points to keep in mind.
Yeast – You must use a good quality yeast. The pav or bread of any type is based primarily on the quality of your yeast. If the yeast doesn’t foam well when you proof it, please discard that yeast and take a new one.
Flour – Taking a good quality flour is also important. Also, it should be kept in mind that, the quantity of liquid depends on the quality of your flour. You might end up using 1-2 tbsp liquid ingredients more or less than I have mentioned in the recipe and that is absolutely okay.
Water – For kneading pav, I have used only water as liquid ingredient. It helps to make it light and gives an amazing texture to it.
Ghee – I have used desi ghee or clarified butter in this recipe of pav. You may use butter or oil, if you wish to. Any of these is okay to be used here.
Tips for perfect Pav
One of my major concern till sometime back was, that whatever bread or pav I would make, it would just not come perfect. I do not like dense texture in breads. Then, with so many trials and errors, I finally understood some basics for a good pav. Let me share them with you too;
Proofing of yeast – It is very important. If your yeast has died or is not of good quality, then the pav won’t be good. So, you have to be sure of your yeast before you use it.
Also, the temperature of the water for proofing yeast has to be just right. Neither too hot, nor too cold! Believe me, more than any other factor this was my major fault always. But not anymore.
Now, I know that the water has to be just hot enough that I can put my finger in it comfortably. You can call that luke warm water. You’ll get the hang of it, once you start baking. It is not difficult but one has to be careful.
Kneading – Now, here we talk about the technique for making a soft and light pav. Kneading is must for good bread of any type. It develops gluten in the dough which later helps the bread or pav to expand and rise while being baked.
So, no short cuts here. Knead the dough by pushing it away from you with the palm of your hand and then bringing it back. The dough will be very sticky at this stage. It is okay and it is supposed to be like that only. As you keep kneading, the dough will become less sticky and smooth.
For kneading with hands at least 20 min of total kneading should be good enough. If you use stand mixture then, 8-10 min of kneading and with a hand mixer, like I have used, 12- 14 min of kneading is good enough.
When you are about to finish the kneading, the dough should be smooth enough to be rolled into a ball shape.
Texture – Many people make mistake when they think that following the recipe measurements blindly is the only thing they have to do for a perfect pav or bread.
It is actually, the texture of your dough which decides the bread quality. As I have mentioned earlier, you might need a little more of flour or water or a little less, than the quantity mentioned in the recipe, depending upon the quality of your ingredients and the weather conditions at your place. What you should notice closely is the texture of the dough when it is going for first proofing and then for second proofing.
If you do that, you will never go wrong.
Some other interesting recipes from my blog;
- Pav Bhaji (street style)
- Samosa (crunchy and delicious)
- Instant Dhokla
- Soya Kebab recipe
- Sabudana Khichdi (Perfect, non-sticky)
- Garlic Naan recipe (Quick and easy, tawa recipe)
- Pani Puri Recipe (crunchy, just like market )
Recipe Video of Ladi Pav
Refined flour – 3 cups (380 gm) + 1-2 tbsp (for dusting)
Water – 1 cup + 2 tbsp (230 ml)
Sugar – 1 tbsp (15 gm)
Yeast – 1 tsp (3gm)
Salt – 1 tsp
Ghee/ Butter – 1 tbsp + 1 tbsp (for brushing)
Milk – as required for brushing
1.Take 1 cup luke warm water and add 1 tbsp sugar to it. Mix lightly and add 1 tsp yeast to this mixture. Mix once and keep it covered for about 15 min for yeast to get activated. If, after 15 min the yeast is not foaming up, please discard this yeast and try with a new batch. Without the first step getting right, you won’t be able to bake good pav.
2. After 15 min, when the yeast has got activated, take 3 cups flour in a big bowl. Add 1 tsp salt to it. Mix together.
3. Now add the yeast water to the flour. Mix the flour with a spatula first and then you can use the hand mixer or stand mixer. If you do not have these, then start kneading the dough with hands.
4. If you are kneading with hands, then first you knead it properly in the bowl. There should be no dry flour left in it. If you need, then use 2-3 tbsp more water. I took, 2 tbsp water more for kneading the dough.
5. When there is no dry flour in the bowl and you have mixed it well for about 3-4 min, then transfer the dough onto a surface and knead with your hands. Push it away with your palm and then gather it back. Keep kneading like this for about 8-10 min and you will see change in the dough.
6. If you are kneading with a hand mixer, then also as soon as you see that the dough has been knead well for about 8-10 min, then add 1 tbsp ghee or butter or even olive oil to it. Knead again and incorporate all the ghee in the dough.
7. After about 13-14 min by hand mixer the dough becomes smooth. Transfer it on to a surface out of the bowl and knead with hands for a minute or two and shape it into a smooth ball.
8. Put it in a greased bowl and cover with a lightly damp cloth. Keep it in a warm place for proofing. My dough took about 50 minutes to get doubled. It might take anywhere from 45 min to 2 hours for the dough to double up, depending upon the weather conditions in your area. Do not let it rise more than double.
9. Once it has doubled up, degas the dough (punch it down to remove all the gas formed) and knead just for a minute.
10. Take the dough out on a surface and cut it into equal portions. I divided the dough into 9 portions. You can divide it into more pieces or less depending upon your requirement. If you want to bake a bread out of it, then at this stage shape it into a bread loaf. You can check this process in my white bread recipe post, under the bread section of Main Course menu.
11. Roll these into small balls, smooth the top and place in a wide greased baking tin. Cover them with a lightly damp cloth and let them rise to double. This time it might take anywhere from 30 min to 1 hour. My dough doubled up in flat 30 min.
12. Once it is doubled up, handle the dough carefully. Brush it with milk and bake it in a pre-heated oven at 200 degrees Celsius for about 30 -35 min. The time might vary according to your oven settings.
13. Once baked, take it out and immediately brush it with some ghee or butter. Remove the pav from the baking tin, after about 7-8 min and keep it on a wired rack. Cover them immediately with a very lightly damp cloth and leave them like that for at least 3-4 hours or until cool completely.
14. After about 4 hours, the top of the pav will be soft. The spongy and light pav is ready. Use them away as you want.
I would love to hear from you if try out these pav. Do mention it in my comments section how you liked it. That would help the other readers to understand this recipe better.
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NOTE: 1. You may use 1-2 tbsp flour in between just for dusting purpose, if you find it difficult to handle the dough. But do not add more flour, just use for dusting purpose.
2. You can even increase the ghee or butter by 1 tsp more, if you feel the dough hasn’t become smooth. But not more than this.
3. I have used 1 cup + 2 tbsp water in total for kneading the dough. Please add 2 tbsp water only after mixing the flour with yeast-water, and checking that you need more water.
4. If you are making bread with this recipe then I recommend taking ½ cup water and ½ cup milk. Other than that, the whole recipe remains same.