My trysts with the humble ‘Pav’ continue, as I find myself strangely attracted towards baking batches of these fluffy bread buns. As a true-blue Mumbaite, the allure for pavs has been high since childhood; pav bhaji, keema pav, dabheli, maska pav, bhurji pav…you name it, I’ve had em all, and boy, did I love the pav!
I still do love pavs of course, but here in the tiny suburb of West Bengal, no laadi pavs are to be found. People don’t even know what a laadi pav is, forget finding any. And how can a Pav Bhaji be complete without its signature pav? We do get similar small buns, but then a Pav is a Pav is a Pav 😉 And finally, I have successfully recreated the iconic taste and texture of these simple Laadi Pavs at home!
These are my second batch of pavs, and the only mistake I did was that I baked them in a larger pan, so they spread a little during the second rise, and thus didn’t achieve their signature height. But the taste and texture were quite perfect 😀
Eggless Laadi Pav (Mumbai style Bread Buns).
Ingredients (makes 6 pavs)
- All-purpose flour – 125 gms (1 cup)
- Warm milk – 100 ml
- Active dry yeast – 1 tsp or 4 gm
- Sugar – 1/2 tbsp
- Salt – 1/2 tsp
- Milk Powder – 1 tbsp or 9 gm
- Butter – 2 tsp or 10 gm
- Milk and Butter for brushing on top
- Warm the milk if using cold milk, until it’s a little warmer than room temperature.
- In the warm milk, dissolve the sugar and add the yeast, mixing it well.
- Let this proof for 10 minutes, or until frothy.
- Meanwhile sieve the flour and add the salt and milk powder.
- Make a well in the center and pour the milk-yeast mixture.
- Start to knead the dough by mixing it with your fingertips.
- It will be very sticky.
- Add the butter (should be soft), and then with the heel of your hand, knead the dough for 15 minutes. (this is the most important step)
- The dough will be very, very sticky, pasty and soft. Don’t be tempted to add more flour.
- Use a dough scrapped or similar appliance like a karcha to scrape the dough together once you have kneaded for 15 minutes.
- Grease a bowl with some oil or butter and place the dough in it, allowing the dough to be coated with the oil or butter.
- Cover with a damp cloth and let it rise for 1 hour or until doubled.
- Once the dough has doubled, punch it to release the air, and now tip it on to a floured surface.
- Knead gently for another minute, using some flour to dust the surface.
- Make a log, and cut out 6 equal-sized portions of the dough.
- Form smooth round balls, and place them side by side in a greased baking dish, not too large, just enough to fit them snugly.
- Cover again with a damp cloth and let rise for 45 minutes to an hour.
- Preheat oven to 200 C and brush the top of the buns with milk.
- Bake for 15 to 20 mins, or until top is golden.
- Serve hot with butter or choice of sides.