I simply love the smell of fresh baked pao. Simply the default bread for Pav Bhaji, Vada Pav, Bhaji Pav, Sev-Bhaji and Misal Pav. Cannot think all this without pav. Simply dip it in hot chai (tea) or eat it as maska pav, the possibilities are endless. My favorite is also adding the spicy garlic chutney in between and simply eat it as it is. Nothing more is needed. The dinner rolls which we get here are good, but a little on the sweeter side. So I decided to experiment with this and finally I nailed it. So here goes the recipe
- 4 Cups All purpose Flour (approximately 700-750 gms) (Maida)
- 1 Sachet (7gms) Fast action Dry yeast (2 1/2-3/4 teaspoon)
- 1 Tablespoon sugar (Can add more, but the pao becomes heavy and sweet)
- 3/4 Salt to taste
- 2 tablespoons of luke warm water
- 2-3 tablespoons of melted butter ( a bit more or less might be required to attain the desired elasticity)
- 1 cup lukewarm milk (1/4 to 1/2 cup more milk might be required depending on the dough)
- 1 tablespoon butter for brushingcoating
- 1 tablespoon milk for brushingcoating
1. In lukewarm water (Should not be too hot or else the yeast will die) mix sugar and then mix yeast and keep it aside closed, for 10 minutes.
2. Mix salt and flour. Once the yeast rises mix it and kneed it well using milk. Check out the below picture how the yeast looks after rising or blooming (I have kept the spoon inside it to create an impression so that it is visible in the photo)
3. Milk should be lukewarm. Should not be cold or very hot. If cold the dough won’t rise and if hot it will kill the yeast.
4. Knead it with all your muscle strength. 🙂 around 10 minutes. If required use more milk. The dough should be sticky. Add more milk if required. Knead the dough on a work surface or a kitchen top, this helps in kneading it properly instead of kneading it in vessel. (First combine all in vessel and then take it on the work surface)
5. After 10 minutes or so, keep on taking little butter in your palms and knead it using all the butter and keep on kneading for 5 minutes or so.
6. The dough should be shiny and elastic.
7. Cover the dough with a muslin cloth or with a cling film (on top of the bowl and not on dough) and let it rise for 90 minutes or until double in size.
8. Once double, punch the dough and knead again for 3-4 minutes. Divide the dough in equal size round balls ( I make around 18, and divide in 2 trays as my tray size is small) and knead each ball well using your fingers. ( do not make less balls, or else they become heavy for eating)
9. Arrange the balls in the baking tray having enough spacing between the balls.
10. Cover the balls again and let it rise for 90 minutes or until double in size.
11. Preheat oven at 200 deg celcius. Brush the balls with milk (To get brown colour) (Brush the milk very lightly) and bake for 15-20 minutes. (All oven’s are different and you are the better judge of your oven. So heating time varies.) Do not exceed the baking time just because you are not getting the brown colour. It might go hard.
12. Once done remove from oven and apply butter immediately and remove from the baking tin and let it cool on a wire rack.
13. Delicious and yummy Pao is ready
For the dough to rise in cold countries , warm your oven for a few minutes. Switch off the oven and keep the utensil inside the oven. Remember to switch off the oven.
We just want a warm climate, where in we can help rise the dough. Do not over heat or else you will kill the yeast. If required simply keep in the oven without warming or keeping the light on.
Start with half the quantity in the start if you are not confident…..
All oven’s are different and you are the better judge of your oven. So heating time varies.
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