By Vasundhara Jhunjhunwala
My Cooking Mantra
- BE A POSITIVE COOK
- READ THE RECIPE TWICE (but don’t speed read like me )
- Google what you don’t understand. It’s all there.
- Measure your ingredients and keep aside first.
- If you want to make something new, read two three recipes. Pinterest is my go to place for any recipe.
- and again, BE A POSITIVE COOK ( this is most important, many times, we subconsciously decide before its made that it will fail or not, think you will rock it)
- Etymology - Originally known as Pāo which is derived from the Latin word pānis : Panem nostrum quotidianum da nobis hodie. ― Give us this day our daily bread.
- History in India - Pav was brought into India by the Portugese in late 1400’s. According to Lizzie Collingham, author of Curry: A Tale of Cooks and Conquerors the one thing that they missed terribly and that thing was bread. But how to procure the yeast that was necessary for baking bread? Such a thing was unheard of in India, at the time. In fact, it was the canny Goan cook who came to their rescue. He used toddy to ferment the dough, with...good results," writes Collingham.
- Pav, the word also has a few other disputable theories, some say the Bakers used to knead the dough with their feet (panv in Hindi) while others believe it’s a Quarter of a loaf of bread thus Pav, which means a quarter in Hindi.
- A few very good articles on PAV
Prep Time-20 minutes
Resting Time-2 hours 20 min
Cook Time-20 minutes
- 1¼cup milk warm
- 2tsp sugar
- 7grams dry yeast (1.5 tsp)
- 3cup (450 grams) Maida / plain flour
- ½tsp salt
- 2tbsp butter softened
- In a bowl activate the yeast by combining 1 cup milk, 2 tsp sugar and 7 grams dry yeast. This is called Proofing/ Proving the Yeast
- Add 3 cup Maida and ½ tsp salt.
- Knead until the dough turns soft. Add the additional milk if required.
- Add 2 tbsp butter and knead the dough.
- 1st Proof of dough: cover with cling wrap or slightly wet muslin cloth and rest for 2 hours in a warm place. I leave it in a slightly warm oven which is switched off. Like we do for making Yogurt.
- After 2 hours, punch the dough and knead it slightly to remove air incorporated.
- Shaping - Make small balls of Pav. Roll them in the palm of your hand in circular motion without pressing too much. They should be of same weight and size. I weighed them on a weighing scale to get more accuracy and for them to all be of the same size. You can make the dough into a long roll, cut it into half the half the halves till you get 12 pieces, the old fashioned Indian way. Channel your Mother/Grandmother making puri dough .
- Now, preheat the oven for 30 min
- Place the balls into a greased tray leaving equal space in between. They need to rise again.
- Further, brush the dough with milk without damaging the balls.
- Cover with cling wrap and allow to rest for 20 minutes or until the dough reaches the brim of the tray. This is called 2nd Proofing of the dough.
- Bake at 180 degree Celsius for 20 minutes, or until the pav turns golden brown from top. Make sure its not burnt. Its better to start off by putting them in the lower rack of the oven.
- Once the pav is out of the oven, rub with butter to get a shiny look. That also makes the pav softer.
- In a few minutes when the pav has cooled down a bit remove it carefully from the dish by running a knife around the edges and flipping and upturning onto a plate so they don’t break.
- Cover with a wet cloth to get a super soft cloth and allow to cool completely.
Proofing of the yeast- Sugar & Yeast added in Milk
Dough after 1st proof
Pav tips & tricks :
- The key to soft pav is the kneading of plain flour dough after it is mixed with yeast. give a proper 10-15 mins of kneading and use both your hands.
- Once the dough is properly kneaded, allow it to rest for 60 minutes so that raises and gets the shape.
- Once the dough is shaped to balls and transferred to the tray, it has to be rested again.
- Before putting the tray to baking oven, do not forget to brush the balls with milk or butter to get a nice colour.
- Don’t use all the milk at the beginning. Go with the flow, the dough should stick together but not be sticky.
- After about 4-5 minutes of it being baked, remove the Pav from the pan and cool on wire rack, or the Pav may become soggy from the bottom with heat from the pan
- Keep the oven temperature on the lower side to begin with if your oven tends to heat up too soon, like mine. The pav will cook and brown faster from the top than inside.
- You can make this in an Idli steamer as well. Preheat the steamer for 30 min by adding 2 cups of Salt or Rice at the bottom. Place the baking tray with dough balls and close tightly for 30 min.
The many avatars of Pav
Avatar 1- Pav Bhaji
Avatar 2 - Vada Pav
Avatar 3- Misal Pav / Usal Pav
Avatar 4 - Dabeli
Avatar 5 - Keema Pav
Avatar 6- can be used as a Burger Bun
Avatar 7 - Pav Pizza –
slice the pav horizontally and toast it slightly. Then top with pizza sauce, veggies and cheese and Bake.
Avatar 8 - Garlic bread – Smear garlic butter on halved pav and grill
Avatar 9- Maska Pav- Smear butter in the middle of the pav & microwave for 10 seconds.
Avatar 10- Samosa Pav
Avatar 11 - Egg Omelete/ Bhurji Pav
Avatar 12- Masala Pav – while shaping the dough into pav after the first proofing you can add different types of fillings inside, proof again for 20 min and then bake.
- Cut the dough into equal 6 pieces and make a ball out of it.
- Flatten into the palm of your hand. Then add different fillings.
- stuff and seal the corner.
- place the prepared stuffed pav balls into the loaf tray.
- cover and rest for 1 hour .
- furthermore, brush with milk.
- and bake at 180 degree Celsius for 25 minutes.
- finally, allow it to cool completely before serving.
- Chilli Garlic Paste & Cheese
- Pizza stuffing- tomato sauce, cheese, onion capsicum
- Chilli Marmalade & Brie
- Lemon Chhuhara or any other sweet relish to make like a Jam roll
- Aaloo bonda Masala & Garlic chilli powder
- Onion, Tomato fried with Garlic chilli powder
- Green chilli fry with Cheese
- Mushroom Masala or Chicken Masala
My Bread making tips
- I use GLORIPAN Available on amazon and many bakery stores. When you proof or cream the yeast in a glass, that is add it in tepid water/milk and sugar, give it a good whisk, let it rise for 10 min, it should then look like cold coffee in a glass. If it hasn’t foamed up, start again, if it doesn’t work then your yeast is bad, the bread won’t rise,
- Start with the oven on the lower temperature setting. Most Indian ovens heat up to soon. If your oven is like mine, then it will brown too quickly. In one or two tries you will know what works in your oven and what settings.
- Always add less water than the recipe asks for. Different flours behave differently. Save 20% of the water to add later as you knead the dough. Less is better.
- Do not add extra flour if the dough is tacky, it makes the bread dense. Knead it a bit more, it should become ok. If not then add little by little. LESS IS MORE here too.
- Purpose of kneading is to activate the Gluten which is a protein, when combined with water/milk and agitated by kneading makes the dough stretchy and chewy. That’s why they said don’t over beat flour in cakes they become dense.
- Never leave your dough open to the air, it dries very quickly. Cover with wet cloth if req.
- Preheat the oven slightly for 1-2 min before you put the dough in for the 1st
- Do not open the door too many times while the bread is baking.
- To store bread, wait for it to cool down, cling wrap it well, so it doesn’t dry and store in fridge. You can also freeze bread for a 8-10 days by additionally wrapping in aluminium foil before sticking it into the freezer.
- YEAST SUBSTITUTE - If you don’t have yeast, you can substitute by adding Baking Soda. If you want to use baking soda as a substitute for yeast, you'll need to add an acid to the mix. Generally this is done by adding equal parts baking soda and lemon juice to equal the amount of yeast called for in the recipe. So for this recipe add ¾ tsp of baking soda & ¾ tsp of lemon juice. The result may vary that what you will get in the yeast Pav, but it would be a close second.