I am an eternal bread lover. Yes I’m aware that most South Indians usually don’t consume bread a lot. I mean my mom always used bread to make upma or maybe a toast on rare occasions so learning to bake or appreciate breads was totally out of question.
I fell in love with breads somewhere in my early 20’s when I started working & tried some fancy breads like garlic loaves, bread sticks, focaccia in a cafe. That’s the time I also started experimenting with cooking at home. I always wanted to bake breads at home but somehow due to busy professional commitments, didn’t really work towards it.
So yes, my bread love goes way back & the love is only going stronger day by day!
So coming back to year 2017. One of my New Year resolutions was to learn bread baking which I did & then I was experimenting every other day, which also motivated me to work out so that my energy levels were high. I successfully made my husband too fall in love with breads (it was easy – promise my husband home made stuff & he is sold!)
We don’t buy breads from outside any longer. I bake a day or two in advance when I have guests at home (loaves) & make fresh breads (stuffed, pizza etc) when friends arrive at home so they experience the flavour & the aroma circulating in the house. Bread Nirvana!!
Ladi pav or Pao is what the Indians especially in Mumbai adore as it’s economical, filling. Buy 1/2 a dozen & you can feed the family with either jam or butter slathered inside or an omlette stuffed for your early morning breakfast during rush hours that you can happily eat in the train / bus / cab. Leftover sabzis can be stuffed & toasted with some butter & had as a quick lunch. Wada pav, misal pav & pav bhaji are some of the things that remain the top favourite snacks of foodies.
Though I believe in healthy eating & know that APF based breads aren’t a healthy choice but I am also an eternal believer of “Life is too short, LIVE IT!!” I am seriously not a huge fan of whole wheat pavs. I belong to the generation that love their Chai & Brun Maska in Irani Cafes & still continue to do that.
So, grab some ladi pav dunk it, fill it, slather it, toast it, the way you want & then run a little / work out a little longer in the gym so that you feel less guilty.
In case you are looking for a focaccia bread recipe, you need to try the one on my blog that’s absolutely delicious & loaded with veggies & herbs – Focaccia with Bell Peppers & Olives
Baking this ladi pav was successful in the first attempt. The recipe courtesy is Tarla Dalal Website.
Recipe for Ladi Pav or Homemade Rolls
Makes around 12 medium sized pavs
- All Purpose Flour or Maida – 3 cups
- 1 tblsp instant dry yeast
- 1 tblsp sugar
- 1 & ½ tsp salt
- Milk – 2 tblsp (some milk to brush pre-baking)
- Butter – 2 tblsp for kneading, 1 tsp for greasing the pav tin & ½ tsp for brushing post baking
- Lukewarm water – 1 cup or 1.25 cups
- Step 1 – In case you don’t have instant yeast, take active dry yeast of the same qty & proof it. Once yeast blooms, add the mixture to the flour. PS – I prefer using instant yeast in all my bakes.
- Step 2 – Grease a big bowl enough to hold a risen dough with few drops of oil.
- In a separate bowl, add the flour, add salt, yeast (incase instant yeast), sugar & knead the dough using lukewarm water. Add the water slowly & ensure the dough doesn’t get too sticky. Do not add the entire quantity of water while kneading.
- Now place the dough on the kitchen platform or a board & put 1 tblsp of melted butter & knead the dough for roughly 7-10 mins.
- During the 10 mins of kneading, keep incorporating butter slowly. The dough should be very soft to touch after kneading.
- Now carefully place the kneaded dough in a greased bowl / container for proofing (Step 2) in a warm place. Ensure you cover the dough either with a damp cloth (not wet) or keep the dough in a container with lid.
- The proving takes about 1 hour to 1.5 hours depending on weather conditions. The dough should be double in size.
- Once the dough is proved, knock off the air by punching the dough few times. Now sprinkle some flour on the board / platform, knead the dough lightly for 5 mins & make balls of equal sizes, roll them nicely & place them on a greased tin within a gap of 1 inch to rise & form shape of pav for further proving in a warm place preferably for 20-30 mins.
- Preheat the oven before baking for atleast 10 mins (hot oven) at 200 degrees.
- After the bread has once again risen, brush a bit of milk lightly over the buns & place them in the oven for baking at 200 degrees for 20 to 30 mins.
- Once baked, brush a bit of butter on top. Serve warm or cool.
- Water used for proofing & kneading the dough should be lukewarm & not hot. Hot water kills the yeast.
- Kneading makes the dough soft & ensures proper mixing of all ingredients, ensures soft bread. So ensure you knead the dough for a good 7-10 mins.
- Point No. 7 – During summers, the dough rises fast as compared to winters / monsoon so your dough might take 35-40 mins. The dough should be double in size. That’s the only indication.
- The tin used for baking the pav should be atleast 2 inches in height that can hold the shape of pav. Don’t bake the pavs in a very flat sheet.
- Distance of 1 inch between the pavs during 2nd proving will allow the pav to rise & then stick together.