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Homemade Pav – Ladi Pav for Pav Bhaji, Dabeli, Vada Pav, etc





The BEST part of  Pav Bhaji, in my honest opinion, is the Pav…or Pao…however you’d like to pronounce it. This egg-less bread bakes up fluffy and disappears faster than you can get them on the table. After these rolls have baked, they can be stored in a bag or container in the fridge for a couple of days until ready to use. Before serving, cut them in half, smear ’em with ghee or butter, and warm them on a skillet to get a nice crusty Pav.

I tried a few recipes on the internet and even combined a few as I tested them. The recipe I finally settled on is as follows but I will admit, it is mostly based on this one at Cooking ShmookingSide note: Some recipes call for milk powder to make them fluffier. I didn’t have this but my results were still very good, so you can try either way.

Nutrition Facts
6 servings per container
Serving size 2 pav

Amount per serving
Calories 218
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 5.4g 7%
Saturated Fat 3.4g 17%
Trans Fat g
Cholesterol 14mg 5%
Sodium 434mg 19%
Total Carbohydrate 35.5g 12%
Dietary Fiber 1.3g 5%
Total Sugars 6g
Includes g Added Sugars 0%
Protein 7g

Calcium 11mg 1%
Iron 8mg 45%
Vitamin D 9.2%
Niacin 11%
Thiamin 13%
Not a significant source of vitamin D, or potassium.

The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
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2 cups All Purpose Flour
1 cup Whole Milk
1 tsp Salt
4 tsp Butter
1 package Instant Yeast
1 tbs Sugar
2 tbs extra Whole Milk
* Click to ingredient to choose one


In a small or medium sized bowl, microwave to warm 1/2 cup milk for about 30 seconds so that it feels warm but not hot.
Stir in sugar and then stir in yeast.
Set aside for 10 minutes to allow the yeast to be activated. Your milk should appear frothy. If it doesn't, try again - it means your yeast wasn't good.
In a large mixing bowl, mix the flour and salt together.
Stir in the milk mixture and continue stirring using a spatula or spoon. (I used my kitchen aid stand up mixer on the lowest settting, but this is not a necessary appliance)
As needed, add the remaining milk slowly. I used the full cup. You should end up with a sticky paste.
In a small cup, slightly melt the butter and then mix this into the sticky paste.
Keep kneading/manipulating for at least 15 minutes and you'll find that it stops being sticky and paste-like and turns into a a soft and pliable dough.
Form the dough into a large ball and place in the center of the bowl. Oil or butter some cling wrap and cover the bowl.
Allow the dough to rise and double over an hour at room temperature or in a slightly warmer place. (When I made this recipe, we were in the middle of a Virginia winter and the house was pretty cold so I had preheated to oven to it's lowest setting before starting to mix these ingredients. Once the oven had been preheated, I turned it off. By the time I was ready to allow my dough to rise, the oven temperature was just slightly warmer than room temperature.)
Side note: I used my toaster oven because it was large enough and I like the size of my toaster oven baking sheets. If you use a regular sized oven, you might want to use your toaster oven sized baking sheets OR just use half the large pan. Line the baking sheet with aluminum and grease with a bit of butter or oil.
Once doubled, uncover and punch down the dough.
Remove the dough from the bowl and roll it into a thin cylinder or thick snake. This is my method for evenly dividing the dough. Use a sharp knife to cut the dough snake in half. Then half again. Then cut those 4 pieces into roughly equal thirds.
Roll these 12 pieces into little balls and arrange in a the greased baking pan. Place them about an inch apart so that when they rise and bake, they'll gently kiss.
Cover the pan with greased cling wrap and allow to rise again for 45 minutes.
Preheat oven to 400 F
Once risen, brush the little buns with a little milk and bake in oven for about 25 minutes. Keep an eye on the bread as it's baking to try to avoid burning it.
The pav are technically done but they aren't ready to serve just yet. Warm a skillet and allow butter to melt. Cut the buns in half, smear a thin layer of butter or ghee on both sides and toast both sides over medium-low heat. NOW they're ready to gobble up.