Ladi Pav – Mumbai’s Favourite Bread

The quest for this bread started in my few years of living outside India. I have tasted some of the yummiest loaves and rolls abroad, but there were those times when I wanted the soft Ladi pavs that the andawalla would get home for pav bhajis, omlette pav and of course the vada pav!

The bakeries there wouldn’t make this variety of bread. Over the years there, I started baking them at home till I came back to India. This lockdown phase meant more time to re-visit those baking bread days.

Here is the recipe for the perfect Ladi Pav:

Ingredients:

500 gms Bread Flour or All-purpose Flour
150 ml + 3 tbsp milk
1 heaped tbsp sugar
7 gms dry yeast
40 gms Salted Butter
Salt – just a pinch or two

Method:
– Warm the 1 cup of milk and dissolve the sugar.
– Add in the yeast. Mix well. Let it stay undisturbed for 15 minutes
– Now add the flour, 3 tbsp of milk and a little salt and bring it all together with a wooden spoon.
– Flour your clean kitchen platform, and start kneading, stretching the dough to activate the gluten well. This is what will make them soft.
– After kneading for 5 minutes add the butter and continue kneading for 10 more minutes.
– Now smoothen it out tucking the edges into to form a nice round dough ball. Coat it, as well as a big bowl with some oil and let it rest for 1 – 2 hours depending on how warm the weather is.
– Once double in size, punch out the gases and knead again for 3-5 mins
– Cut into equal sizes, tuck the edges into small round dough balls and lay it next to each other in a greased and lined baking tray. Brush the tops with milk.
– Cover and let it rise again for 30 minutes.
– Now bake in a pre-heated oven at 180 degrees C for 25 mins. My oven experiments resulted better pavs at 200 degree C. So first understand your oven temperatures very well before baking larger batches.
– As soon as they are out of the oven, brush with some butter and cover it with a damp cloth for 20 minutes to soften up further.
– Serve warm with your favourite accompaniment.

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