- Maida – 190gms
- Water – 100gms
- Sugar – 25gms
- Dry Yeast – 7gms
- Salt – 7gms or less as per taste
- Extra Maida – 5gms
- Oil – 10gms
Take a deep bowl and smear oil to the insides of the bowl. Take water in a microwave safe bowl and microwave on high power for 15 seconds. See the temperature of this warm water—it should be between 40oC to 50oC. Add sugar and stir to dissolve the sugar. When the sugar is dissolved the temperature of the solution reduces. Allow the temperature to fall between 38oC to 40oC. At this temperature add the dry yeast to the sugar solution. Keep it aside for 10 to 15 minutes or till you get a mixture which is foamy and bubbly. Stir the foamy yeast solution with a spoon. Add salt and oil to this liquid and mix.
Arrange a flour kneading blade to the processor bowl and add Maida to it. Spread the maida evenly in the bowl and add the prepared yeast solution. Run the processor to get smooth and slightly sticky dough.
Sprinkle the extra maida on a clean platform. Transfer the prepared dough to the platform and start kneading it. If the dough is sticky dust your palms with the extra maida and start kneading it. Knead till the dough is smooth. Place this dough in the oiled bowl and turn it so that the dough is covered with oil from all sides. Cover the bowl loosely with a plastic cover. Allow to rise until doubled, about one hour. if any extra maida is left, discard it.
Take a square cake tin and add few drops of oil to it. Smear the oil on all sides of the pan and keep it ready. After one hour observe that the dough raises 3 times the original quantity. Punch it down and bring back the dough to its original size. Sprinkle some flour on a clean platform and knead the dough for few seconds. Cut the dough into 9 equal parts. Take one portion of the dough and knead for few seconds till smooth. Then spread it and fold it inwards from all sides. Pinch the seams and make it into a smooth ball by rolling in circular motion. Arrange this ball in the prepared cake tin. Similarly make all the balls and arrange them in the cake tin touching each other. Cover the cake tin loosely with a plastic cover and keep it aside for raising. After nearly one hour the balls get puffed up like balloons and observe that there is no gap between each ball. When the pav dough is ready for baking, pre heat the oven at 180oC. Apply milk on these balls with a brush or dip a paper napkin in milk and coat the balls with milk. Place this bowl in the oven and bake at 180oC for 30 minutes or till you see a nice golden brown crust. Your home would be filled with nice aroma from the baked Pav. Remove the tin from the oven and wait for few minutes. Loosen the sides with a knife and turn the Pav on to a wire rack. Turn it around and tap to hear a hollow sound which indicates that the bread is baked properly. Apply ghee or butter on the Pav so that it will not dry. Cool the Pav completely on the wire rack before breaking it into pieces.
Points to Notice:
See that the yeast is not out-dated. The entire trick of this recipe lies in yeast rising. There are many types of dry yeasts available such as active dry yeast, instant dry yeast, fast action yeast etc.. Here, at the place where I reside, only one type of yeast is available among the dried yeasts. It is available by the name dry yeast. I have used this dry yeast for this recipe.
Yeast is temperature sensitive:
At less than 10oC or 50oF the yeast is inactive.
At 15oC – 21oC or 60oF – 70oF the yeast action is slow.
At 32oC – 38oC or 90oF – 100oF the yeast is at its optimum temperature for fermentation.
At greater than 40oC or 104oF the yeast action starts to slow.
At 58oC or 138oF the yeast is killed.
So it is better to have a candy thermometer at home to find the right temperature to add the yeast.
Salt is used not only as a flavor but as a regulator of the growth of the yeast. Salt retards the action of the yeast. So use it only after the yeast is proofed completely.
Kneading the dough in a food processor or hand mixer eases the work. However if you don’t have one, knead it with your palms into a smooth dough with no streaks of dry flour or surplus liquid as discussed next. Pull and stretch the dough, working on a flat surface so that you can push strongly. Fold the dough and turn around a quarter and again fold it and turn around a quarter—like this repeat till you get smooth dough.
Allow the dough to rise completely without bothering about the specified time. Rising is the first part of the yeast’s growth. The fermentation produces carbon dioxide that aerates the dough and it should double in size. Prevent a dry skin forming on the dough by rolling it round the oiled bowl, cover with a plastic cover and put in a warm place to rise.
Knock back the dough by punching it. The rise will collapse, flattening the large spaces previously filled with the aerating gases that will escape. Shape the balls as mentioned and place them in the cake tin. Allow the balls to rise. This second rising will produce the dough, resulting in even texture and a sweet mature flavor. This process is called proofing or proving.
Brush the shaped balls with milk or egg-wash them to get a nice golden crust after baking.
When you can see that the dough is rising well during the proof and developing a nicely domed top, put the oven on to pre-heat. Yeast dough requires a really 'bold' start to kill the yeast as quickly as possible. This prevents large holes forming in the bread.
Baking time may vary with different ovens or OTG’s. So keep a watch while baking once the bread starts changing color. In ovens where there is no turn table then manually you may have to turn the cake tin in between for even browning. When removed from the tin and tapped underneath the Pavbread should give a hollow sound for the doneness.
Always cool the Pav bread on wire rack or the condensed steam will make the bread heavy.
Always use gloves as the inside of the oven will be too hot.
It feels great when the room is filled with the aroma of freshly baking Pav bread. As we are not using any improvers we know how fresh our Pav is. So make this recipe and serve with piping hot Bhaji with chopped onions, lemon wedges and chopped coriander.
In this recipe I have given measurements in weights rather than in Cups. This I have standardized because always it remains a question as to what a standard cup measure is. To clear that confusion I have used only weights as measurements so that the recipe will never fail. Weights will be same in the entire world but cups may differ. So it is advisable to weigh the ingredients to get the perfect Pav Bread. Similarly for seeing temperature a candy thermometer is a must. The right temperature of the liquid is necessary for the yeast to multiply. Then the recipe will never fail.
Here when I prepared this Pav Bread the room temperature on that day is 30oC. During summers the time to heat the water in a microwave may be reduced further to say 7 or 10 seconds. So always it is better to measure the temperature just before adding the yeast and that is the easiest way for baking good bread.