5th June 2020

Pao Indian Bread

Pao Indian Bread

Pav / Pao / Indian Bread is an easy to make bread and uses a few ingredients. Although, the recipe looks lengthy and daunting, it is quite easy to make. We’ve tried to imitate the way commercially sold bread is made, in detail and hence this post is more descriptive. There is no milk, egg or butter used in this recipe. However, if you like your bread to be shiny you can coat the top of the dough balls lightly with milk and after baking with a little butter.  I have used a stand mixer to make the dough but you can knead it by hand also. It will take a little more muscle power and time though. (For a No Knead Pao, click here)

Yield: 18 Pao

Baking Time: 15 to 20 Mins

Ingredients:

  • Maida [APF] – 750 gms
  • Sugar – 3 tbsp.
  • Instant Yeast – 2 tsp.
  • Refined oil (neutral taste) – 4 tbsp. + 1 tbsp.
  • Salt – 1 tbsp.

Step 1:     Activating the Yeast

Take 200 ml lukewarm water in a bowl (not hot, or the yeast will die). Add the 3 tbsp. of sugar and mix. Then sprinkle the yeast into the bowl. Mix lightly and cover the bowl and keep aside in a warm place till it is frothy (10 minutes or so). The mixture has to be frothy. If it is not, that means your yeast is not active and you cannot use it.

Making of Pao Indian Bread

Making of Pao Indian Bread

Step 2:     Preparing the Dough

A).          In a stand mixer bowl take the maida and the salt. Attach the dough hook and mix the dry ingredients for a few seconds on a low setting. While the stand mixer is still operating add the yeast mixture. Then add 250 to 300 ml luke warm water (see tip 1 below) and continue kneading at speed 2 for about 2 minutes.

B).          Continue kneading for another 15 to 20 minutes on low speed adding 1 tbsp. of oil in intervals till all 4 tbsp. is used (use only 4 tbsp. oil here). A smooth but sticky dough will be formed.

Making of Pao Indian Bread

Making of Pao Indian Bread

Step 4:     1st Proofing of the Dough

Oil your palms and take the dough out of the mixer bowl. The dough will be sticky and stretchy. Form a ball and transfer to a large bowl / vessel (see tip 2 below). Apply a very thin layer of oil on the top. Cover the bowl with a wet cloth and keep aside in a warm place for 1 ½ to 2 hours to rise.

Making of Pao Indian Bread

Making of Pao Indian Bread

Step 5:     Punching the Dough

After 2 hours the dough will have risen.  Take the dough out of the bowl and transfer to a clean kitchen platform / bench. Punch the dough (see tip 3 below).

Making of Pao Indian Bread

Step 6:     Shaping the Dough

A).          Apply some oil to your baking tins / tray and dust it with some flour and keep ready.

B).          Dust the kitchen platform / bench lightly with some flour. Keep some dry flour at one corner of the platform.

C).          Dust you hand with the flour at the corner of the platform / bench and pinch out some of the dough (double a ping pong ball). Do this each time to form 16 to 18 smaller portions of the dough.

D).          Dust you hand with the flour at the corner of the platform / bench and then take a portion of the dough and flatten it on the platform. Tuck in the edges of that portion of dough and then form into a ball either on the platform or on your palm using the thumb and fingers of your other hand. Place this ball on your greased baking tray. Do this for all the portions of dough. (Remember to dust you hand, and the kitchen platform with flour after you form each ball) Place the balls on the tray about ½ to ¾ inch apart.

Making of Pao Indian Bread

Making of Pao Indian Bread

Making of Pao Indian Bread

Step 7:     2nd Proofing

Place the baking tins / tray into your unheated oven and leave to rise for another 1 ½ to 2 hours.

Step 8:     Baking the Bread

A).          Remove the baking tins / tray from the oven and keep outside. Set the oven to pre-heat at 220° C for 10 minutes.

B).          If you want to coat your pao, see tip 4 below.

C).          Place the baking tins / tray into the oven and bake at 220° C for 15 to 20 minutes.

Making of Pao Indian Bread

Pao Indian Bread

Pao Indian Bread

Tips:

  1. Do not add the 250 to 300 ml water all at once. Add it 2 to 3 times and add the last 50 ml only if required.
  2. The bowl used for the 1st Fermentation should be about 4 times the volume of the dough.
  3. You can either punch the dough with your fist in a kneading like action or you can just take the dough in your hand and drop it with a little force onto the platform a few times.
  4. If you want your bread to be shiny, you can a little milk and coat the tops of the dough balls gently, with a basting brush.
  5. You can also coat the tops of the bread with butter, after they have baked, with a basting brush. The bread will look shinier.
  6. We have followed the crude method of baking bread, like how it is done by the commercial high volume bakeries. Therefore, there is no measuring while forming the dough balls.

Pao Indian Bread

12 Comments

  1. Thank you for providing this amazing recipe with us I am surely going to prepare it and also share it with my friends and family as well for their future reference.

  2. Thanks for this much needed recipe, at time when we cannot find our much beloved pao due to the lockdown!! ?
    The paos look lovely and soft and fluffy.
    I will definitely try them out as soon as I get my hands on some maida! ?

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