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Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Eggless Dinner Rolls (Indian Pav for Pav Bhaji and Dabeli) with Sourdough Starter.

The Pav Bread, which is the bread that is served with the bhaji in India especially in Mumbai.  It is common street food. Pav is almost like a dinner roll but made with few very simple ingredients. It’s actually what a common man in Mumbai eats almost everyday for breakfast. Pav is eaten with butter and also with vada (deep fried potato fritters). In India when I was growing up, my mom would buy these buns from a local bakery which made these buns every morning and she would give us these buns with warm milk   The taste of these buns soaked in warm milk is till fresh in my taste buds and palate memory.   I had tried to make sour dough bread which some what came close to this taste but not exactly until I baked these. As you all know by now I have been experimenting with my sour dough starter.  The bread in India has a little sour taste as but is not as hard crusted at sour dough bread here.  I tried to bake pav using my sourdough starter and I must say it as very close to the taste I was used to. This recipe yields 12 buns which are size of American dinner rolls.

  • 3 cups of AP flour
  • 1 cup of evaporated milk (you can use regular milk)
  • 2 tablespoon of water.
  • Some extra regular milk for brushing (instead of egg wash)
  • 2 tablespoon of unsalted butter 
  • Some extra butter in the stick for brushing after buns are baked
  • 1/2 tablespoon of vegetable oil (I used olive oil)
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1 packet of instant dry yeast
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar
  • 1/2 cup of sourdough starter  
  • 1 tablespoon of milk for brushing 

  • Warm milk and sugar in Microwave until lukewarm, stir to dissolve the sugar.
  • Begin with activating yeast by adding it to little  water.
  • Add this yeast water mix to lukewarm milk and sugar,  mix well so there are no lumps.  
  • Keep this aside covered for 10  min while getting the flour ready. 
  • Melt the butter in a bowl in microwave along with oil
  • In a large bowl combine flour, salt and baking power, mix well so all are well incorporated. 
  • Once the milk with yeast is frothy and bubbly (please discard if not frothy and bubbly, as it may indicate that yeast is old and not active and this will result in flat buns ) Gradually add this to the flour and hand kneed the dough for 2-3 min, it will be very sticky and that is okay.

  • Now add the oil and melted butter mix to the sticky dough and hand kneed some more.
  • At this point transfer the dough to mixer with hook attachment.
  • Add sour dough starter. 
  • Start the mixer at slow speed initially so everything is well incorporated
  • Then as high speed until the dough starts receding the bowl.
  • If you don't have a mixer you and can hand kneed the dough will have to do this for  15 min. 
  • Then at the end sprinkle some flour in the mixer with dough and get if all off on a floured board on counter. 
  • Hand kneed until smooth round ball is acquired.
  • Place it in a greased bowl and brush with some oil and cover it with plastic wrap.
  • Set the dough aside in warm place for 2 hours.

  • The risen dough will triple  in size after couple of hours.
  • Take it out on floured board and punch and kneed until all the air is out.
  • Divide the dough in to 6 parts.
  • Make 12 round balls and place them in greased and floured 10 x 13 baking pan. 
  • Place the ball separating with some room as shown in picture.
  • Cover it with wet cloth and place it in warm (100 degrees) oven for additional 30 -35 min.

  • Take the buns in baking pan out of oven they will rise and will appear stuck to each other. 
  • No worries.  
  • Now preheat the oven at 400 degrees F.
  • While oven is preheating, brush the top surface of buns with milk.  (I made a mistake of brushing them before putting them in oven to rise, it just make some lines on the top surface of buns) So do this process once the buns are risen.
  • One more note, do not use brush, use a heavy duty paper towel soaked in milk and lightly brush single layer of paper towel over the risen buns. It will retain the smooth round appearance of buns.
  • Bake the buns in preheated oven for 25  min at 400 degrees F.
  • Once they are light brown, take them out and lightly brush them butter.

  • Let them cool.
  • Slide a  knife on side of buns in pan.
  • Then invert the pan on wire rack. 
  • Turn them over.
  • Now  you can pull them apart. 
  • Serve them warm with butter, jam or with pav bhaji or use them for Dabeli.

Yummmmm.... Enjoy !
Recipe and Photographs by Surekha
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