Ladi pav, also known as pav buns or pav bread, are fluffy and soft eggless dinner rolls that are a staple of Indian cuisine, particularly in the streets of Mumbai. They are versatile breads that can be enjoyed on their own or used as a base for many popular Indian street foods, such as vada pav and pav bhaji. They are also great for making sandwiches and mini burgers.
The word "pav" translates to bun, while "ladi" refers to three or four pav buns arranged together in a row. This pav recipe has a slightly sweet taste and a fluffy texture, which makes it a perfect accompaniment to savory dishes.
Although pav bread is readily available in stores, nothing beats the freshness of home-baked pav. Follow my step-by-step instructions to make the perfect ladi pav every time you make them.
Why you will love this recipe?
- Soft, fluffy, and fresh: This eggless pav bread recipe gives you a bread roll that has a soft and fluffy texture.
- Budget-friendly: Making soft pav buns at home can be more cost-effective than buying them from a store. You can make a large batch of buns and freeze them for later use.
- Versatility: They can be served as a side dish, used as a bun for sandwiches and burgers, or as a base for Indian street food like vada pav or pav bhaji.
Ingredients to make pav buns
Flour: All-purpose flour must be used to get the perfect fluffy texture. Bread flour may also be used but low-protein flour works best here. Bread flour may make these rolls a bit chewier than what you would get when plain flour is used.
Butter: Butter not only adds a great flavor to ladi pav, but it also makes them soft. Make sure it is at room temperature before using it.
Milk powder: The milk powder helps to tenderize the dough and create softer crumbs. Additionally, the powdered milk adds a slightly sweet flavor to the dough, which is characteristic of traditional pav buns.
See the recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities.
Variations and substitutes
Whole wheat flour: You can replace some or all of the all-purpose flour with whole wheat flour (atta) to make the pav bun healthier and more nutritious. However, keep in mind that this may make them denser than regular pav.
Warm milk: If you don't have milk powder, you can use fresh whole milk instead. Reduce the amount of water used accordingly.
Stuffing: To make pav bread more filling and flavorful, you can stuff it with mashed potatoes, paneer, cheese, or vegetables. My favorite stuffing recipe is for potato-stuffed buns.
Step 1: In a large bowl, mix together flour, active dry yeast, milk powder, salt, and sugar. Give it a mix (image 1).
Step 2: Add butter to the mixture. Rub it well with the flour (images 2 and 3).
Step 3: Slowly add lukewarm water to knead the flour. Keep kneading for 8-10 minutes until you get a soft, pliable dough. Place the dough in a greased bowl and cover it with a damp cloth (image 4).
Step 4: Let the dough rest in a warm place until double the size (step 5).
Step 5: Pinch out a lemon-sized ball of dough and roll it into smooth balls. Place it onto a baking tray (image 6).
Step 6: Cover with a clean kitchen towel and let it rest for another 20-30 minutes. Once the pav is rested for the second time, brush some milk onto them (images 7 and 8).
Step 7: Bake the pav bread in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes until the top is golden.
Step 8: Remove the ladi pav bread from the oven and spread some butter onto them.
Expert Tips to make the BEST ladi pav
Kneading the dough well is an important step in making ladi pav. Make sure to knead the dough well for at least 10-12 minutes to develop the gluten and create a soft and fluffy texture. You can also use a stand mixer to knead the ladi pav dough.
Resting the dough is important to allow the gluten to relax and the yeast to ferment. After kneading the dough, cover it with a damp cloth and let it rest in a warm place for at least 1 hour or until it doubles in size. You can also let the dough rest again after shaping the buns to allow them to rise before baking. You can also proof the dough in an Instant Pot by placing it in the yogurt mode.
Brushing the buns with butter immediately after baking will help to keep them soft and add a rich flavor.
Pav Bhaji: Pav bhaji is a popular street food in India that consists of a spicy vegetable curry called bhaji, served with ladi pav buns. It is also paired with other popular street foods like misal pav and vada pav.
Bun maska: Also called maska bun, this popular Indian snack originated in Mumbai. It consists of a soft and fluffy ladi pav bun that is toasted and served with a generous amount of butter (maska) spread over it. The bun is typically served warm and is often accompanied by a cup of hot masala chai.
Sandwiches and burgers: Ladi pav buns can be used as buns for sandwiches and burgers. Simply slice the buns in half and fill them with your favorite fillings such as vegetables, cheese, or meat.
Toast: Toast the buns and serve them with butter or jam for a quick and easy breakfast or snack.
No. This ladi pav recipe is eggless and does not contain eggs.
In Marathi and Hindi, 'ladi' means 'a row' or 'a line'. 'Pav' technically means a quarter (¼) in terms of weight and also refers to the bread that is commonly used in several Mumbai street foods. Ladi pav, therefore, is a set of pav buns arranged in a row or line, typically sold together as a unit of 3 or 4. The term 'ladi pav' is commonly used in Mumbai and other parts of Maharashtra to refer to this specific type of bread. The term 'ladi' is used to emphasize the fact that the buns are arranged in a line.
To store pav bread, ensure the buns are completely cooled. Place them in an airtight container or plastic bag, removing excess air before sealing. Store them at room temperature in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight or humidity. For longer storage exceeding 2-3 days, freeze the buns by individually wrapping them in plastic wrap and using a freezer-safe container or bag. They can be frozen for up to 3 months. When you're ready to use them, allow the buns to thaw at room temperature for a few hours before reheating in the oven or microwave.
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Ladi Pav / Pav Bread (Eggless Dinner Rolls)
Make and proof the dough:
- In a large mixing bowl, combine together flour, yeast, milk powder, salt, and sugar.
- Add butter and rub it well with the flour.
- Slowly add water to knead the flour. Keep kneading for 8-10 minutes until you get a soft, pliable dough.
- Cover the bowl with a cling wrap. Let the dough rest in a warm place until it doubles in size (45 minutes to an hour).
Shape the pav buns:
- Once the dough is rested, place it on a lightly dusted surface. Punch the dough to remove air and knead again for 4-5 minutes
- Lightly grease a 9x13 inch baking pan.
- Divide the dough into equal-sized balls. You should get 12-14 lemon-sized dough balls.
- Roll each dough into smooth balls and place it onto the baking pan. Repeat with the rest of the dough.
- Cover with a clean kitchen towel and let it rest for another 20-30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 390 F (200 C).
- Once the pav is rested for the second time, brush some milk onto them.
- Bake in a preheated oven for 25-30 minutes until the top is golden.
- Remove from the oven and spread some butter onto them.
- Cool completely on a wire rack before serving or storing.