Pav bhaji is one of our favourites and while I have been on look out for whole wheat paav buns I have come to realise that they are not readily available. A few months back I started making my own pav bhaji masala (recipe here) and found that it lifted the bhaji to a whole new level. So with this lockdown in place I decided to make home made whole wheat pav buns. And I must say, it makes a world of difference to the taste, not to mention making it guilt free when you avoid all that maida.
Mix the yeast and sugar with a little amount (1/4 cup) of tepid to warm water, cover with a lid and set aside. If water is too hot it will kill the yeast. In the meantime mix wheat flour and salt well in a bowl and make a hole in the centre of flour where you can pour the yeast mixture after it has proofed. This should take between 3 to 10 minutes depending on which type of yeast you have used. The yeast mixture should have risen and should be foamy. Pour the yeast mixture into the flour and mix well with the warm water using as much as needed to make it a slightly sticky dough. Use more water, if necessary.
Take out this dough on to a wooden board with a little bit of dry wheat flour and and knead with a stretch and roll motion for 10 minutes (stretch the dough out with your palm and roll it back over the dough). This is an important step and the softness of your pav buns will depend on how well and how long you knead it. Continue this till the dough is smooth and you can roll it into a smooth ball. Keep this is a well oiled bowl. Make sure the dough is also covered with oil. Cover bowl with a damp cloth and leave aside for an hour. After an hour the dough should have doubled in size. Punch out all the air from it gently and add the remaining oil and knead for 2-3 mins.
Roll into smooth balls and arrange in the baking dish making sure they don’t touch each other.
Lightly brush with milk, cover again and leave for half an hour by which time it would have risen again. Meanwhile, warm the oven to 190 C and bake for 25-30 mins till done. When done, brush surface lightly with butter or olive oil so it stays soft. Enjoy with bhaji. Makes 8 pav buns