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  • Writer's pictureGauricka Agarwaal

Mumbai Pav/ Portugese Pão – Soft Fluffy Dinner Rolls

These are really the softest buns you’ll possibly make at home or even eat. Buns and breads are eaten in different forms globally and in all cultures and cuisines. These are very versatile and can be used for multiple purposes. You can use it as a base for garlic breads, to sandwich a patty, make sliders, Mumbai-style vada pav, or just an accompaniment to your main course as a soft and fluffy dinner roll. The possibilities are endless! It tastes best just softly warmed and smothered with butter…. yumm!

You will need very basic pantry ingredients for this. We’re using flour, salt, sugar, butter, yeast and milk. The milk gives it a very soft texture and a creamy taste.

In a bowl, dissolve the yeast and sugar in warm milk. Once dissolved, add the butter to the liquid.

Take the flour and salt in a big bowl and add the liquid mixture to it. Mix it well with a spoon. You’ll get a very sticky mixture.

You will need a dough cutter or a flipper or a big spoon to help you handle the mixture. Sprinkle some flour and mix it with the help of the cutter and your hand. Lift and mix.

It will start becoming more manageable. Just be patient with it and continue to lift and push.

Just tackle it left and right and eventually you’ll get a dough thats come together like the above picture.

It should be very soft. That is the reason we do not want to add too much flour, because that makes it tougher. Less flour means a softer dough. Thus, try to use only as much flour as is really required to handle it.



Leave it in a warm place to rise for 30-60 minutes or until doubled.

Punch down the dough and make a round dough ball and cut with a knife or dough cutter into 16 equal parts. First divide into half and then quarter and then further into smaller parts.

Take each portion and roll it into a round ball. Try to tuck the seam underneath with your thumb. Place them in an 8 x 8-inch baking tray at equal distance from each other. Leave space for them to fluff. The tray should also have a high rim because the buns will expand and they be contained on sides so that they can rise up.



Cover with a damp cloth and let it rest in a warm place again for 40-60 minutes or till doubled. Halfway through the rising process preheat the oven at 200 C.

brush it with milk and put it in the oven to bake for 15-18 minutes.

They should be golden brown when you take them out.

Brush butter on them when they’re still warm. That will soften them further.

They’re ready to eat. Use them however you want. Make a slider, vada pav, dinner roll, sandwich, or Mumbai style chilli cheese pav.

That is how soft your buns will be. They are literally comprised of air and are light and fluffy. Just warm some and butter it and enjoy with breakfast. Stay tuned for our next recipe with these buns.

In Mumbai, if you ever just buy pav (btw its called ladi pav there), the traditional old bakeries will give it to you wrapped in newspaper. Well, the paper does in some ways keep it soft and moist. So you can put baking/parchment paper in an airtight box and store them. During summertime put them in the fridge.

Recipe: Soft Fluffy Pav Buns/Dinner Rolls


200 gm All Purpose Flour 200 ml milk 2 ¼ tsp dried yeast (7gm) 1 tsp salt 3 tsp castor sugar 20gm butter, melted


  1. In a bowl take flour and salt. Mix it well.

  2. In another bowl dissolve the sugar and the yeast in warm milk, Add butter and mix well. Add this liquid mixture to flour mixture and mix.

  3. Tip this messy mixture on the counter and knead for 8-10 minutes. It will be very wet and messy but will start coming together the more you knead.

  4. Use as little extra flour as possible to just prevent it from sticking. Use a dough scraper to help lift dough without adding to much extra flour.

  5. Knead it with a lot of force till you achieve a soft and smooth dough.

  6. Place in a bowl, cover with a damp kitchen towel and leave in a warm place for 30-60 mins or until double.

  7. Punch down the dough and on a lightly floured surface. Divide the dough in 16 equal balls.

  8. In a greased 8×8 inch square tin arrange the balls at equal distance

  9. Cover with a damp kitchen cloth and leave in a warm place for 40-60 minutes or until doubled.

  10. Half way through the doubling process preheat the oven to 200 C.

  11. Brush with milk and bake in the preheated oven on lower rack for 15-18 minutes. The buns will be dark golden brown when done.

  12. Brush with softened butter on top when the buns are just out of the oven.

  13. Leave to cool on a wire rack. Wrap in paper or with cling film to store in the refrigerator.

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