Ladi pav/pao/pao buns

The Pav/ Pao is believed to have been introduced to erstwhile ‘Bombay’ by the Portuguese during their short sojourn there, but Mumbaikars have now made it their very own. In fact, it is loved all over  🙂

Though available readily, it is fun baking your own ladi pao at home. Here is a step-by-step pictorial to baking soft pao buns. I made these following the young wonder-boy Yaman Agarwal’s recipe here



All Purpose Flour / Maida – 2 Cups
Milk –  1 Cup
Salt – 1 Tsp Butter – 4 Tsp
Milk Powder – 1½ Tbsp
Instant Yeast – 2 Tsp
Sugar – 1 Tbsp
Milk & Butter – For Brushing

Prove the yeast- Warm up half a cup of milk, add in the sugar,and stir well. The milk should feel warm on the underside of your wrist. Not hot, not cool- a high warm, if I may call it that. Stir in the yeast and leave to bloom for 10-15 minutes till it is all frothy. This is how it should froth and bubble up. If it does not froth, throw it away and start again or try different yeast. 1 2 Add the salt and milk powder to the maida and mix well.Add the yeast mix to the flour mix and start kneading. Add more milk very gradually as you knead, only if required. 3 The dough will be very sticky and a little difficult to handle. Don’t worry! That is exactly how it is meant to be!4 Add  the butter and knead well till it becomes a soft and pliable dough, easy to handle. This will take about 15-20 minutes.5 Do not add flour or oil, just kneading it well will make the dough non-sticky and springy.6 Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl, cover with cling film, or a kitchen towel and rest for 1 ½ to 2 hours. 7 The dough should double up. The time actually depends on the weather conditions-if very hot, it doubles sooner than the 1 ½ hours. This is the first prove.8 Divide the dough into equal portions, shape them as roundels or slightly elongated and arrange in a greased baking dish close together so that they touch each other. This ensures the ladi forming else they will bake like separate buns. No harm in that- it is just a matter of choice how you want them.9 10 Cover with cling film or a kitchen towel taking care to that they do not touch the top of the bread. Leave to rise again for about 45 minutes. This is the second prove. 11 Preheat the oven at 200C for 15 minutes.
Brush the pao buns with milk and bake at 200C till they brown.12 13 Once browned, remove and brush the ladi pao with butter. Your ladi pao is ready! Enjoy with Missal or Bhaji 🙂15 14




70 thoughts on “Ladi pav/pao/pao buns

    1. Hi. Thanks for writing in. I use gloripan instant yeast. I bought it online at Fresh or instant yeast works best. Instant has a longer shelf life, hence recommended. In my experience active dry that we get at most supermarkets doesn’t work so well.
      Hope this helps. 🙂

      1. Yeast must have been dead! Try with Instant or fresh yeast. If the yeast doesn’t froth, do not proceed with the bread.
        Hope you are able to get great results this time around 🙂

  1. Garima, I tried this yesterday and it was worth every bit of the effort. I followed your instructions to the dot n here I had lovely pavs…the entire house was breezing with the aroma of freshly baked pav n it felt heavenly. Thank you for introducing me to this world of pavs. Thanks ton G:)

    Just one question, how many pavs should this quantity give…I had real big ones so asking 🙂

    1. Hi Sanya
      Welcome to the addictive world of baking! I am so in love with the aroma of fresh bread!
      This gives about 12, medium sized ones.
      The pavs typically double after the second prove so divide accordigly.
      Keep baking now that Mr yeast has been tamed 😉 ❤

  2. Garima …you have written 3/4cup plus 1 1/2 tsp milk
    so u add the yeast to all of this milk ?
    I used the mesuring cup measures for maida but when i added the yeast frothed mixture to the maida it became thin n not sticky and it was more like cake mix so it wasnt possible to knead ….where did i go wrong ?

    1. Hi Ramni
      The 11/2 tsp is to brush the pavs.
      I use about half a cup to prove the yeast and add the rest gradually while kneading. It always gets used up.
      I wonder why this happened! In case you are still working with the dough, add some maida and get it to kneading consistency and process.
      Hope this helps 🙂

  3. Hi Garima, tried the awesome pav today. tasted quite close …. Thanks to the milk powder and milk ; coz I hv made them without both b4 and this result was much better! but had a couple of set backs …… Mine did not rise much after 2nd proofing! Fail to understand why…!!! Also the pav dud not look whole… The look from above was more like shaped buns …. Don no why! Ur expert advice is much needed! Will definitely do another trial run by end of week!!!

    1. Hi Radhika
      Yeah, the milk powder gives really soft texture.
      Ok, did not rise. It depends a lot on the weather. In the winter/cold weather, the second prove might take a little longer.
      Also, how close you place the paos matters. Could you share a picture on my facebook page. That would give me an idea.
      Regarding the shape, the placement matters. Paos should be placed close together in the pan so that they join and rise, else they flatten
      Hope this helps 🙂

  4. It’s amazing pavo will try 4 sure feel like to pull n hve with butter yum yum ♡ all ur bks. Sweetheart ❤

  5. Hi Garima,

    Does instant yeast need to be proved? Isnt it supposed to be added directly to the maida? My instant yeast does not prove. 😦

    1. Hi Geetika
      I always prove my Instants yeast although the instructions say I can add directly. I like to make sure.
      See the pictures. It is Instant and it has proved. If it does not, means the yeast is not active.
      Hope this helps 😀

  6. Hi Garima,
    Tried making paav today and it came out super soft.. Kudos to you and ur recipe.. Had one query.. How do you decide the yeast – APF ratio… For bread u have used 1tsp to 3cups whereas for pav it is 2tsp to 2cups.. 😊

    1. Hi Pratikha
      Thanks a lot for writing in. I just follow the ratio given in a particular recipe. Pao uses more as it needs to be softer and is not sliced. Now, having baked a few, my ratio for almost every loaf is 3 cups APF and a tsp of maida. Hope that helps 🙂

  7. hello garima ji..
    yours recipe always insired me to use my hand today m trying ur pav recipe i came till second proof at last i stopped because i have a godrej microwave will u help me in which mode should i bake. As myself baking for the first time. 🙂

  8. Hii .. mam.. can u pls help me with the yeast as the yeast which i used is not working its dry yeast.. which one to purchase and from where?

    1. Hi Garima
      I bought Instant Yeast (brand Gloripan) from but they seem to be out of stock now. Try other online resources like and

  9. Hi Garima… Loved your buns.. I have been thinking for a long time to contact you regarding baking.. coz I m in love with all your recipes not only baking.. I have bought a Morphy Richards 28ltrs OTG recently only for baking… tried making Garlic breadsticks but it was a disaster.. now seeing your pics I think that my instant dry yeast did not bloom. but I have a lot of other queries too… can I message you on FB and clarify the doubts whenever you are online.. otherwise please guide me that for a novice person from where should I start…

  10. Thanx so much for the recipe..tried it…since im in a cold place temp around 3 the rise was not that good…but for first happy…as my tin was small..I had some dough left..made a foccacia. ..although was not supposed to 🙂

  11. Hi garima,

    I tried your recipe yest and it came out perfect n pillowy. Everything’s good except for a slight aftertaste of yeast which slightly was overpowering!! Is there any way to avoid it!! Pls advise ASAP as am planning to bake a second batch today!! TIA 🙂

    1. I wonder why that happened. You might try putting in a little less than the recipe calls for.
      Wait till the dough doubles and continue with the process. It might take slightly longer to prove.

  12. Hi the buns looks awesome. I wanted to know if i can use a beater with dough hook to knead the dough ? Will it harden the paos or the result would be same ?

    Also generally should we use beater for breads ?

    Thanks in advance

  13. Hi garima ..buns looks perfect ……I hv one doubt which heating elements u used for making bread and buns …only bottom or top n bottom both used

  14. Hi Garima…..I tried ur pav recipe ….taste was good but they were little hard ….my yeast did proof well n dough turned double ….don’t know wat went wrong ……can u guide me about a temperature I hv 25litr otg

  15. Hi – What a fab recipe just have a couple of questions:
    1) Can I use active dry yeast? If so, same amount?
    2) Whats the size of the pan you used?

    1. Hi Jaya

      Thanks for writing in.
      The results are not quite the same with active dry yeast as they are with fresh or instant yeast.

      I have used a 9 inch pan
      Happy baking 🙂

  16. Hello… Why aren’t you on insta :-).. I wanted to tag you for these… I tried them today.. I am a new baker.. 3 months old… Still turned out well for me ..lots of love!! I have been following your recipes for awhile… You must be a selfless soul to do this level of detailing for the readers. Keep inspiring!

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