I’m sure many would relate to me when I say that the kid’s exam is your own exam..though my kid is grown up and quite independent in many ways but during his assessments he needs me the most. I do not indulge myself in teaching him word to word but I’m always there to solve his difficulties and also to boost up his morale, so I get tied up at home..last few days saw me doing that only..After finishing morning chores, I would sit and make a test paper for him to solve once he is back from school and then stay with him till he finishes studies. Amongst all this I was also helping a friend to look out for a house. Today is the day when I’m breathing in a relaxed manner, now that the tests are over and the friend also has has got an extension in her lease, phew!!
The kid had a half day in school today, so I wanted to make something interesting before he came home. I had not made pav-bhaji in a long time, so thought of making that for lunch but I was also in the mood to bake a bread to relax myself as it has a therapeutic effect on me. Plus, I also wanted to use the bread flour which I had eagerly bought in Thailand. My mind started working on how to accomplish both the things simultaneously and that’s when the thought of making a stuffed pav-bhaji came to my mind. I made the bhaaji and used it as a filling. Instead of making regular stuffed round buns, I thought of making a more attractive bread, so indulged in a braided version.
The product formed after the baking was a soft braided bun with a bhaaji filling. Kid entered home sniffing, I had just finished the first batch of baking the buns before he stepped in and he was too eager to pounce on them. I had to push him away so that he could wash himself before he could savor the pav-bhaaji..First bite of the bread into his mouth and instantly the thumb was up with a smile and he was ready to finish more. He couldn’t stop praising the new version of Paav bhaaji or Bhaaji in a Pav and I was more than overwhelmed..
At night we savoured the remaining bhaji with the paav in the authentic paav bhaji style. The bhaaji has turned out too good and S mentioned that it is as good as Amar Juice Center, in Mumbai.
Preparation Time for bread: 20mins
Total Time to Make Bhaaji: 1hour
Baking Time Per Batch:16-20mins
Difficulty Level: Moderate/ Needs Skill
a cup of bhaaji
For The Bread
4cups APF or Bread Flour + more for rolling and dusting
1/4cup of Butter/ Oil/ Shortening +1tbsp oil
1tbsp active dry yeast
1 - 1-1/2cup of warm water
milk for milk wash
For step by step tutorial on how to make an authentic bhaaji, read the post here.
Heat a cup of water to a lukewarm temperature. Add sugar and yeast and let the yeast proof (makes a froth).
Take 3cups of the flour and keep 1cup of flour aside. To this add the salt and 1/4cup oil/butter. Mix thoroughly.
Using the proofed yeast, knead the doug. Add the remaining flour gradually, stop adding flour when you feel the dough is slightly sticky. Knead the dough for 10mins, by the end of the kneading it should be smooth and not stick on the floor and hand. Apply some oil and cover with a greased plate or cling film.
Let the dough rise and double in volume, this takes about 45-60mins depending on the temperature outside. One can also read this post on working with yeast in low temperature to get a better understanding.
Punch down the dough and release the trapped air and knead it again for 2mins.
Break the dough into portions slightly larger than a lemon and using the flour roll an oblong shape of 1/2cm thickness.
Place about 2tsp bhaaji vertically in the center of the rolled dough.
Give equidistant slanting cuts on either side of the bhaaji on the rolled dough.
Start folding the cuts crossing over the bhaaji, first left touching the second cut on right, the first cut on right touching the second cut on left and so on.. Fold the last end underneath.
Let the braided bread rise again for 15mins covered. Apply a milk/egg wash. Bake 4-6 at a time. Bake for 16-20mins in a pre-heated oven at 180C till golden in color and when tapped on top produces hollow sound.
Never take the full measure of water mentioned in the recipe at once to knead the dough as the absorption of water varies from flour to flour.
Always take lukewarm water for proofing the yeast. Insert the finger in the water, if the heat is bearable and not hurting, one can proceed with the addition of yeast. Hot water shocks the yeast.