Goan Pão

Pão is Portuguese word for bread, and the Goan bread maker is known locally as Poder. As a child I remember, our wake-up call was in the form of ponk! ponk!, the horn announcing the arrival of the neighborhood baker on his bicycle. The art of bread making is a legacy which is granted by the Portuguese to Goa. But when you are away from home, and you miss the Goan pao, try baking it in your kitchen!
  • Passive
    3 Hours
  • Prep
    10 minutes
  • Cook
    10 minutes
  • Servings
    15 Pc.


  • 4 cup All-Purpose Flour (about 500 grams flour)
  • 2 tsp Instant Yeast
  • 2 tsp Granulated white sugar
  • 2 tsp Salt
  • 8 tsp Butter (1/2 stick butter(about 4 tbsp))
  • 1 1/2 cup Warm Milk (It should be warm and not HOT. See recipe notes)
  • 1 Egg (Well beaten,ONLY for brushing top of bread before baking or use milk)
  • 2 tsp Oil (for greasing bowl and baking pan)


  • 1 Keep all ingredients ready.
  • 2 Mix the flour, yeast, sugar, salt, butter. Add warm milk gradually and knead it to form a very soft dough.(It may take about 1 1/2 cups warm milk, BUT add more warm milk little by little IF REQUIRED)
  • 3 The dough has to be very soft when pinched.
  • 4 Apply oil to a bowl(about 1 tsp oil), place the dough in it and cover the bowl with a cloth. Keep the bowl in a warm place for about 1 hour till the dough has doubled in size. (It may take longer than 1 hour to double in size depending on the weather, maybe 1.5 hours to 2 hours. Warmer the climate faster it will double in size).
  • 5 Place the dough on kitchen surface, lightly remove the air from dough by punching dough. Divide dough into 15 portions.
  • 6 Form balls of each portion and place them on a greased baking tray as shown.(Baking tray size is about 13X9X2 inches) Cover tray with cloth and leave in a warm place for 45 minutes to an hour.(Again, depending on the weather).
  • 7 Preheat oven at 425 deg F (220 deg C ; Gas Mark 7). They will look like this after 45 mins.
  • 8 Brush top with egg or milk. (See Recipe Notes)
  • 9 Bake for 10 mins. Remove from baking tray. Brush top with butter.
  • 10 Cover pao in cloth for at least 30 mins before serving. (See Recipe Notes)

Recipe Notes

  1. While kneading the dough, see that the milk is warm but not hot. As hot milk will tend to kill the yeast.
  2. Leave the dough to ferment for at least an hour .
  3. Brushing top of pao with egg before baking will give a nice shine to the baked pao. Or you can brush with milk on top.
  4. Keeping baked pao in cloth for 30 mins immediately after baking makes them very soft, as they tend to be very hard immediately after baking.
  5. If you are using dry yeast, then mix yeast with the amount of sugar mentioned in recipe, 8 tbsp warm milk and leave it aside to ferment for 15 mins. Then use the yeast while kneading the dough.

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