Roast paan


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Makes


Appears in

Lands of the Curry Leaf

Lands of the Curry Leaf

By Peter Kuruvita

Published 2018

  • About

Very crispy and fairly thin, with a lovely soft centre, this bread is still a favourite of mine. The flavour comes from its double baking and the lashings of coconut oil used. You will need a small bread tin, measuring about 20 x 10 cm (8 x 4 inches) and at least 10 cm (4 inches) deep; metal is best, as you need to control the rising of the dough so it goes upwards, not sideways, and a silicone one will stretch as the dough expands.


  • 2 teaspoons (7 g) active dried yeast (see tip)
  • 350 ml (12 fl oz) lukewarm water, approximately
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 675 g (1 lb 8 oz/ cups) unbleached, high-gluten white wheat flour (see tip)
  • 45 g ( oz/¼ cup) rapadura sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 150 ml (5 fl oz) melted virgin coconut oil


Dissolve the yeast in 60 ml (2 fl oz/¼ cup) of the lukewarm water. After about 10 minutes, when the mixture turns frothy, add the beaten egg and the remaining water and mix well.

In a large bowl, mix together the flour, sugar and salt. Add the yeast mixture and knead on a lightly floured bench for about 10 minutes, or until smooth and elastic; you may need to add a little more water or flour to achieve the right consistency. (Over-kneading can result in a heavy, non-elastic, brick-like bread — so it is good to mix the ingredients by hand, rather than using an electric mixer, so you can really feel the consistency of the dough.)

Leave the dough to prove in a warm place for about 1 hour, or until doubled in size.

Knock back the dough by punching it down to release the air bubbles. Divide into six equal portions, then flatten them out into squares the same width and depth as the bread tin.

Brush both sides of each paan with melted coconut oil, then stand them upright in the bread tin side by side, with a sheet of greased baking paper in between each one; they should fit into the tin snugly.

Leave to rise for another 20 minutes, while you preheat the oven to 160°C (315°F).

Brush the top of each paan with a bit more coconut oil and bake for 25 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown.

Turn the paan out of the tin; you will end up with individual slices or loaves. Remove the baking paper and brush them with more coconut oil. Lay them flat on a wire cake rack, turn the oven temperature up to 200°C (400°F), then bake for a final 3–5 minutes on each side, or until they are golden and crisp, but still soft and fluffy inside.

Enjoy warm, if you can, although the paan are delicious cold as well.