Soft and fluffy dinner rolls made using the Tangzhong method. These dinner rolls make great pav buns too, and are eggless.

The best homemade dinner rolls/ pav buns

There is nothing like hot fresh dinner rolls from the oven and today I am sharing a recipe for homemade dinner rolls/ pav buns that uses the Tangzhong method.

I had read about the Tangzhong method and always wanted to try it. Its a bread making technique that originated in Japan (and popularized by a Chinese cookbook author), where the flour is first mixed with water, cooked to make a roux, cooled and then added to your bread dough ingredients. The result is a soft and fluffy bread that remains soft for longer than the one made the regular way.

The chemistry behind the tangzhong method is interesting and one that Jenni from explains very well. She explains in the post that the bread is moist because of the water content in it. By cooking the flour with the water you help the starch molecules hold on to the water, and at the same time keep a portion of the flour in your dough from strengthening their gluten bonds, giving the resultant bread a slightly tender crumb. That doesn’t mean that your bread will lack structure. Since only 5-10% of the total flour used in the recipe is used in Tangzhong, you get the structure from the rest 95%, and yet get a tender and moist bread.

The best homemade dinner rolls/ pav buns

The other day when I was trying to look for pav buns/dinner rolls recipe and saw that Gayathri from used the tangzhong for her pav buns, I knew I wanted to make it. I have a good whole wheat dinner roll recipe on the blog, but you know how much I love trying new recipes, so decided to give this pav bun/dinner rolls recipe a try. Even though I always try to make my breads more whole wheat, this time I decided to not substitute any of the flour with whole wheat. I was making pav bhaji and wanted it to be exactly street style, where the pavs are never whole wheat, but the less healthy maida/all purpose.

The dinner rolls came out so perfectly soft and fluffy. The tangzhong method also yields bread thats remains softer for longer, unlike most homemade breads that become hard in a day or two. Unfortunately or fortunately, there was nothing left of the dinner rolls for me to test that theory. My dad who had been out of town and only arrived at dinner time to eat the pav bhaji, didn’t realise till I told him that the pav is also homemade. He thought they were store bought pav buns.

In case you are wondering how I served the pav buns, here it is. Click on the picture for the recipe for pav bhaji.

The best homemade dinner rolls/ pav buns

Ever since I have started baking bread at home, we rarely get store bought bread. With homemade bread you know exactly what is going in your body, and honestly once you know the few things to keep in mind while making bread, it is an easy process.

There are three tests I perform every time I make bread and I am listing those for you:

  1. Window pane test: You do this test to make sure your dough has been kneaded properly and you have managed to activate the gluten. To test whether the dough has been kneaded properly, you should be able stretch out the dough to a thin film without breaking it. The dough should be thin enough to pass light through it. If the dough breaks then you need to knead it more. But if it stretches without breaking, then you have done enough kneading. For a pictorial reference, check this post out.
  2. Rise Test 1: Stick two fingers till second knuckle and take them out. If indentation remains, dough is ripe and ready to be punched down. If not, cover and let rise longer.
  3. Rise Test 2: A light fingertip touch to side of the risen bread, should leave indentation.

The best homemade dinner rolls/ pav buns

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Homemade Dinner rolls/ Pav Buns
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 12
For The Tangzhong:
  • ⅙ cup all purpose flour
  • ½ cup milk
For The Dough:
  • 2½ cups all Purpose Flour
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ¼ cup yogurt
  • 1½ tbsp milk powderMilk Powder-1½ tbs
  • 2 tsp active dry yeast
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • ½ cup water, divided
For the Tangzhong:
  1. In a sauce pan, mix the flour and milk to get a lump free mixture.
  2. Cook on medium heat, stirring continuously until the mixture tis thick and nice and smooth.
  3. Remove from flame, pour the tangzhong into a bowl and cover with cling wrap, making sure to touch the surface of the tangzhong. Cool completely.
For The Bread:
  1. Activate the yeast in ¼ cup lukewarm water with the honey.
  2. In a bowl add the flour, milk powder and salt. Make a well in the centre, and add the tangzhong, yogurt, yeast and remaining ¼ cup water. Make a soft sticky dough.
  3. Add butter and knead until incorporated.
  4. On a lightly floured surface, take the dough out and knead continuously for 10 minutes till the dough passes the window pane test (see post).
  5. Grease a bowl with oil, place the dough into it and coat it with oil Cling wrap the bowl and let rise in a warm humid place for 1 hour, or until double in size. (see post for rise test 1)
  6. Punch dough down and roll it into a thin disc.
  7. Cut it into 3 equal parts.
  8. Slice each portion into 4 equal parts.
  9. Roll each portion into a tight ball.
  10. Place all the rolls in a 11 by 7 inch parchment lined or greased tray.
  11. Cover with cling wrap and allow them to double in size.
  12. Preheat oven to 180C/350 F.
  13. Brush the top of bread with milk and bake it for 20-25 minutes.
  14. Remove from oven and brush the buns with butter.
  15. Place on a wire rack and allow it to cool.




13 Thoughts on “Homemade Dinner rolls/ Pav Buns

  1. Pingback: PAV BHAJI - The Novice Housewife

  2. Thank, I will try it.

  3. This look SO GOOD! Buttery soft buns. Yum! With Pav Bhaji even better. You have me salivating early in the morning 😀


  4. These sound so delicious! I’m loving that touch of honey in the recipe, I bet that adds the perfect hint of sweet!
    Sarah recently posted..Instant Pot Hard Boiled EggsMy Profile

  5. im always learning some thing new from you friend..i hardly bake bread but you had me at soft buns!

  6. I have never heard of this method of making bread but it sounds very interesting. I also like your bread making tests. Those will definitely come in handy!

  7. Johnny on 22 June, 2017 at 6:27 pm said:

    Great Pavs. Really enjoyed them with equally delicious Bhaji….. Salivating still 🙂

  8. Your dinner rolls look so light and fluffy and I bet they taste sensational too:-)

  9. They look so fluffy I can’t wait to try!

  10. Those bread rolls look delicious, love the Japanese bread making technique!

  11. Thanks so much for the shout-out! The buns look fantastic, and I’m so pleased you found my tangzhong post helpful! 🙂

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