Thursday, 23 April 2015

Melon Pan (Japanese Melon Bread)

Melon Pan (Japanese Melon Bread)
Melon Pan (Japanese Melon Bread)

In the We Knead to Bake group Apana had chosen the Melon Pan.

 We had loved it but in my site crash I have lost this delicious bread. 

So isn’t this a good excuse to “#FireUpYourOven”? On the day I baked these we had some unexpected guests so no pictures of the new Melon Pan making do with the old ones only.

The name itself seemed so different that I was intrigued.

Needless to say it was baked and over in no time.

This bread is a Japanese bread they call “Melon Pan”. There are no melons in this bread. Pan is bread in Japanese. This bread is made as buns and is basically soft, rich and somewhat sweet bread covered by a layer of crunchy cookie.

The melon may come from the sugar cookie topping is usually scored in a crosshatch pattern. This is similar to the Japanese presentation of a melon wedge which is also cut into a crosshatch pattern, and bent backwards for serving. Or it could be that the surface of the cookie dough is cracked much like rock melon or cantaloupe, and hence the name. Apparently, some Japanese bakers also use melon extract in these buns to add fragrance.

The bread dough for these buns is generally plain; you can add chocolate chips, cream cheese, and custard / pastry cream or even chopped chocolate. The choice is yours.

The cookies dough is again open to any tweaks you choose chocolate, green tea, pineapple, etc if you like.

Both dough are made with egg as this gives the bread a better texture. If you don’t eat egg, you can leave them out, but substitute for it in the bread dough with a ¼ cup of curd/ yogurt.

Melon Pan taste best on the day they are made. If you are left with any Melon Pans for the next day warm them slightly before serving.

This recipe makes 8 burger bun sized (the ones we get in India) Melon Pan. You can bake a half batch or even make smaller Pan by dividing both dough into 10 or 12 instead of 8.

Please see this video before you start making the bread.
Melon Pan (Japanese Melon Bread)
 Melon Pan (Japanese Melon Bread)

Melon Pan (Japanese Melon Bread)

Adapted from A Bread A Day 
Yield: 8 medium to largish Melon Pan
For bread dough:
  • 1 ¾   cups maida/ all-purpose flour (plus extra as required)
  • 2 tbsp milk powder
  • 1 tsp instant yeast
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup cold water
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 25gm butter, at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup chocolate chips

For cookie dough:
  • 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ tsp baking powder
  • A large pinch of salt
  • 60gm butter, at room temperature
  • ¼ cup castor sugar (increase to 1/3 cup for sweeter dough)
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • Castor sugar for dusting (granulated sugar will do too)

  • Before you start watch this video.
  • Whisk together the flour, powdered milk, yeast, and salt in the bowl.
  •  In a small bowl, beat the egg and cold water till well blended. Add this to the flour mixture in the bowl.
  • Knead (on low speed in the food processer or with the handheld mixer) till the dough comes together.
  • Now increase the speed to medium speed to get stiff dough.
  • Add the sugar and knead well.
  • Now add the butter and knead (first at slow speed and then on medium) until the butter is completely incorporated into the dough and the dough becomes smooth and elastic. The reason you knead the dough is that a well-kneaded dough develops gluten.
  • Shape the dough into a ball, and place it in a lightly oiled bowl. Cover and let it rise for about an hour or till double in volume.

As the dough is rising make the cookie dough:
  • Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.
  • In a bowl cream the soft butter and sugar till fluffy.
  • Beat in the egg and vanilla extract till combined.
  • Add the flour mixture, lemon zest.
  • Beat until just combined.
  • Shape the dough into a cylinder to make the flattening job easier and wrap in cling film.
  • Refrigerate the dough until required.

Meanwhile the bread dough:
  • Place it on a lightly floured work surface.
  • Lightly grease your baking sheet or line it with parchment. Deflate the dough gently and divide it into 8 equal portions. Cover them all and work on one portion to prevent drying out.
  • Shape each portion into a smooth ball like for bread rolls.
  • Unwrap the reasonably firm cookie dough cylinder.
  • Slice the cylinder into 8 equal portions.
  • Flatten the cookie dough between two pieces of plastic sheets or cling film with a flat bottomed pan. It should be reasonably thin
  • Take a ball of slightly puffed bread dough do not deflate it
  • Place the circle of cookie dough on top of it.
  • Gently press the cookie dough edge to the bread dough ball so that it covers the top and sides of the ball, but leaves the bottom open.
  • Holding the covered bread dough by the underside gently press it into some castor sugar.
  • Then using a scraper or the blunt side of a knife, mark the top of the cookie dough side of the bread roll with a cross hatch/ diamond pattern. Mark deep pattern without cutting the cookies dough layer otherwise it will disappear when the bread rises and bakes.
  • Transfer to the greased or parchment lined baking sheet.
  •  Repeat this with the remaining cookie dough and bread dough balls. Let them rise for an hour under cover.
  • Towards the end of one hour preheat the oven to 180°C/ 350°F for about 25 minutes, until the tops of the Melon Pan just start turning brown.  (If you let them brown too much, the underside of the bread will burn.)
  •  Transfer to a wire rack to cool thoroughly.

Melon Pan (Japanese Melon Bread)
Melon Pan (Japanese Melon Bread)

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  1. i really thought you would have melon in it :) this is a nice find, your research looks awesome, i will come back for the recipe

  2. This bread looks awesome... So soft..

  3. Wow, cookie dough on top of bread dough -- that must be the most delicious and interesting bread. Bookmarked to try!!

  4. I remember baking these sometime last year. The cookie layer lends sweetness to the bun. These look really nice.

  5. Even I thought there was melon in this bread. Nice recipe.

  6. Thia is in my todo list for long time and I almost forgot about this, Thanks for remainding me and your turned out great!! Awesome!

  7. These are on my to do list from a long time and I was looking for a good substitute for egg in this recipe. Those buns are cute.

  8. Even i was very keen on baking this bread but somehow couldn't bake :( the melon pan looks awesome and now bookmarked.

  9. Very nice recipe..looks fantastic..I had bookmarked it long ago..

  10. I baked this melon pans few months back.. U baked them prefectly Archana..

  11. I remember aparnas group had baked this last year I think.. They have come out so well arch !

  12. Wow this is a interesting recipe book marked..

  13. Very perfect. Yet another new dish for me.

  14. Sounds interesting and inviting Archana..bookmarked.

  15. This recipe is in to do list for long. Absolutely love that crunchy top and soft crumbs. That texture of the bread is so so good....

  16. This is definitely a bread that can be baked again! Love the crunchy top and soft crumb. Looks wonderful Archana!

  17. I missed baking them for WKTB arch, they have come out so good!!!


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