Japanese Melon Pan Bread Recipe

July 04, 2015

Baking therapy: What do you do when you miss a place? Try to recreate a taste of it. My heart longs for Tokyo like never before, and so I baked the first thing I laid my teeth into when I touched down in Japan in 2012 - a melon pan

Despite its name, a melon pan (bread) does not contain any melon flavouring. A melon pan is a Japanese bread with a sweet crispy crust. It gets its name because of the patterns that resembles a melon's skin. 

I made the melon pan into a turtle form like the popular turtle melon pan from Boulangerie Shima in Tokyo, Japan. Try out the recipe below!

[For Cookie Dough]
25g of Unsalted Butter
35g of Caster Sugar
25g of Beaten Egg
80g Cake/Pastry Flour
1/4 tsp Baking Powder
Bread Flour for dusting

[For Bread Dough]
100g of All-Purpose Flour
20g of Cake Flour
12g of Caster Sugar
2g of Salt
2g of Dry Yeast
10g of Unsalted Butter (Softened)
10g of Beaten Egg
75g of Milk

[For Cookie Dough]
1. WHISK BUTTER AND SUGAR: Whisk butter until creamy. Gradually add in the sugar until it is dissolved in the butter. Continue whisking until the colour turns white
3. ADD EGG: Add the beaten egg gradually until it is just combined.
4. COMBINE DRY INGREDIENTS: Add baking powder to cake flour and sift the mixture into a bowl twice.
5. COMBINE FLOUR AND BUTTER MIXTURE: Add 1/3 of the of the flour at a time and lightly mix with a spatula
6. Place dough on cling wrap, shape it into a cylinder, wrap it, and leave it to cool in the fridge for at least one hour.

[For Bread Dough]
1.COMBINE ALL INGREDIENTS EXCEPT FOR BUTTER: In a bowl, combine all the ingredients except for butter and mix well to form the dough.
2. KNEAD THE DOUGH: Stretch the dough towards yourself and fold it towards the point where you started, slamming against the table each time.
3. ADD BUTTER: Flatten out the dough and spread the butter across the surface. Continue kneading for about 10 more minutes.
4. LET DOUGH RISE: Place the dough in a bowl and let it rise to double the size for about 40 to 50 minutes in a warm area.
5. SPLIT DOUGH: Split the dough into 5 equal balls (leave some for the head and legs) and let it rise for another 15 more minutes. 

[Putting it together]
1. Split the cookie dough into 5 equal pieces.
2. Wrap the cookie dough around the bread dough and form into desired shape. Add the head, legs, and tail. Let it rise for another 30 more minutes. 
3. Coat cookie dough with caster sugar
4. Bake in a preheated oven at 170 degrees celsius for approximately 16 to 18 minutes.
5. Use melted chocolate and icing sugar to draw on the faces of the turtles.


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