Today I am sharing the Japanese Melon Pan aka Sweet Bun recipe for We Knead to Bake Bakers Challenge. This Melon Pan (Bread) has 2 layers, inner soft bun layered with crispy outer cookie layer. Their appearance resembles a melon, such as a rock melon (cantaloupe) but they are not traditionally melon flavored. Also this buns are mildly sweetened, you can increase few tablespoon of sugar if you like so. I added only yolks (egg whites i used for French Macaroon, recipe coming soon) to get the yellow melon texture where the original recipe calls for whole egg. Thanks Aparna (We Knead to Bake – WNTB) for giving an opportunity to bake such wonderful bread…
Adapted from :- A Bread A Day
Yields – 8 Jumbo Buns n I reduced the quantity to halve.
For cookie dough:
All Purpose Flour – 1n1/3 Cups
Baking Powder – 3/4tsp
Salt – A large pinch
Butter – 60gm at room temperature
Castor Sugar (increase to 1/3 cup for sweeter dough) – 1/4 Cup
Egg – 1 Large
Vanilla Extract -1/2tsp
Lemon Zest – 1tsp
Castor sugar for dusting (granulated sugar will do too)
For bread dough
All Purpose Flour (plus extra as required) – 1n3/4 Cups
Milk Powder – 2 Tbsp
Active Instant Yeast – 1tsp
Salt – 1/2tsp
Cold Water – 1/3 Cup
Egg – 1 Beaten
Sugar – 1 Tbsp
Butter, at room temperature – 25gms
- First prepare the cookie dough and refrigerate till use.
- In a bowl, cream the soft butter and sugar till fluffy.
- Add the egg and vanilla extract and beat till combined.
- Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt and add this to the bowl.
- Also add the lemon zest, beat together until just combined.
- Shape the dough into a cylinder (this will make the dough easy to divide and flatten out later), and wrap in cling film.
- Refrigerate the dough until required.
How to prepare bread dough (I used my hands for the whole process)
- Whisk together the flour, sugar,powdered milk, yeast, and salt in the bowl (or the bowl of your machine if using one).
- In a smaller bowl, beat the egg and cold water together with a fork till well blended.
- Add this to the flour mixture in the bowl.
- Knead (on low speed in the machine) till it all comes together as a dough and then (on medium speed) until you have a somewhat stiff dough.
- 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 dough should well-kneaded to develop the gluten.
- Shape the dough into a round, and place it in a lightly oiled bowl.
- Cover and let it rise till double in volume (about an hour or so).
- Once it has doubled in volume, 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 equal portions.
- Shape each portion into a smooth ball like for bread rolls.
- Work with one portion and keep the others covered so they don’t dry out.
- Unwrap the cookie dough. It should be reasonably firm now and easy to work with(Pic 1).
- Slice the cylinder of cookie dough into equal portions. Use two pieces of plastic sheets or cling film/parchment paper to flatten the cookie dough(Pic 2).
- Place one slice/ round of cookie dough on a piece of plastic sheet/ cling film.
- Cover with another piece, and using a flat bottomed pan or rolling pin, press down on the dough to flatten it, until it is reasonably thin but not very much so.
- Carefully take on ball of bread dough (it will have puffed up a little so don’t deflate it), and 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.
- Gently, holding the covered bread dough by the underside, 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.
- The pattern should be deep enough (otherwise it will disappear when the bread rises and bakes) without cutting through the cookie dough layer into the bread.
- Place this on the greased or parchment lined baking sheet.
- Repeat this with the remaining cookie dough and bread dough balls. Let them rise for an hour.
- Bake them at 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 are best eaten the day they are made.
- However warming them slightly before serving the next day is also fine.