Following my last trip to Japan, I have developed an addiction for “Melon Pan” メロンパン!
What is “Melon Pan”? Melon Pan is a sweet Japanese bread topped with crispy cookie dough, filled with vanilla cream or matcha cream…
Is it with melon flavor? Not really, from what I know, the name comes from the appearance of the bread.
It was highly recommended to me, so I added it to my “food to try in Japan” list. My first Melon Pan was in Kyoto and it was so good. The “Melon Pan maker” baked it just before I arrived, so the bread was hot, but filled with an iced vanilla cream… Pure delight! After this try, I was looking for Melon Pan everywhere I went.
I have eaten Melon Pan in Kyoto, Tokyo (Asakusa, of course), Osaka… But living in the South France, it is impossible to find a Melon Pan shop! So, only two options opened to me: go back to Japan (which is quite cool) or making it myself!
Due to the lockdown and my bank account, without any surprise, I decided to go with option number 2…
I probably analyzed about 10 recipes, then made a mix of my own concoction for my first “Melon Pan” – it was a success!! My husband said, “it has the same taste and scent as in Japan”. I was happy like when France won the world cups (AHAHA, yes cups with an “S”).
To be honest, when I read all the recipes, I found it challenging … But once I made it, it was much clearer, and I thought it would be nice to share a simplified recipe with only a few easy steps.
I hope that all the Japanese food lovers out there will be thrilled and motivated to give it a try!
What do we need? All we need is love and:
For the bread dough
250 gr of Flour
25 gr of sugar
10 gr of baker’s fresh yeast or (5 gr of baker’s dry yeast)
½ teaspoon of salt (3 gr)
5 cl of water
5 cl of milk
25 gr of butter
For the cookie dough
200 gr of flour
80 gr of sugar
½ teaspoon of Baking powder (3 gr)
60 gr of butter
For the topping & filling
1 tablespoon of sugar (20 gr)
Vanilla or matcha ice cream
Let’s make the bread dough!!
In a bowl, crumble the baker’s fresh yeast and add the water and milk. Let it rest for a few minutes while you work on the next step.
In a separate large bowl, add the flour, salt, sugar, and the beaten egg. Mix it all with the help of a spatula.
Combine the two and mix it until you get a homogenous mixture.
When it is mixed enough, take the dough out the bowl, and knead with your floured hands for 5 minutes.
+ TIPS: Flour your kitchen top, it will help the dough to be less sticky. Fold the dough in half and punch it with your palm, turn it and repeat until you get a great consistency.
Cut the butter in to small cubes and place them on the dough. Fold the dough back on to itself and knead the butter into the dough. Continue to knead for 5 minutes.
+ TIPS: Your hands and kitchen top will get oily, but no worries, you are going the right way.
Place the dough into a bowl and cover it with a cotton tea towel and let it rise for at least one hour.
+ TIPS: the warmer the place, the better it will rise. I place my dough on my balcony when the sun is out.
Let’s make the cookie dough!
In a bowl, crush butter cubes with your spatula, then add the sugar and mix it together.
+ TIPS: Keep the butter out at room temperature while you prepare the “bread dough”. It will be easier to work with when you need it for the “cookie dough”.
Add the beaten egg and mix it together.
Then, slowly add the flour and baking powder, and mix it until you get the consistency of a cookie dough.
Let’s shape the Melon pan!
Preheat the oven to 180°C.
Split and shape the “pan dough” and “cookie dough” in 10 or 5 balls.
Place the “pan” dough balls on a baking tray with parchment paper.
With the help of a rolling pin, roll out each “cookie dough” ball flat, in the shape of a circle big enough to cover the apparent side of the bread.
Cover each “bread dough” with the “cookie dough”.
Dip the apparent side of the melon pan into a bowl of sugar and place it back on to the baking tray.
+ TIPS: make sure they are distanced enough from each other.
Gently score 3 lines, vertically and horizontally, on top of the Melon Pan.
+ TIPS: Do not score the lines until the base otherwise it will crumble when you cute it.
Bake for 12 to 15 mins.
+ TIPS: Let it cool off just a bit before cutting the Melon Pan horizontally. Add some vanilla or matcha ice cream. I love the combo of “hot bread and frozen cream” … So good!
Make yourself a matcha tea and enjoy!
Last thing to do: BE PROUD OF YOURSELF!
Et bon appétit! いただきます