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Mar 24, 2014

Melon Pan / Japanese Melon Pan Recipe

Due to some personal commitments i could not blog for the past two weeks. Even for another two months i could not post recipes frequently, hope from June I will be back to routine. Now coming to the recipe, for this month's We Knead to Bake we are baking Melon Pan / Japanese Melon Pan. Pans mean bread in Japanese, a popular type of bread bun. They are actually bread buns covered with a layer of pastry or cookie-like dough. Each bread dough dough is wrapped with a cookie dough. And on second rising after wrapping, the inner bread dough will rise and cause the outer pastry layer to crack all over the surface. The name came about as the appearance of the cracked surface resembles a rock melon. In addition, for a basic or standard Japanese melon pan, melon extract is commonly used to add fragrance. This is absolutely a very soft, light and fluffy bread with crispy and mild crunchy sugar cookie crust.

This is the first time i came to know about this Japanese Bread and really enjoyed baking it and we all loved the melon pans a lot. First time the cookie dough didn't turn out perfect, so i tried it second time also these bread buns were so addictive and delicious i gave a second try and it turned out good. Since the first time i could not get the cookie dough evenly this time, I rolled the cookie dough in between the parchment paper and cut out the cookie to with bowl rim and used the cut out cookie dough to wrap each bread dough. I find it this way easy than dividing it equally and flatten. I made the bread dough plain but it can also be stuffed with chocolate chips, chocolates, pastry cream, cream cheese. Before proceeding the recipe, its recommended to watch the video as it will be helpful to make it correctly.

Recipe Source : My Diverse Kitchen
For Bread Dough
  1. All purpose flour 1 3/4 cups (plus extra as required)
  2. Instant yeast  1 tsp
  3. Salt  1/2 tsp
  4. Cold Milk   1/3 cup
  5. Egg  1 no. (beaten)
  6. Sugar   1 tbsp
  7. Butter   2 tbsp
For cookie dough
  1. All purpose flour  1 1/3 cups
  2. Baking powder    3/4 tsp
  3. Salt   a pinch
  4. Butter   4.5 tbsp (at room temperature)
  5. Castor Sugar   1/4 cup (increase to 1/3 cup for sweeter dough)
  6. Egg, large  1 no.
  7. Vanilla Extract  1 tsp
  8. Lemon Zest  1 tsp
  9. Castor sugar for dusting (granulated sugar will do too)

  • Whisk together the flour, yeast, and salt in a large bowl. In a smaller bowl, beat the egg and cold milk together with a fork till well blended. Add this to the flour mixture in the bowl.
  • Knead till it all come together as a dough and until you have a somewhat stiff dough. Add the sugar and knead well.
  • Now add the butter and knead 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).
  • During this time make the cookie dough. 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.
  • Now go back to the bread dough. 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 8 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.
  • Divide the cookie dough into two equal portions and Place one portion in a parchment paper in a firm platform and place another parchment paper over the dough and press it.
  • Using a rolling pin roll the dough firmly to 1/4 " thick and then remove the outer paper.
  • Using a cookie cutter or any rim of a can/bottle, cut and place the cut out dough into the already lined/greased baking sheet.
  • Scrap the remaining dough do repeat this for all the dough.
  • 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.

The original recipe uses Milk powder and cold water, i don't have milk powder in hand so i used cold milk instead water and skipped milk powder.
1/4 cup sugar for the cookies will give you mildly sweet crust and was perfect for us. if you want can use up to 1/3 cup sugar.
If you don;t have castor sugar, simple pulse the granulated sugar for few seconds do not powder it, just pulse it..should be like fine granules.

This is off to Aparna's We Knead to Bake # 15 and Spicy Treats' Love2Bake event happening Every Monday.


  1. This is really amazing and soon come back sis we are waiting for your treats

  2. they are such cute bread.. I never knew something like this exists.. Again crips pictures and thanks for step by step pictures:)

  3. such beautiful looking buns... love the indepth description... i guess you should relax about ur blog and hopefully get back soon after finishing ur commitments... already you have such awesome collection on ur blog, which will do the job for you... TC! :)

  4. Fantastic and love ur efforts Sangee, wonderful u didnt give up this time even after they didnt came out prefect.. Such a beautiful bun na, we loved it.

  5. tis s awesome work.. u hv loads n loads of patience n love to cook.. step wise amazing..

  6. Nice step by step pictures n explanation .bread looks awesme .

  7. The Japanese melon pan looks so delicious and perfectly made, I have bookmarked to try this... thanks for sharing...

  8. Great post with step by step explanations ...Japanese Melon pan bread topped with sugar looks beautiful with small slits across...

  9. The clicks are as usual perfect! even the Japanese bread bun recipe sounds superb!

  10. Looks so yummy! Nice work!

  11. That's a moist bread Sangee. Take your time, at least you are blogging regularly without disappearing for months.

  12. i love this bread. it looks great!

  13. The buns look awesome, perfectly done Sangee, would love to try this..

  14. Delicious melon pan so cute captures :) one of the cutest bread off late


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