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Melon-pan

I started this wikipedia stub on it. If anyone here is familar with wikipedia citing/syntax etc and has any extra information, please add to it as I'd be interested in more information (like who came up with it, when and where)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Melonpan
(click for bigger)

(click for bigger)

As you can see in the photo above, too many chocolate chips tears the cookie dough layer so you need to carefully place them and not be tempted to add more than a few.

Japanese Melon Buns (melon-pan)
Soft bread rolls wrapped in a cookie-like crisp crust. I would have never been able to make this without the help of mianbao translating it and helping me out with the baking powder amount. This is for room temperatures around 20C (original recipe was for room temps at 30C and were much less than what worked out for me). It's a lot of steps and waiting around for the dough to rise but they're well worth it!

Melon Dough (for the outside layer)
60 g plain flour (all-purpose)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
30 g caster sugar (superfine sugar)
1/2 egg
20 g unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (can use a few drops of melon essence if available)
5 or so chocolate chips per bun, so 25 chocolate chips or thereabouts (for chocolate chip variation)
sugar, large grained (to decorate)
Bread dough (for the inside)
200 g bread flour (strong flour)
1 teaspoon dry yeast
2 tablespoons sugar
1 pinch salt
100 ml milk
1/2 egg
5 g butter

5 servings 5 buns
3 hours 1 hr prep

Prep work: Make sure butter and eggs are at room temperature. Beat 1 egg and divide it equally. Warm milk until you can hold your little finger in it for a full 10 seconds without pain.

To make the melon dough (outside portion): Beat softened butter until pale and creamy. Beat in sugar until fluffy.
1) Add egg and beat until smooth.
2) Add flour and baking powder and mix into the butter with a cutting or folding motion until fully mixed inches
3) Wrap dough in plastic wrap and chill for 20 minutes in the fridge.
4) Weigh the dough and divide it as equally as possible into 5 portions.
5) Roll portion into a ball and place one ball on a sheet of plastic wrap and top with another layer of plastic wrap. Roll out thinly. should be around or larger than 4inches in diameter and as round and circular as possible.
6) Set aside stack of melon dough.

To make the bread dough and bake:
1) Put 100g of bread flour, sugar, dry yeast and salt into a bowl, with the salt not touching the yeast.
2) Add the egg and warmed milk little by little, mixing with your hand. Add enough of the reserved flour to make a soft and slightly sticky dough. Once it has been kneaded break up the butter into small pieces with your hands and mix in.
3) Knead until smooth. The dough has been kneaded enough when it is smooth and when you pull a piece of the dough, you can make a thin membrane easily with it. (or until very elastic and smooth)
4) Place dough in an oiled bowl and let rise until doubled.
5) Punch down dough to get rid of any large airbubbles and knead lightly.
6) Weight the dough and divide the dough as evenly as possible into 5 pieces.

7) Shape the dough so the top is rounded and taut. You can do this by using the side of your hands and your smallest fingers to pull the dough from the top to underneath the ball of dough.

8) Leave rounded balls of dough on a floured board, covered with a clean tea towel, for 20 minutes.

9) Take a portion of the melon dough and remove top layer of plastic wrap only. **If doing the chocolate chip version, sprinkle or place the chocolate chips on top of the cookie dough after removing top layer of plastic wrap.

10) Place ball of slightly risen bread dough on top of the melon dough, and by lifting the corners of the plastic wrap, mould the dough around the ball. Be careful to not crush the ball of dough.
11) Once the melon dough is attached all around the bread dough, you can remove the plastic wrap and place on a siliconized baking paper (parchment paper or greased) on a baking sheet.
12) Once all bread dough balls have been covered with the melon dough, make light crisscross indentions in the dough covering the balls, trying not to deflate or crush them.
13) Cover with clean tea towel and let rise for 1hour or until doubled in size again.
14) Uncover and sprinkle with course sugar.
15) Bake at 180C (356F) for 8 minutes, then lower temperature to 160C (320F) and bake for 10 minutes longer. If you have a fan oven, bake at 175C (347F) for 8 minutes and 150C (302F) for 10 minutes.

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Comments

( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
kei_hoshiakari
Sep. 5th, 2005 08:07 pm (UTC)
Is it okay if I post this in another cooking community I'm in (egl_cooking), with credit?
caradea
Sep. 5th, 2005 08:52 pm (UTC)
I'm slightly confused as to what that community is about... could you give me a little explaination? :)
kei_hoshiakari
Sep. 6th, 2005 11:24 pm (UTC)
Well, EGL is a fashion style that hasw taken root in Japan, elegant gothic lolita. It has a more adult counterpart, elegant gothic aristocrat. It's generally gothic (the actual gothic, not the new goth/punk stuff) or victorian inspired clothing. EGL cooking is a community is a community to share recipes that tie in with the EGL culture.
caradea
Sep. 9th, 2005 11:17 pm (UTC)
Sorry to take so long to reply, sort of forgot once it scrolled off the friends list. Sure, you can post it with reference/credit to me but they're actually fairly big buns and the outside kind of crumbles everywhere so I don't really see it being a good tea party "cake"... at least not in a dainty victoriana way.
wanderingai
Oct. 17th, 2005 01:41 am (UTC)
Just tried this...
And it turned out pretty well, I'd say. You seriously weren't kidding about that preparation and work time. I think I'd like to see what would happen if I made a larger quantity of the cookie dough since the amount this recipe calls for was a bit...lacking. Oh, and a double batch as well. Four or five hours for five buns. >_> Heh.

I'm not a serious baker at all, I just craved melon pan, but I'd like to see what were to happen if I added the melon essence to the bread dough as well. Oh, and I also used powdered vanilla extract since I didn't know if the recipe called for the liquid version or not. Just used 1/4th of a teaspoon though since the stuff is normally stronger than the liquid. I'm not sure if that was a good or bad thing, but perhaps I'll add a bit more next time around. I wonder if I could use real melon as well sometime. Heard that some melon pan actually contain just a bit...
caradea
Oct. 17th, 2005 08:14 am (UTC)
Re: Just tried this...
Re: The cookie dough. From my limited experience of storebought Melon Pan, it always has that empty spot of just the bread dough on the bottom. The recipe was translated fairly accurately by a friend of mine in Japan so I just guessed that all Melon pan are just "tucked into bed" in their little cookie dough sheets rather than completely enclosed in it. And it should be easy to double - then you don't have to halve the egg amount.

The original recipe said "a little melon essence" with no amount. I've never seen vanilla extract powder. I use 95% vanilla bean extract which is thick and syrupy but I don't use a full 1/2 tsp in that case.

I googled for melonpanman once and found a whole Japanese blog with different storebought melonpan. There's a completely black looking one which google translated as chocolate flavour so I'm wondering if it's like Oreos...
skylene_
Jul. 16th, 2006 08:33 am (UTC)
Almost been a year after this post!
Thanks for the recipe! I just tried it out and while mine wasn't perfect, it was not bad. =)

I thought I'll just ask, do you have the original recipe for room temperatures at 30C? I live in Singapore, and it's 30C almost everyday here.
caradea
Jul. 16th, 2006 09:45 am (UTC)
Re: Almost been a year after this post!
skylene_
Jul. 16th, 2006 10:05 am (UTC)
Re: Almost been a year after this post!
Thank you!
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )

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