A lot of the recipes that I've been sharing on here recently have been for foods that I enjoyed while living in Canada. This week I figured I'd mix things up a bit by sharing a recipe for a Japanese treat that I enjoy just as much today as the first time I had it way back in 2006: melon bread. Don't let the name fool you. While it might look like a melon, it does not taste like one … unless you want it to, of course.
Melon bread is one part bread and one part cookie. As a result, making this treat can be a little tricky at times. If the cookie crust is too thick, the bread will be hard and dry while the top is soft. If the cookie is too thin, then it'll crumble right off the bread as you take it off the pan. This is something I had to make a couple of times before getting it just right.
Ingredients for the Bread (6 Buns):
- 175g all-purpose flour
- 25g cake flour
- 25g unsalted butter
- 3g salt
- 4g Instant dry yeast
- 1 egg
- 120g milk
- 20g sugar
Ingredients for the Cookie Crust:
- 130 cake flour
- 40g unsalted butter (at room temperature)
- 50g granulated white sugar
- 1 egg
- 8 drops of vanilla extract
Preparing the Bread:
- In a large bowl, mix the ingredients together until consistent.
- Knead and roll the mixture into a large ball, then cover it with a damp cloth and let it sit for 45 minutes to an hour. The bread will rise while sitting
Preparing the Cookie:
- Mix the flour and butter together until smooth and creamy
- Add in the sugar and egg, continuing to mix until the batter thickens
- Pour in the vanilla extract
- Flatten and put in the fridge for 30 minutes
Now back to the bread …
- Split the bread dough into six pieces and roll them into a ball
- Cover the balls with a wet towel and let them sit for 10 minutes
While the bread is setting, take the cookie mixture out of the fridge and cut it into six round, flat pieces about 5mm thick. These will be placed on top of the bread.
Putting it all together …
- Preheat the oven to 175˚C
- Put the bread onto a greased cooking pan
- Lay the cookie cover on top of the bread, carefully wrapping it around
- (Optional) Using the dull-side of a knife, cut a gentle criss-cross pattern about 2mm deep into the cookie
- Bake the bread for 18 to 22 minutes
And there you have it. Authentic Japanese melon bread. Be sure to store these in the fridge after cooling, and they have a general shelf life of about 3 to 4 days.