Melon Bread / Melonpan

I am a huge fan of anime and Japanese culture. I kept hearing about melonpan and decided to search for a recipe on the internet. I have never heard of it nor have I seen it in any bakery before so I knew that if I wanted to try I would have to make it myself. My first thought was that it was melon flavored bread due to its name but it actually doesn't have any melon in it. However you can add melon extract or essence to the dough and make it melon flavored if you would like. The bread is actually just a normal bread dough in the center with a crunchy sweet cookie dough on the outside. So when they come out of the oven and you bite into one you get a layer of sweet crunchiness followed by a steaming fluffy center. The only down side to melon bread is once it is cooled and has been sitting out it looses its texture both the crunchy exterior and fluffy center and turns into normal bread. Although... to fix this you can just throw it in your oven or toaster over for a little bit to crisp it up again and it is just like the day you made it. Now I won't lie to you, it does take some time to make so just be prepared to spend a day making this. You have to let the dough rise a few times which can take up a good chunk of time but I think that it is worth it!


For the dough center:
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 small egg
  • 1 3/4 c flour
  • 1 tsp dry yeast
  • 1/8 c sugar
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1 1/3 Tbs butter

For the outer layer:
  • 3 1/3 Tbs butter; room temp (margarine works also)
  • 1/4 c sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tsp milk
  • 1 c flour
  • 1/2tsp baking powder

Bread directions:
1. Heat the milk to lukewarm and beat the egg, and then combine the two.
2. Combine everything but the butter, and then add the butter when the dough is smooth. (butter should be lukewarm)
3. Kneed for 10~15 minutes.
4. Stretch out, keeping the surface smooth.
5. Lightly grease the bowl and put the dough in, then spray with water and cover with saran wrap. Place in warm place to rise for 40~60 minutes.

Topping directions:
1. Beat the butter until it turns creamy and add the sugar in 3 different sections. Stir until the mixture is whitish.
2. Combine the egg yolk and milk in a bowl and beat well. Add slowly to the butter mixture, and then cut the dry ingredients in slowly.
3. Shape the topping dough into a rod and wrap in saran wrap. Let chill in the refrigerator.

The other directions:
1. When the dough has risen to twice its size, poke it with your finger. If it does not return, it is done.
2. Punch the dough and kneed lightly.
3. Split the dough into 6 parts and make them round. Cover so they do not dry out and let stand 10 minutes.
4. Reshape the dough and place them on an over paper-covered baking sheet. Cover with a damp cloth. Let dough rise to two times its original size
5. Divide the topping into 6 parts and roll between two pieces of saran wrap.
6. Remove from wrap and place over the bread, stretching and tucking the sides to the bottom. Try not to move the dough too much because it might deflate. So be careful!! Sprinkle granulated sugar over the top and cut lines lightly into the top with a knife.
7. Bake at 335* F for 20 minutes. It's done when the edges turn slightly browned.

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