Monday, 24 March 2014

Melon Pan

Aparna asked to make Melon Pan, for this month challenge @ We Knead To Bake #15. 

Melon Pan (also known as melon pan, melon bun or melon bread) origin is Japan. It’s nothing but, a type of sweet bun. I mean, a soft bun (crust) covered with thin layer of crisp cookie dough. The cookie dough resembles a rock melon, hence, Melon Pan.

Melon Pan, Recipe source is from A Bread A Day 

The bread dough for these buns is usually left plain. However, you may add / fill with chocolate chips, cream, cheese, custard etc.

For PURE veggies, you may substitute a tablespoon of yogurt or milk for egg. Please refer my egg substitute page for more detail.

Let’s split the process in to two parts.  i.e. to make a bun and the crisp cookie dough to cover the bun crust.

Ingredients for bread dough:  1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour (+ little extra)  ;   2 tbsp milk powder    ;     1 tsp instant yeast    ;  1/2 tsp salt    ;  1/3 cup cold water   ;  1 egg, beaten     ;    1 tbsp sugar   ;   25gm butter, at room temperature

Ingredients for cookie dough:  1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour  ;  3/4 teaspoon baking powder  ; A  large pinch of salt  ;  60gm butter, at room temperature   ;  1/4 cup castor sugar   ;   1 large egg  ;  1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract  ;  1 teaspoon lemon zest   ;  Castor sugar for dusting

To make Bun :

Whisk together the flour, powdered milk, yeast, and salt in the bowl. In another bowl, beat the egg and cold water together with a fork till well blended. Add this to the flour mixture and Knead till it all come together as a dough and then until you have a somewhat stiff dough. Add the sugar and knead well.

Now add the butter and knead until the butter is completely blended into the dough. Now the dough becomes smooth and elastic. Shape the dough into a round, and place it in a lightly oiled bowl. Cover and let it rise till double in volume, may take about an hour.

Prepare the cookie dough :  In a bowl, add soft butter, sugar and blend  till fluffy. Add the egg, lemon zest and vanilla extract and beat till combined. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and add this to the bowl and 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.

By this time our bun dough must have doubled in volume, place it on a lightly floured surface and deflate the dough gently and divide it into 8 equal portions. Shape each portion into a smooth ball like for bread rolls. (keep the rest of the dough  covered so that  it don’t dry out).

Unwrap the cookie dough; It should be firm by now and easy to work with. Slice the cylinder shaped cookie dough into 8 equal portions. Place one slice of cookie dough on a piece of plastic sheet or cling film. Cover with another piece, and using a flat bottomed pan, press down on the dough to flatten it, until it is reasonably thin.

Place the thin (circle shaped) cookie dough on top the Bun / Pan and of it. Gently press the cookie dough edge to the bread dough ball so that it covers the top and sides of the bun, leaving the bottom open. Sprinkle some castor sugar on the cookie dough and gently press it.   

Then using a scraper or the blunt side of a knife make a diamond pattern. The pattern should be deep enough at the same time without cutting through the cookie dough layer.

Place the bun with cookie dough layer on the pre-greased baking sheet. Repeat this with the remaining cookie dough and bread dough balls and allow 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. (Excess heat or time may burn the underside of the bun). Later transfer to a wire rack to cool thoroughly and consume on the same day.

Trust me, Melon Pans which were kept on the table, were consumed by my Husband and Son in a blink of an eye.! Leaving my heart filled.