I've always wanted to make Japanese melon pan but the cookie topping doesn't really appeal to me. Melon pan actually doesn't have melon although recently I've seen recipes with different flavorings like strawberries and musk melon.
This bread is a variation of the Mexican concha rolls which I made once before, the topping was chocolate cinnamon cookie. There is a Malaysian coffee buns too with coffee cream filling and coffee flavored cookie topping. I wasn't wowed by both. Too sweet for me.
Watching too many Japanese doramas finally convinced me to make melon pan. The bread they have on the TV dramas are very soft, flat, and the cookie topping also looks soft. And they're dark yellow like rich man's brioche.
I used a little bit of Tang melon flavored powdered drink for the topping. I like it because of the subtle flavor of melon but I'm still not liking the consistency of the cookie topping. They don't look pretty either. It's probably just me or the recipe for the topping is really blah. I will have to look for a better cookie topping recipe, a softer more buttery one.
1 cup all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon baking powder
¼ cup soft salted butter
4 tablespoons sugar, add more if you want it sweeter
1 egg, well beaten
2 tablespoons Tang melon powder drink, optional
2½ cups all purpose flour
1½ teaspoons instant yeast
4 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons whole milk powder
1 cup cold water
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
4 egg yolks
4 tablespoons soft unsalted butter
- Topping: Whisk together flour, baking powder, and 1 tablespoon melon powder, if usingin a small bowl; set aside. In a medium bowl, beat together butter and sugar until creamy. Beat in egg. Add flour mixture gradually. Form into a thick log, slice into 9 equal pieces, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate until needed.
- Pan: Whisk together 1 cup flour, yeast, sugar, and milk powder in the bowl of a standing mixer. Add water and stir with a rubber spatula until well combined. Leave for 5 minutes. Attach dough hook, add salt, egg yolks, butter, and the rest of the flour. Knead on medium-low speed for 8 minutes until smooth and elastic; dough should be soft and supple. Transfer into a lightly greased bowl and let ferment on the kitchen counter for 2 hours. Knead dough lightly to remove air bubbles. Divide dough into 9 portions, shape into balls, and flatten slightly. Arrange on baking sheets lined with parchment paper 2 inches apart, cover loosely with plastic wrap.
- Melon Pan: Flatten each topping disk on surface sprinkled with the remaining melon powder, or sugar, two times larger than the bread dough rolls. Cover only the top and sides of dough. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled, about 45 minutes to 1 hour. With a sharp knife or bench scraper, make slashes on the cookie topping. Bake in a preheated 370°F oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until light golden in color. Serve warm.