Written by Rae
I decided to make these cute little buns after finding the recipe in a Japanese baking cooking book which I bought at Kyobo (a giant bookstore here in Korea). Actually, if you’re familiar with the Japanese franchise and bakery Tokyo Panya, I bought the cookbook for this shop.
These melon pans are a classic Japanese treat. They are called melon pan because they are shaped and scored on top to look like a melon. Pan undoubtedly comes from the French word for bread, “pain.” Melon pan consists of two doughs: a bread dough on the inside and a cookie dough, which is wrapped around the bread ball and sometimes has melon pulp added to for flavor. I just thought these were so cute, I couldn’t wait to try and make them!
I decided to make chocolate chip melon pan, even though you can make regular, green tea, or a variety of flavors. For this recipe, both the cookie dough and the bread dough were a bit annoying to make because of how sticky they were. I ended up adding more flour to the cookie dough, so it would be easier to roll out and wrap around the bread balls. The bread dough had water in it, and not very much butter. It was not like a brioche, which is easier to handle once it has formed into a dough. It is very sticky. I was unsure how they would turn out because it was my first time making these, however I managed to succeed. The cookie part on the outside added a nice sweetness and a slight crunch to the bread on the inside, which was nice and fluffy. However, Westerners, might find asian pastries like this too bland because they are very light and not very sweet. Though, I find that refreshing. Plus, I really do think their adorableness makes them even tastier! Next time, I’d like to try this using brioche or milk bun dough.