• Barth Bakery

Japanese Melonpan with Custard Filling

Updated: May 5

I fell so in love with this classic sweet bread while I was in Japan that I had to learn how to make it when I returned home to satisfy my endless cravings for it. Made from a sweet melon flavored dough wrapped in a thin layer of sugar cookie dough and filled with custard, this popular bread pastry is too good to be true. With a crunchy outer crust, a soft and fluffy center, and filled with a creamy custard, this bread will have you coming back for more. Melonpan can be found in any Japanese convenience store, and can be enjoyed for breakfast, dessert, as a snack, and anytime!




Makes 10 buns

Ingredients

Melon Bread Dough

  • 2 ¼ tsp active dry yeast

  • ⅔ cup whole milk, warmed to 110°F

  • ¼ cup granulated sugar, divided

  • 2 ¼ cups bread flour

  • 1 tsp salt

  • 1 large egg, beaten

  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened

  • ¼ tsp melon oil

  • Green food coloring

Sugar Cookie Dough

  • 4 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened

  • ½ cup granulated sugar

  • 1 large egg, beaten

  • ¼ tsp melon oil

  • 1 ½ cup + 2 Tbsp cake flour, sifted

  • ½ tsp baking powder

  • 2 Tbsp granulated sugar for topping

Custard Filling

  • 2 large egg yolks

  • 3 Tbsp granulated sugar

  • 2 ½ Tbsp cake flour

  • 1 ½ Tbsp whole milk


Directions

Melon Bread Dough

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the yeast, warmed milk, and one teaspoon of sugar. Let the yeast mixture sit for 5-7 minutes until bubbly.

  2. Once bubbly, pour the yeast mixture into the bowl of stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment. Add the bread flour, remaining sugar, salt, and beaten egg. Knead all of the ingredients together on low speed. Once a dough starts to form, add the softened butter, melon oil, and food coloring. Continue to knead on low speed until the butter is completely incorporated. Then increase the speed to medium and knead until the dough is smooth.

  3. Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow the dough to rest at room temperature until the dough has doubled in size, about one hour.

  4. While the dough is rising, make the cookie dough and custard filling.

  5. Once the dough has doubled in size, transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface. Press the dough flat into a rectangle with your hands to release the gas. Fold the dough into thirds, then flip and fold into thirds again. Shape the dough into a ball, pulling from the sides to keep the seam at the bottom.

  6. Cut the dough into 10 equal pieces, and shape each piece into a ball, again pulling from the sides to keep the seam at the bottom.

  7. Place the dough balls on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Cover the dough balls with plastic wrap and let rest at room temperature for 15 minutes.

  8. After resting, flatten the dough balls into disks with your hand.

Sugar Cookie Dough

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar until well blended and smooth.

  2. Slowly add half of the beaten egg into the butter mixture and mix until combined. Then add the remaining beaten egg and the melon oil and beat until incorporated.

  3. Add the cake flour and baking powder, and mix until incorporated and no flour remains.

  4. Shape the cookie dough into a ball, wrap in plastic, and place in the refrigerator until ready to use.

  5. When ready to use, transfer the cookie dough to a lightly floured surface and cut into 10 equal pieces.

  6. Flatten each ball with the palm of your hand, and then use a rolling pin to roll out each ball into 4-inch circles.

Custard Filling

  1. Place the egg yolks and sugar in a microwave-safe bowl and beat together with a whisk. Add the cake flour and whisk together until smooth. Then add the milk and whisk until combined.

  2. Gently cover the bowl with plastic wrap and microwave at 20% power for 3 minutes, then whisk the mixture. Heat the mixture for an additional minute, then whisk it again.

  3. Cover the custard with a damp dish cloth so it doesn’t dry out, and allow the custard to cool completely.

Assembly

  1. Place one flattened disk of bread dough in your hand, and place one scoop of custard into the middle of the bread dough. Pull the bread dough over the custard to form a ball.

  2. Place one flattened cookie dough ball in your hand, then place the custard filled bread ball into the middle of the flattened cookie. Gently pull all sides of the cookie dough around the bread ball.

  3. Place the finished balls onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat, seam side down. Sprinkle granulated sugar on top of each finished ball.

  4. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit in a warm place until the balls have risen by one and a half times, about 1 hour.

  5. Preheat oven to 350°F.

  6. Once the balls have risen, place them in the oven and bake for 13-15 minutes, or until light golden brown. Remove the buns to a wire rack to cool completely before serving.


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