Melon Bread

Original Recipe: Hajimemashite ~ Itoshi no Melon Pan

Consider this an adaptation rather than a translation. You can look at the pictures on the original recipe, if you want—they’re actually very helpful. But I compressed the original recipe down into MUCH fewer steps. On Cookpad, this recipe has 37 steps. Whoa!

Mine is much more streamlined.

My Results with this Recipe

These turned out decently enough, but they weren’t that fantastic. When they were right out of the oven they were pretty good, although the bread part was a little bland.

My main problem was that these went bad almost immediately. Some of it was me being an idiot—I tossed one in a plastic bag and brought it along with me to work, only for the sugar to melt and turn the crispy topping to a gooey mess. That was bad. But even then, I’ve never seen anything go bad so quickly. On day 2 they were still okay. On day 3 they were rock hard and inedible.
This recipe only makes 5 small pieces of bread, though. Just get some friends over and finish these off the second they’re out of the oven.

Honestly, if you really want some awesome melon bread, I’d suggest Cooking With Dog’s Melonpan recipe. That one is AMAZING.


Time Required: 2-3 hours
Amount Made: 5 small rolls

Ingredients for the dough:

  • 160g Bread Flour
  • 5g Sugar
  • 1.5g dry yeast
  • 4g Margarine*
  • 100cc Lukewarm Water**

*If you use butter instead, add 1/2 tsp salt.

**You can use a mixture of 80cc water/20cc milk instead, if you want. It doesn’t change the appearance or taste.

Ingredients for the Cookie Topping:

  • 60g Flour
  • 25g Sugar
  • 30g Margarine
  • 1/4 of a whipped egg (Approx. 11g)
  • Sugar (to cover the bread with)


1. In a bowl, combine bread flour, sugar and dry yeast. Add margarine and lukewarm water. For the yeast to work, you need to make sure the water is warm to the touch. It should NOT be hot, as that will kill the yeast.

Mix everything together thoroughly. You’ll probably want to use your hands, just to make sure it’s well mixed all the way through. You want to make sure you have a good, consistent, firm ball of dough.

2. Time to start kneading! You’ll need a clean, dry, surface. Sprinkle a LITTLE flour on the surface to make this easier, but don’t do it more than once. The dough should be firm enough that you can kneed it easily—if it’s really sticky or gooey, you may not have mixed it well enough.

Now you’re going to knead this sucker, by hand, for 12-15 minutes.

Here’s the technique the author suggested: Stretch the dough wide, as far as you can without tearing it. Then fold the bread in half. Then HIT the bread 8-10 times until you’re back to a ball of dough again. In about 12-15 minutes you’ll end up doing this somewhere between 200 and 250 times.

(Alternately, you can use a bread machine to do the kneading for you. Only set it to knead the dough—You don’t want it to rise in there.)

3. Now you are finally done kneading! Form the dough into a ball, cover it with a towel and put it in a warm place to rise for about 40 minutes.

4. While the dough is rising, you can make the cookie topping. Put all of the ingredients in a bowl.
The cookie dough is a little tricky. For one thing, you literally do need 1/4 of an egg. This means you’ll need to crack an egg into another bowl, beat it thoroughly, and carefully pour a fraction of it into the mix.

The cookie dough starts out VERY sticky and can be very difficult to mix. You may want to use your fingers to make sure everything is mixed together thoroughly. The author recommends putting all the ingredients in a plastic bag and mixing them together in there—I tried that, and it just DID NOT mix well.

So, my compromise: Mix the stuff together as well as you can by hand. Then dump the mostly-mixed mixture into a plastic bag and squish the dough, through the bag, to mix it the rest of the way. It should be consistently mixed when you’re done.
Seal the bag and put it in the fridge. Leave it there until later.

5. After 40 minutes, the bread should be done rising. The dough should have doubled in size. Push down on the middle of the dough with a closed fist to let out all the gas.

6. Take the bread dough, roll it into a cylinder, and divide it into 5 equal parts. Form all of the pieces into balls, cover them with plastic wrap, and leave them in a warm spot to rise for 20 minutes.

7. Get the cookie dough out of the fridge. Take it out of its bag and put it on a clean, dry surface. Divide it into 5 equal parts. Roll these into balls.

Now you need to flatten them out. Spread out the balls on a clean, flat surface and cover them with plastic wrap. Use a heavy spoon (or measuring cup, or anything else you have) to flatten the balls into flat discs!

8. Remove the plastic wrap carefully. (You may need to cut them away, if they’re glued onto the dough too tightly.) Be careful not to tear the cookie dough.

Now you need to “cap” the bread rolls with the cookie topping. Wrap the cookie dough around the bread dough enough that it sticks. You won’t need to press.

Get out a knife. Now we’re going to make that “checkerboard” pattern that commercial melon bread has on top. Gently cut the criss-crossed pattern into the top of the cookie dough. You just need to leave an impression—Don’t cut all the way through the dough or they’ll open up into holes in the oven.

9. Fill a bowl shallowly with sugar. Roll the tops of the melon bread in the sugar to give the top a thorough covering.

10. Once all five are all done, put them on a cookie sheet, cover with plastic wrap and let it rise for ANOTHER 30 minutes.

11. Heat your oven up to 180C! That’s about 350F. After the dough is done rising for the last time, cook it for 12-15 minutes. Keep an eye on it, because the time will vary based on your oven.

When they’re done, the tops will still be pale, with a touch of color. If the tops are brown, they’re overdone.

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