The bread chosen to bake this month is called Melon Pan for the We Knead to Bake (WKTB) Event hosted by Aparna, Diverse Kitchen. Melon Pan when I heard this first I was intrigued what it is. Reading from different sources, it is a Japanese Bread. More about origins of Melon Pan can be read here. I read about the recipe, saw the online video, still was a little intimidated how will I bake this bread. Then, I was wondering if can make it egg less and how will it impact the texture as I could not find any egg less recipe link for this bread. Once I started the process of making it, I felt little confident, yes it can be done. This bread tasted great, soft, and indeed a very different kind of bread. Worth one try at least! In fact there are couple of people in (WKTB) the group who made the egg less version of this bread. I followed the recipe as Aparna provided minus the eggs. I used my stand mixer for kneading the dough, as could multitask other stuff in the kitchen while preparing the dough.
Melon Pan is made in 3 steps. First a bread dough (with yeast) is made in the similar way a bread dough is prepared. Second step involves making a cookie dough. Third step is covering the round balls of bread dough with layer of cookie dough. This video is very helpful to learn the technique. The cookie dough covering over the bread broke a little bit while baking. I think it was caused as I made deep diamond pattern.
A Bread A Day
For the Bread Dough
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour (plus extra as required)
2 tbsp milk powder
1 tsp instant yeast
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup cold water
1 egg, beaten (Used 2 Tablespoon Yogurt)
1 tbsp sugar
25 gm/2 Tablespoon butter, at room temperature
1/3 cup chocolate chips (Used for 3 rolls)
For Cookie Dough
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
A large pinch of salt
60 gm (4 Tablespoon) butter t room temperature
1/4 cup castor sugar (increase to 1/3 cup for sweeter dough)
1 large egg (Used 2 Tablespoon Milk)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1 teaspoon lemon zest
Castor sugar for dusting (granulated sugar will do too)
Please watch this video, before you start on this bread so you have a good idea on how to shape the Melon Pan. Whisk together the flour, powdered milk, yeast, and salt in the bowl (or the bowl of your machine if using one). In a smaller bowl, add cold water and add this to the flour mixture in the bowl. Knead (on low speed in the machine) till it all come together as a dough and then (on medium speed) until you have a somewhat stiff dough. Add the sugar and knead well. Now add the butter and knead (first at slow speed and then on medium) until the butter is completely incorporated into the dough and the dough becomes smooth and elastic. The dough should well-kneaded to develop the gluten. Shape the dough into a round, and place it in a lightly oiled bowl. Cover and let it rise till double in volume (about an hour or so).
During this time make the cookie dough. In a bowl, cream the soft butter and sugar till fluffy. Add the milk, and vanilla extract and beat till combined. Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt and add this to the bowl. Also add the lemon zest. 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. Now go back to the bread dough. Once it has doubled in volume, place it on a lightly floured work surface. Lightly grease your baking sheet or line it with parchment. Deflate the dough gently and divide it into 8 equal portions. Shape each portion into a smooth ball like for bread rolls. Work with one portion and keep the others covered so they don’t dry out. Unwrap the cookie dough. It should be reasonably firm now and easy to work with. Slice the cylinder of cookie dough into 8 equal portions. Use two pieces of plastic sheets or cling film to flatten the cookie dough. Place one slice/ round of cookie dough on a piece of plastic sheet/ 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 but not very much so. Carefully take on ball of bread dough (it will have puffed up a little so don’t deflate it), and place the circle of cookie dough on top of it. Gently press the cookie dough edge to the bread dough ball so that it covers the top and sides of the ball, but leaves the bottom open. Gently, holding the covered bread dough by the underside, press it into some castor sugar. Then using a scraper, or the blunt side of a knife, mark the top of the cookie dough side of the bread roll with a cross hatch/ diamond pattern. The pattern should be deep enough (otherwise it will disappear when the bread rises and bakes) without cutting through the cookie dough layer into the bread.