Easy Melon (pan) Bread - A Sweet Japanese Treat - Recipe

Melon Bread, or Melon Pan, is a sweet Japanese bread. The bread is commonly eaten in Japan and is a very popular snack and treat for people of all ages. This sweet is a bread topped with a crispy cookie crust. The outer cookie crust generally contains extract from lemon and sometimes pineapple extract is used. Even though it is called "Melon," it usually contains no traces of melon in it.

I first discovered Melon Bread in 2007 when visiting an Asian market. After the first bite I was hooked. The outer edges were crispy yet soft with a hint of sweet lemon taste. I had tried to find it locally, but I didn't have much luck. When looking online, the treat would cost over $2 each, so ordering it was out of the question.

Soft Melon Bread
Soft Melon Bread

Easy to Bake

Thankfully, this bread is easy to bake. It does take a little effort to make the separate cookie crust, however, you will be rewarded with taste. There is nothing that tastes quite like Melon Bread. The ingredients are simple and whatever you don't have on hand should cost very little. The only thing I had to purchase when I first made the bread was lemon extract.

The recipe below is one I use to make this bread. Hopefully you find it to be just as good as I do.

What You'll Need:

- 1 packet dry yeast
- 1/4 c. water
- 1/2 tsp. sugar
- 1 + 3/4 c. flour
- 1/2 Tbs. salt
- 1 Tbs. + 1 tsp. + 1/4 tsp. sugar ^^
- 3 Tbs. butter
- 7/8 c. water

Crust:

- 1 + 1/4 cup flour
- 1 pinch baking powder
- 2/3 cup butter
- 10 Tbs. sugar
- 1 egg
- 1/2 a lemon peel
- 2 drops lemon extract


How to Prepare

1. Add together the water, yeast and sugar. Make sure to use warm water.

2. Combine all bread ingredients into the bowl with the yeast and sugar.

3. Knead the dough. Add more flour if needed.

4. Lightly oil a bowl. Place the kneaded dough in the bowl. Cover with a towel and allow to rise for 2 hours.

5. Punch the dough. Allow it to rise for 10 minutes.

6. Pinch off walnut-sized chunks from the dough and roll it into balls. Allow the balls to rise for 15 more minutes.

7. Mix all ingredients for the cookie topping together.

8. Refrigerate the cookie dough for an hour.

9. Roll the cookie dough into small balls. Make an even number of balls. The same number of balls as you made dough balls in step 6.

10. Roll out the cookie balls enough that you'll be able to coat the dough with a cookie ball.

11. Place the rolled out cookie ball around the bread dough ball. Leave the bottom uncovered and pinch the seams together.

12. Sprinke the top of each prepared bread with a small amount of sugar.

13. Bake the bread for 12 minutes at 350 degrees.

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Comments 4 comments

Carmen H profile image

Carmen H 5 years ago

I know that in Hong Kong there is also a popular local favorite called Polo Pau which is quite similar to this Japanese Bread - it's a bun with a crispy cookie crust on top and is also pineapple-flavored.


Kelly Hoos 3 years ago

The best bread ever, though I recommend putting the topping inside. When I folded it over, it looked awful, all melty, but regardless, was still quite delicious. I also used real lemon juice instead of lemon extract. THIS IS A 5/5!!


Adge 2 years ago

I probably did something wrong when doing this recipe. When attempting to knead the bread, it was all mushy, sticky, and gross. I ended up doing the covering anyways. After baking, they cookie parts were fine but the bread was still moist. I left them in there for an additional 20 minutes, only to still have the bread moist and the cookie parts practically burnt.

I have tried many variations of melon bread recipes only to have them screw over more or less like how I described. If anyone knows what I am doing wrong I would appreciate some tips.


Anon 2 years ago

I love how the ingredient list is an almost exact copy-paste of the ingredients from this website with modified instructions: http://www.lerman.biz/asagao/melonpan.html

Very nice. Even the "^^" face emote is still there.

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