Melon Pan Recipe

Rating 5.0
| 1
Melon pan, also known as melon bread, is a classic Japanese bakery treat that is sometimes shaped like a turtle or colored with a bit of matcha powder. Pillowy soft milk bread is covered with a crisp cookie crust that is perfect as a snack, breakfast or even dessert.
Utensils Breakfast
Globe Japanese
Giselle is a recipe developer and content creator that loves all things sweet and savory. She runs her own food blog, The Busy Spatula, and her work has been featured on Yahoo!, Marvel Studios and the Kitchn.


For the Melon Pan
2 cup(s)
bread flour, plus more if needed
1/2 cup(s)
cake flour
1/4 cup(s)
granulated sugar
2 1/4 tsp
instant yeast
1 tsp
2/3 cup(s)
whole milk, lukewarm
egg, room temperature
2 tblsp
unsalted butter, softened
For the Cookie Dough Crust
1/4 cup(s)
unsalted butter, room temperature
2/3 cup(s)
granulated sugar, plus more for topping
1 1/3 cup(s)
cake flour, divided
1 tsp
vanilla extract
1/2 tsp
baking powder
pinch of salt

Directions 29 steps | 200 Minutes

Step 1

Measure and prep all ingredients.

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Step 2

In the bowl of a standing mixer, whisk together the bread flour, cake flour, granulated sugar, instant yeast and salt.

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Step 3

In a measuring cup, whisk together the whole milk and egg.

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Step 4

Stir in the milk mixture into the flour mixture until a shaggy dough forms.

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Step 5

Using the dough hook, knead the bread on medium-low speed for about 3 minutes. Add the butter to the mixture and knead until the butter is incorporated, about 3-5 minutes. Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel and let rest for 8 minutes.

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Step 6

Remove the kitchen towel and knead the dough by hand or the stand mixer until a smooth and elastic dough forms and the dough starts to pull away from the bowl, about 10-20 minutes. If the dough continues to stick to the edges of the bowl, add about one to three tablespoons of bread flour.

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Step 7

Remove the dough from the stand mixer and shape it into a smooth round ball. Place the dough in a greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Place the bowl in a warm room and let the dough rise until nearly doubled in size, about 45-60 minutes.

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Step 8

While the dough is rising, prepare the cookie dough. In a mixing bowl, add the softened butter and whisk until the butter is lighter in color and smooth.

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Step 9

Add the granulated sugar and whisk until smooth and well combined.

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Step 10

Sift one tablespoon of cake flour over the bowl and mix until well combined.

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Step 11

Whisk together the egg and vanilla extract in a measuring cup. Add a small portion of the egg mixture to the butter mixture and whisk until combined. Repeat until all of the egg mixture has been incorporated.

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Step 12

Sift the remaining cake flour, baking powder and salt over the bowl. Mix until well combined.

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Step 13

Divide the cookie dough into twelve portions. Roll each dough into a smooth ball. Transfer the cookie dough balls onto a parchment-lined sheet pan and cover it with plastic wrap. Refrigerate the cookie dough while the bread rises.

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Step 14

Lightly dust your work surface. Remove the risen bread dough from the bowl and deflate it by gently pushing it down.

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Step 15

Divide the dough into three equal portions.

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Step 16

Flatten out one portion of the dough and do the letter fold by folding in the left third of the dough onto the center and then the right third of the dough onto the center.

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Step 17

Repeat the letter fold vertically. 

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Step 18

Roll the dough into a smooth ball, seam side down. Repeat with the remaining two portions of dough. Divide each ball of dough into four, creating twelve even portions of dough.

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Step 19

Roll each portion of dough into a smooth ball, creating twelve smooth balls. Evenly space out the dough balls onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 10 minutes.

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Step 20

Remove the cookie dough balls from the refrigerator. Press each cookie dough ball between the palm of your hand to create a flat disc. 

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Step 21

Use a rolling pin or your hands to stretch the cookie dough out into a four-inch round disc. Repeat with the remaining cookie dough.

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Step 22

Once the bread dough is done resting, flatten one dough ball with your hands and perform the envelope fold. Repeat the envelope fold vertically. Pinch the ends to create a spherical shape. Work the dough into a smooth ball. Repeat with the remaining bread dough.

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Step 23

Place one flattened cookie dough on the palm of your hand and place a bread dough ball in the center with the seam side facing up.

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Step 24

Form the cookie dough around the bread dough, creating a cookie dough crust. Repeat with the remaining dough.

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Step 25

Place about ¼ cup of granulated sugar in a small bowl. Dip the cookie dough side of the bread into the sugar, evenly coating the surface. Repeat with the remaining dough balls.

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Step 26

Using a bench scraper or a small knife, score a criss-cross pattern on top of each dough ball.

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Step 27

Cover the dough with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for 40-50 minutes or until puffy.

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Step 28

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Bake for about 15-18 minutes, rotating the pan halfway, until the cookie crust is golden brown and the bread is fully baked.

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Step 29

Let cool and enjoy!

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Nutrition Per Serving
View All
7.5 g
6.1 g
49.3 g


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Emma C.


03 Oct 2022

This melon pan recipe looks amazing! Have to try!

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