The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Melon Bread!

NewBaker's picture

Melon Bread!

This is a type of bread originated in Japan. Its basically a cookie/bread combination. Cookie dough on the out side and bread dough on the inside. does anyone have a recipie to this unique bread?

Altaf's picture

I have no idea. But i know that there are a lot of beautiful bread in japan especialy the ones scented with green tea (match). Oh i love to see apost of them here plus photos of course.

Charter Mage's picture
Charter Mage

Hey i've been wondering the same thing. At the moment i'm watching a anime called Yakitate Japan (Yakitate basically meaning Freash Baked), it's all about baking bread, and one of my favourite things at the moment. And in one episode they make Melon Bread, i've wanted to try it ever since, along with the many other wonderful bread creations they seem to have in Japan

bottleny's picture

Here is the instruction in Japanese with photos.

You can try the on-line translation to get the ingredients from here
(select the right one under the url box)
The translation here is better than google's.

In short, make the bread dough using regular recipes for dinner roll (ie not lean one).
Ingredients for the melon paste:
Pastry flour 220g (100%)
Sugar 120g (55%)
Butter 66g (30%)
Egg 62g (28%; about 1 large. add water if not enough)

bottleny's picture
minako's picture

I am a Japanese woman loving melon bread. It is very popular in Japan and we can find it at almost every bakery. There are even shops specializing various melon breads. I like to bake enough to make the surface crispy.

Here is my recipe.


Bread dough

  • hard flour 200g
  • dry yeast 2 teaspoon
  • butter 20g
  • sugar 2 tablespoon
  • salt 1/2 teaspoon
  • lukewarm water 1/2 cup
  • egg 1/2 piece

    Topping cookie dough

  • soft flour 120g
  • baking powder 1/2 teaspoon
  • butter 40g
  • sugar 50g
  • egg 1/2 piece
  • table sugar 1 tablespoon

    How to make 1. Kneading: 15 minutes with bread kneader 2. Primary fermentation: 40 minutes at 30 degrees centigrade 3. Preparation of Topping: Cream butter and sugar in a bowl. Beat in egg. Combine the flour and baking powder. Roll dough into 9 balls. Put them in refrigerator for 30 minutes. 4. Shaping: Punch the dough down and divide it into 9 pieces. Round each dough into a ball and let dough rest for 15 minutes. Put the topping cookie dough out of refrigerator and roll out each of them into 3 inches in diameter. Cover the bread dough with this cookie dough. Put the table sugar on the top of dough, and make a lattice pattern with the back of knife. 5. Secondary fermentation: 30 minutes at 35 degree centigrade 6. Baking: 15 minutes at 180 degree centigrade

  • qahtan's picture

    So the name "Melon" bread is for the way it is cut,
    I thought it had melon in the recipe, :-)))
    thanks, qahtan

    Erithid's picture

    Until I saw the melon bread episode of Yakitate Japan. ;-p ~Erithid

    jinjin's picture

    what does she mean by 'hard flour' and 'soft flour'? and i'm also wondering what she means by 1/2 egg.

    Floydm's picture

    I assumed that hard flour meant bread flour and soft flour cake flour. I used all-purpose for both.

    I didn't get the 1/2 piece egg either. I added 1 whole egg when I made them.

    claydust's picture

    All of the recipes use "strong flour" and "light/weak flour"
    The "strong/hard flour" is bread flour.
    The "light/weak flour" is some sort of "wheat flour of low viscosity".... so, low-gluten maybe?

    And since most recipes measure the ingredients by weight, rather than volume, that's likely where the 1/2 egg piece comes in. Using a medium egg is probably the equivalent amount.

    josordoni's picture

    I think she might mean 1 to 2 eggs, or 1 - 2 ,  (depending on their size I would think) rather than one half, 1/2.  I have got into the habit these days of spelling out the half and three quarters if I need them so people don't put 3-4 teaspoons of salt into the bread!  LOL



    bizzylizzy1uk's picture

    By any chance have you got a recipe for japanese cream bread & double soft white bread please.

    thanks in advance bizzy

    Floydm's picture

    Thanks for posting the recipe, minako. I tried baking some today. Check it out!

    qahtan's picture

    About the melon bread, on looking over the ingredients
    and method.

    OK there is two lists for ingredients, one the bread dough
    the other the cookie dough.
    It also tells how to prepare the cookie dough , but all it says about the bread dough is
    Kneading, 15 minutes with bread kneader.
    Is it an all in the bowl together , mix and leave to rise, then continue as instruction say, knock back etc. qahtan

    Floydm's picture

    I put together the bread dough in my stand mixer. Gave it about a 5 to 10 minute mix. Then I let it rise for about 45 minutes before dividing and preshaping. I don't know if that is the "right" way of doing it, but it worked well enough.

    qahtan's picture

    OK, Thanks.
    Have just made whole wheat with a cup of multigrain
    added to the ingredients.

    Also put the brandy into my Christmas cake fruit, hope to make the cake over the weekend. qahtan

    Justepan's picture

    If i don't have a bread mixer and want to do it by hand, how long should I knead it for? I assume that it will take much much longer.

    Floydm's picture

    I'd say until your hands get tired, like 5 or 10 minutes.

    This is a tasty little bread, but it is high yeast and low on fermentation time. You aren't really shooting for maximum gluten development or anything spectacular from the ingredients, just something sweet to nibble on.

    Justepan's picture

    Thanks! It worked great!

    I tried it a second time, kneading fresh mango into the bread dough but when I baked it, it seems like it didn't rise as much, and the mango flavour was completely gone...

    I have read that if you add fresh fruit to bread dough, it will melt the dough and make it liquidy unless you heat up the fruit first. I tried that but it seems something still went wrong. I am thinking of just using powdered mango instead of fresh mango, but I wanted some input first.


    finewonderland's picture

    I added 1 teaspoon orange blossom water to make it somewhat fruity, and it worked (not melon-like, though, just fruit-like)

    Hoshiko's picture

    i found this recipe that gives more of a detailed list

    1. Pan 2. Topping

    - 1 packet dry yeast
    - 1/4 c. water
    - 1/4 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
    - 1 + 1/4 c. flour
    - 1 pinch baking powder
    - 2/3 c. butter
    - 10 Tbs. sugar
    - 1 egg
    - 1/2 a lemon peel
    - a little bit of melon essence*

    * use pineapple extract if you can't find it
    Part I:
    1. Heat water to 100-110 F and add yeast and sugar. Let stand for around ten minutes.
    2. Combine remaining bread ingredients in a bowl and add yeast. You'll probably have to add some more flour.
    3. After you've added enough flour so that it isn't terribly sticky kneed it for 10-20 min. on a floured surface. Add more flour as needed.
    4. Lightly grease the bowl and place the dough back in it, turning it over once to moisten the top. Cover and let stand in a warm place for 2 hours. Dough should at least double in bulk.
    5. Punch dough and kneed lightly for 10 min. Pinch off walnut sized pieces and shape them into balls. Place on a cookie sheet and let rise in a warm place for 15 min.

    Part II:
    6. Mix all the ingredients for the cookie topping together. Sometimes it helps later on if you melt the butter.
    7. Coat the bread rolls (which should be puffy now) with the cookie topping. If you've melted the butter it'll be a little easier...I usually just wash my hands really well and use them.
    8. If you wish, sprinkle the top with sugar.
    9. Bake at 350-375 F for 12-15 min., or until edges are slightly brown.
    10. If you want them to have that mushy, just bought in Japan taste cover them individually with plastic wrap right after you take them out of the oven.

    Paddyscake's picture

    My husband and kids love Melon Bread/Cakes. I can't wait to
    this recipe.

    mangaholik's picture

    I have to say, the recipe that Hoshiko posted right above may need some tweeking.  It was the first recipe that I found here on the net and it didn't come out very well.  I mean, it looked great and tasted fairly good but it wasn't as flavorful as I thought it would be.  I'm for sure going to be trying out other methods to see what comes out best to my liking. 

    ianz's picture

    i'm yakitate fans..

    in the manga they put some melon juice in the bread ..

    is that the right way..

    or just a variation.. 

    Darkstar's picture

    It's funny how paying attention to bread blogs stimulates interest in new types of baked goods to me. I first saw the Melon Bread on Floyd's Recent Baking post. Now I go browsing the recipies on the WildYeast Blog and low and behold Melon Bread!

    I didn't know it existed when I woke up this morning. Now I've found two people that have made it and blogged about it and have seen three recipies.

    I'm on a bit too big a sourdough kick right now to want to deviate to make these soon but I've got to tell you Floyd, your picture of the Melon Bread looked delicious!





    woefulbaker's picture

    I've never made these before but just had my first go.

    Melon PanMelon Pan

    I used an improvised recipe based on my anpan dough (which I also made today - I'm going to be faaaat) and a cookie dough similar to the one posted above (less flour).




    lynnliu1026's picture

    Just want to let you know I have been searching for a recipe like this forever! Will try and see what it will turn out. Thank you!!!

    spookyempath's picture

    melon pan actually contains no melon flavoring.  all it really is is a sweet bread.  i used to work at a japanese bakery in Honolulu.  and it's not really sweet; it's only mildly sweet.  the best part about melon pan in the outer shell.-spookyempath

    Sorena's picture

    The one recipe I found was the one that had you putting in melon essence or pineapple extract. I could not find melon essence so I used the pineapple extract and I love it!

     But to those who would like the process to be faster/easier I suggest going to the store and in the freezer aisle where they keep the boxed pies and other assorted desserts. They should have a few shelves of things like dinner rolls and cinnamon rolls. 

    Look for Rhodes dinner rolls. They come in a small, square bag. The rolls inside are nothing but round dough balls. Look through the clear plastic to be sure you got the right kind since Rhodes makes a lot of different kinds.

     These are nice because all you have to do is set them out for a short amount of time to let them rise. All you have to do is make the cookie topping and place it on top.

     These rolls make for very good melon bread.

     Also I tried using orange and lemon extract to find other flavors and I prefer the orange. They're all very good, though I highly suggest the pineapple extract.

    uchinanchu's picture

    Here is a recipe for melon pan that I found online.

    I don't know if these recipes are any good, it is just a website I stumbled acrossed while searching for Japanese breads.  

    teroli's picture

    Hi! I am wrinting this from Mie Pref. Japan.

    I'm a Japanese woman, who has just started bread baking 7 months before.

    I'am so happy to see that some of you are interestead in the Melone Pan origined in Japan. Please check the following sites for your reference. I hope to tell you Melone Pan tips found throughout my experience in near future. 

    As you know I'm not good at writing English very well. So I am happy if you would give me some time for translating them into English.

    Thank you. Have a nice baking day!

    (1)  The Melone Pan we baked in the breadbaking lesson.

    (2) The Melone Pan I made at home (fat/oil-free dough)


    Holynub's picture

    Hello, I'm new to the site as well as bread baking.  My family used to own a bakery, but we specialized in primarily pies.  I started watching "Yakitate Japan" when it was recommended by a friend.  Since then, I thought i'd give baking bread a try.

    I was really taken by the idea of Japan #58, the melon bread.  The idea of baking the topping separately, creating a thoroughly cooked cookie dough crust that is kinda slapped on top of the bread portion sounded out of this world, yet possibly scrumptious. So I am embarking on a challenge to turn anime into reality. 

    My main question would be about the topping.  In most of the recipies I have read, the topping is a cake flour based dough.  However, most cookie doughs i know of are made with regular AP flour.  Is the merit of using the cake flour limited to the fact that in standard Melon breads they are baked together?  I was thinking about using a heavier cookie dough top to add contrast between the lighter bread portion underneath.

    Not sure how long it's gonna be till anyone replies to this, so I'll just post updates on my crazy adventures with melon bread as replies.


    ninja_nemo's picture

    Wow! That sounds exciting! I'm sorry that i can't answer your question but I would love to know how your adventures go! I also loooove the anime yakitate and was looking up a melon bread recipe bacuase of it! It has inspired me to try baking some bread (which i have already done a bit of)! I, myself, wanted to try out some of Azuma's recipes (including his melon bread) but I lack the experience and knowledge to do so. I would love to hear how your experimenting goes!

    You have my full support (if that means anything to you!)


    yachiruangel's picture

    Hello! My name is Kelley. :] I'm not a very experienced baker, because I am still a senior in high school (and I have to study for AP/ IB exams), but I tried Minako's recipe and it was DELICIOUS! LIKE FOR SERIOUS! and I am happy because melonpan is my favorite type of bread :3

    I Kelleyfied it:

    Bread dough
    • 1 2/3 cup all purpose flour
    • 2 tsp dry yeast
    • 3.2 tbs butter
    • 2 tbs sugar
    • ½ tsp salt
    • ½ cup warm water
    • 1 egg

    Topping cookie dough
    • 1 cup all purpose flour
    • ½ tsp baking powder
    • 6 ½ tbsp butter
    • ¼ cup sugar
    • 1 egg
    • 1 tbs sugar

    Bread dough:
    1. Combine the yeast + warm water + sugar + ½ cup flour.
    2. Cover and leave in a warm non-drafty place for 1 to 3 hours.
    3. Combine the remaining ingredients for the bread dough.
    4. Ferment in a covered bowl for 40 minutes in a warm, non-drafty place.

    Cookie Topping:
    5. Cream butter and sugar in a bowl until white and fluffy. Really. White and floofy. So floofy you'll want to sleep in it. Works best when you have your little sister do it for you.
    6. Beat in the egg (It will look kind of weird, but once you add in the flour it's all good :])
    7. Sift together the flour and baking powder, then beat in a spoonful at a time into the butter/sugar/egg mixture. (Then refrigerate for 30 minutes)

    Bread dough:
    8. Punch the dough down and divide into 9 pieces. (If you want to add filling, now is the time to do it! My mom added in red bean paste to 3 of them)
    9. Roll each piece of dough into a ball and let rest for 15 minutes.

    Cookie Topping:
    10. Take the cookie topping out of the fridge and spoon out a chunk of cookie dough onto a floured surface.
    11. Flatten it with your fist into a circly-looking shape. (Repeat 8 more times)

    The Rest:

    12. Cover the bread dough with this cookie dough.
    13. Score the dough with the back of a knife, and sprinkle sugar on top.
    14. Let dough + cookie topping ferment for 30 minutes in a warm, non-drafty place.
    15. Bake for 15 minutes at 350F.

    It depends on your oven, but I had to bake it for 18 minutes, and turned off the oven and left it in there for a couple more minutes to let it brown a bit more.

    I just finished baking them!

    If i manage to find out how to insert a picture.. I'll try. ;-; Sorry about that!

    boilerbaker's picture

    Yes, the 1-2 egg probably is a medium egg.  I do ESL conversation tutoring with some Japanese women, and one gave me a melon bread recipe.  She uses the bread machine to prepare the dough, using bread flour.  For the cookie dough part, she uses all purpose flour.  She also usually uses a large egg!  Make sure not to bake the melon bread too long. They should be pale, not brown.  

    Juergen Krauss's picture
    Juergen Krauss

    My wife lived in Japan for a while, and it seems one of the things she misses is authentic "melon pan"

    I found minako's recepie here on TheFreshLoaf, and it worked perfectly - after reminding myself about some pastry basics and getting to trust minako's amounts.

    Below a photo ofhalf-size melon pan for a school fair.

    There is a lot of confusion in the melon pan blog about the amounts, therefore I'll repost minako's recipe with metric amounts and baker's ratios. I also doubled the amounts, because I find it much easier to work with a slightly more substantial amount of dough. 

    I made this sucessfully at least 5 times, including for a haloween party ( with a drop of food coloring between the pastry and bread dough, the cracks appear red - spooky) and for a Harry Potter themed school party ( with a characteristic scar by you-know-who). 

    Here minako's recipe combined my method.

    Melon Pan (makes 18 buns)

    Bakers ratios are given in brackets

    Bread dough
    Strong white flour 400g (1.0)
    Quick action dry yeast 14g (0.035) (X3 for fresh yeast)
    Butter (unsalted) 40g (0.1)
    Sugar 60g (0.15)
    Salt 6g (0.015)
    Water 228g (0.57)
    Egg 60g (0.15) (This is about 1 large egg)

    40g of dough per bun

    Pastry dough
    White pastry flour 240g (1.0)
    Baking powder 6g (0.025)
    Butter (unsalted) 80g (0.33)
    Sugar 100g (0.42)
    Egg 60g (0.25) (This is about 1 large egg)

    25g of dough per bun

    At room temperature in our kitchen (about 22C) it takes about 3.5 hours from start to finish.

    1. Start with making the pastry dough. Cream sugar and butter. Mix until the color changes into something more whiteish.
    2. Add the egg and mix until smooth.
    3. Sift in the flour and baking powder bit by bit.
    4. Roll into a ball and put into the fridge.

    5. Now the bread dough: Mix flour, yeast, water and egg.
    6. Work the dough until gluten is well developed
    7. Spread out the dough, sprinkle salt on top and continue working the dough
    8. Spread out the dough, sprinkle sugar on top and continue working the dough. It gets a bit messy now, as the sugar pulls the water from the gluten. Continue until the dough gets smooth again and comes off the worktop.
    9. Spread out the dough, sprinkle little pieces of butter on top and continue working the dough. Now it gets really messy. Continue until the dough gets smooth again and comes off the worktop.
    10. Shape into a ball and prove for about 40 to 60 minutes (dough doubled in size)

    11. Near the end of the proof take the pastry dough out of the fridge and divide into 25g pieces.
    12. Roll the pieces into balls and keep cool.

    13. Turn out bread dough onto worktop, stretch and fold a few times (or punch down, whatever you want to call it)
    14. Divide dough into 40g pieces and shape pieses into balls
    15. Let balls rest for amout 15 minutes. Shaping can take a lot of time - the first balls might be ready after you shaped the last one, depending on the room temperature

    (Now comes the *scary* step, it sounds worse than it is)
    16. Make the buns one by one: Roll out a ball of pastry dough (I could just recognise the worktop pattern through the dough)
    17. Wrap the pastry sheet around a bread dough ball, without deflating the yeast ball, and witout tearing the pastry sheet, and place on a greased baking sheet.
    18. Make lattice-like impressions on top of the bun using a dough scraper or the back of a knife. You don't want to cut or tear the pastry dough
    19. Sprinkle some sugar on top.

    Setps 18 and 19 can be done for a batch of buns, but don't let them go too dry before you do this.
    20. Proceed to the next bun.

    The photo below shows the half-size buns being made: left the rested bread balls, middle the pastry balls, and right the bread balls wrapped in pastry sheets. You need the space between them as they'll rise quite a bit.

    21. Let the buns rest for another 30 minutes before baking.

    Again, you need to take into account room temperature, the time you need to make the buns and the capacity of your oven. You might want to put half of your bread dough into the fridge (to delay fermentation) in step 10.

    22. Bake 12 to 15 minutes at 180C. The buns should turn very slightly golden.

    23. Finished! Let them cool, and enjoy. They keep a couple of days, but might loose their crunchiness.

    What an effort! But it's worth it - the soft sweet yeast buns with a crunchy crust has been a great success everytime I made them.

    The most amazing thing to me is how the expanding yeast dough stretches the pastry dough. (Usually the pastry won't crack that mutch. For the batch in the pictures I used butter with a higher water content, which left the pastry dough less elastic.)

    The photos posted are of a batch for a school fair, for which I made 38 half-sized buns.

    teketeke's picture

    Hi, Jeurgen!

    Wow, They look really great!!  I haven't made melon pan for a while... Your melon pan motivates me to make them with my children that will be fun!  Thank you for the metaric amounts that is very helpful! I rather use metaric amounts that is more accurate.

    Great job,


    Juergen Krauss's picture
    Juergen Krauss

    Thank you, Akiko.

    lowecc's picture

    Joe at Joe Pastry did this last week.  Here is the link for the recipe Melon Pan

    Joe also posted pictures durring his process of putting the recipe together and his final results, gives a lot of history as well in his blog

    mw's picture

    I was just about to comment the exact same thing. I love Joe Pastry's history lessons.

    jyslouey's picture

    I've made something very similar and the biggest problem I encountered was getting the pastry dough onto the bread dough without it falling apart.  I let the buns complete the final proof before putting on the topping as this would melt if I were to let it proof for a further half hr before putting in the oven.  I can't leave it to proof in the fridge but  if the topping is too cold, it may affect the rise of bread dough from rising  properly? Any suggestion as to how I can overcome this?

    Juergen Krauss's picture
    Juergen Krauss

    Hi, Thanks a lot.

    The elasticity of the pastry dough is really the most interesting bit here.

    I had 2 "failures". I remembered reading about the role of fat in doughs in a book written by two French food researchers. I can't give you names right now ( the book has disappeared in some storage boxes in the loft), but I remembered they said to really mix butter and fat well.

    It takes a while, but the color change is quite noticeable, as I wrote above. And - at least in my kitchen - the pastry dough is elastic enough to stretch with the proofing yeast buns.

    The first failure was because I was in experimenting mood and ignored a lot of things I should have remembered, The buns were tasty nonetheless.

    The second failure - I started by pouring the sugar and yolks together - and didn't want to waste it. The pastry turned out a lot more brittle.

    Timing is another interesting thing with this formula: When making the buns (18 or so) the first shaped bun has already risen a bit while you are just shaping your last bun.

    My topping was quite thin, I don't think it adversely affected the much bigger mass of bread dough. I proofed at an ambient temperature of 24C without any problem.

    It needs some time, space in the kitchen, trust that they will turn out right, and no intruders to make these (in my opinion). I found that unlike when making bread I was continuously busy for 3.5 to 4 hours with these buns.

    I hope this helps,

    Happy baking,



    lumos's picture

    I'm Japanese and been brought up eating those  Japanese style breads which I used to love but now I'm not so keen....:p

    But still,  I think probably this is one of the best blog if you want to find recipes for Japanese style breads. The guy's been running very popular bread blog for years (his forte is definitely that sort of breads and also sweets) and started translating some of his recipes into English to practice the language. He seems to have quite a few loyal. non-Japanese speaking followers especially in South East Asia.

    Here's his recipe for Melon Pan and for other recipes, this is the top page for his English site.  Many of Japanese style breads are under 'Popular Breads' in Bread index.