I’ve made these lovely little buns a few times before, but I decided it was time to try a new recipe. Especially because I found a recipe video of melon pan on youtube. Someone made a youtube channel entirely dedicated to food and recipes. It was amazing. A whole new world opened up to me. Did you know there are so many people on youtube with whole channels dedicated to food? It’s amazing! I never knew! It makes me want to give it a try as well, but I already know I wouldn’t very much like seeing my face on the internet or hearing my voice nor my talent for filming or my editing with windows movie maker. No, the whole thing is just a terrible idea. I’ll just stick to watching other people.
Back to the lovely bun. I finally know why it’s called melon pan. I’ve always thought it was called melon pan due to the taste. (I still wish it was.) I was totally wrong. The buns are called melon pan because of shape, which is supposed to resemble a melon. I’ve seen this being called pineapple bun, which I believe would be more accurate. I wonder how it would taste with a hint of pineapple. Oh, I wonder about all the different tastes I could put in it. So far I’ve tried banana, chocolate, vanilla –of course- and mocha. I’ve also finally made my turtle melon pan’s! Next time the shells need to be green. What taste can I try that goes with green? Green tea? Pandan? Oh, the possibilities are endless!
Ingredients for the bread dough:
140g bread flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons milk powder
1 teaspoon instant yeast
1 tablespoon beaten egg (about 1 small egg)
70ml lukewarm water
Ingredients for the cookie topping:
25g beaten egg
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1. Start with making the bread dough: sift the flour into a bowl.
2. Add the sugar, salt, milk powder and instant yeast and mix it with a whisk.
3. Beat the egg and the water together and pour it into the bowl. Mix it in with a fork and then knead until you have a slightly sticky dough. Add more flour if needed.
4. Place the butter in the dough and knead until it is fully incorporated. Then leave the dough to rise (in a greased bowl with plastic wrap or towel over it) for about 40 minutes or until doubled in size.
5. Knead the dough to remove the trapped gas and roll it into a cylinder. Cut the dough into 6 or 12 equal pieces. (Or any other amount depending on the size you want.)
6. Roll the pieces into balls and put them on an oven tray (greased or lined with greaseproof paper). Let them rise for another 20 minutes.
7. Now comes the tricky part: we’ll cover the dough-balls in cookie dough. You can see a picture of it on an older post of mine on melon pan here or watch this youtube video for a good explanation. Start with putting sugar in a bowl and cutting two pieces of plastic wrap.
8. Take a bit of cookie dough and shape it into a ball. Place it on a piece of plastic wrap and cover it with another piece of plastic wrap, then flatten it into a large circle with your hands or a flat object. The plastic wrap will prevent the dough from sticking to everything. Then take one of dough-balls we shaped before and roll it again. Take the flat cookie dough and place it on your dough-ball, wrap it around the ball, leaving only the bottom open. ‘Pinch’ the bottom with your fingers and hold the dough-ball in one hand like that, and roll it into sugar. Then place it bake on to the baking sheet.
9. Repeat step 8 to cover all the dough-balls in cookie dough and sugar. Take a knife and make 2-3 diagonal cuts on the bun and another 2-3 crossing those (think melon/pineapple!). Leave them to rise again for another 40 minutes.
10. Preheat the oven to 170 degrees Celsius or 340 degrees Fahrenheit. Leave the buns in the oven for 12-15 minutes and voilà!
These are without a doubt the most fluffy little buns I’ve ever tasted. I’ve made them so many times now I can’t even remember. Did you follow step 7 and 8? I honestly didn’t know how to put it down in words so someone would understand. When you don't understand, just watch the video. It's very easy to do, just hard and long to explain. Don't let this hold you back from making them because you're seriously missing out if you haven't tasted them before!
If you’re wondering which of the recipes to go with, I can tell you they’re not that much different. I realized the cake topping is practically the same. The recipe for the sweet bun is also very much alike. However I did get more success with this recipe rather than the previous ones. Whether that is due to practice, the flour I used, the way I baked them or the minor changes in the recipe, I wouldn’t actually know.
A note on the turtle melon pans: if you want to make your own, make the bun first and cover it in cookie dough. Then add little balls for the feet and head later. It comes out prettier that way. I didn't add any pictures of these totally cute buns, mainly because they came out completely horrible on the picture. The day I made these was the second day in a row that I was "forced" to make melon pan and the whole family attacked the food as soon as it was out of the oven. I barely had any time to save my life let alone my buns to take a picture.