pan is basically a roll covered with a thin cookielike
shell. It's called melon pan not because of flavor or
ingredients, but because it supposedly resembles a melon.
Now, the recipe I've posted here is completely inauthentic,
because I have not yet found a Japanese recipe I could follow
without headaches, so instead I backwards engineered it. However, it's very
close to the melon pan I've bought at Asian markets,
the main difference being the density of the roll. (Mine
are much lighter.)
What you need:
cafeteria roll dough
temperature sugar cookie dough (I use the stuff
you buy in a stick)
a greased cookie sheet
Make the cafeteria roll dough. After you knead in
the sugar and butter, take little gobs of it and knead
them into firm balls a little larger than a jumbo egg.
Take a tablespoon or so of the sugar cookie dough, flatten
it into a pancake as well as you can, and put it on
top of the ball. Press it down and spread it to
cover as much of the ball as you can; it's OK if the
bottom is bare. Add more cookie dough if needed. Pat the cookie coating down, then
flatten the ball into a bun shape. Place it on the cookie
sheet. Some people score them with in a loose
grid pattern, about four lines by four lines.
Let them rise for 45 minutes at room temperature.
They should double in size. 20 minutes into the rise
preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. When fully risen
- and the cookie shell may be cracking by this time,
which is fine - bake the bread for 12 minutes. Take
out when golden brown, and resist the urge to devour
them all before they cool.
One variation I've tried and enjoyed ("enjoyed"
is too mild a word for it, actually) is chocolate
chip cookie dough in place of sugar cookie dough.
It's completely inauthentic, but in the name of deliciosity
I will take liberties now and again!