Melonpan with vanilla, pink and matcha-flavoured cookie crusts! This was a fun recipe! I originally wanted to make them turtle-shaped, inspired by this video. However, the head and legs were too small-sized compared to the body, and they browned too much! For the final product, I actually removed the turtle parts from the melon-pan, heh.
Key takeaways:
  • Form the bread dough with seam-side down, not upwards. Originally I thought that this would hide the creases underneath the cookie. However this caused some of the buns to rise unevenly during the 2nd proofing step.
  • If making turtle shaped melon pan, make the head and legs larger, so that it would bake more evenly. May consider making the cookie smaller too, so that the legs will stick neatly directly on the bun (similar to @audreysaurus), instead of below.
  • Consider adding fillings such as red bean or custard too! Although the topping is already quite sweet, it may not add much to the overall flavour. Also curious about using cake flour (as per the original recipe), similar to justonecookbook.
Next time will try other flavours – including re-creating the best melon pan I’ve ever had in Hokkaido, Japan!!
Melon Pan
Makes 9 melon-pan turtles (or 12 melon-pan)
Melonpan Bread Dough adapted from Cook Kafemaru

200g Bread flour
20g granulated sugar
4g Salt
5g instant dry yeast
133g milk (use cold milk in summer, 40°C milk in winter)
20g unsalted butter, room temperature

Cookie Topping adapted from HNC Kitchen

30g unsalted butter
40g icing sugar
30g beaten egg (room temperature)
95g all purpose flour
2g baking powder
Pink food colouring, 1-2 sp matcha powder


30g granulated sugar for coating bread
Egg wash
Sesame seed (for eyes)

To make Bread Dough:

In a large bowl, combine flour, granulated sugar, salt and instant yeast in a bowl. Add in cold milk and mix using the dough hook until a loose sticky ball is formed. This should take around 5 minutes. Mix in the unsalted butter. Knead for 10-15 minutes until the dough is nice, formed and soft, and no longer sticky. It is done when it has passed the windowpane test. For a guide on hand kneading method, you may refer to this.

Allow the dough to rise in a warm environment for at least 40 minutes or until doubled in size. To check whether it is done, dust your index finger with flour and put it in the center of the dough. If the hole doesn’t close, then the dough is ready for assembly.

To make Cookie Topping:

Add unsalted butter and beat in icing sugar and beaten egg until well blended. Sift in flour and baking powder. Divide into 3 portions and colour 1/3 with pink food colouring, and 1/3 with matcha powder. Place in the fridge to firm up.

To Assemble Turtle Buns:

Remove the dough with a silicone dough scraper and transfer to a lightly floured work surface. Press the dough with your hands to release gas in the dough and deflate. Divide into 12 portions. 9 will be used for the bread buns. Divide each of the remaining 3 portions into 9 pieces. Divide again in 1/2 – this is the head, and then the rest into 1/8 – these are the legs of the turtle.

Divide each colour of the cookie dough portion into 3. You should have 9 small portions. Flatten each disk. Shape the dough into rounds and wrap the cookie around each one (make sure the smooth side is facing the cookie dough! If not, it will not rise evenly). Coat with granulated sugar. Then using a dough scraper or knife, gently score the biscuit dough into a crisscross pattern. Place the dough on the baking sheet, seam side on the bottom. Attach the head and legs with water, and place on sesame seeds for eyes. Let it rise until the dough doubles in size, around 40 minutes. Place on egg wash (optional as it may cause over-browning).

Now preheat the oven to 400°F (204°C). Bake the bread for 10 minutes. Once the bread is baked, transfer to a wire rack. Let it cool for 5 minutes, and enjoy!

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