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Japanese Honeydew Bread

Coated in a sugar topping, this soft pastry is filled with a honeydew custard and has the perfect amount of sweetness!

Image from Cherry on my Sundae


  • Honeydew syrup

  • 2 cups honeydew chunks about ¼ of a honeydew

  • ¼ cup granulated sugar

  • Dough

  • 1 tsp active dry yeast

  • 1 tsp granulated sugar

  • ½ cup warm milk (100-110 degrees F)

  • 1 ¾ cups bread flour

  • ½ tsp salt

  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar

  • 2 tbsp butter softened

  • 1 egg

  • Honeydew custard

  • 1 ½ cups honeydew juice about 2 cups honeydew chunks

  • 4 eggs

  • ½ cup granulated sugar

  • 2 tbsp cornstarch

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

  • ¼ cup honeydew syrup

  • Bread topping

  • 5 tbsp butter softened

  • ⅓ cup granulated sugar

  • 1 egg

  • 2 tbsp honeydew syrup

  • 1 ½ cups cake flour

  • ½ tsp baking powder

  • 1 drop green food coloring (optional)


  1. Make the honeydew syrup. Puree 2 cups honeydew until smooth. Combine with ¼ cup sugar and bring to a boil over medium heat in a medium saucepot. Continue to cook until the liquid is reduced by half, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and cool completely.

  2. Prepare the dough for the bread. Combine 1 tsp active dry yeast with 1 tsp sugar and ½ cup warm milk. Let sit for 10 minutes or until the yeast has been activated and the mixture is foamy. Mix together the yeast mixture with 1 ¾ cups bread flour, ½ tsp salt, 2 tbsp sugar, 2 tbsp softened butter, and 1 egg until the dough comes together. Knead the dough for 7-8 minutes or until smooth. Transfer the dough to a clean bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm area for 1 hour or until doubled in size.

  3. Meanwhile, make the honeydew custard. Puree about 2 cups honeydew to make 1 ½ cups honeydew juice. Whisk together the juice with 4 eggs, ½ cup sugar, 2 tbsp cornstarch, 1 tsp vanilla, and ¼ cup honeydew syrup. Bring to a simmer over medium-low heat in a medium saucepot, whisking continuously. Continue to simmer the custard until it thickens, about 5-7 minutes. Remove from heat and transfer to a clean bowl. Place plastic wrap directly on top of the custard and let cool completely.

  4. Punch down the dough and divide it into 8 even pieces. Shape each piece into a round ball and roll out into an 8-inch circle. Fill the center of the dough with 2 tbsp honeydew custard (add more custard if you can!) and gather up the edges to seal in the custard. Place the seam side down on a lined baking sheet and continue with the remaining dough. Loosely wrap the honeydew bread and let rise in a warm area for 1 hour.

  5. Meanwhile, make the bread topping. Cream together 5 tbsp softened butter with ⅓ cup sugar until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Add 1 egg and beat until combined. Add 2 tbsp honeydew syrup, 1 ½ cups cake flour, ½ tsp baking powder, and 1 drop of green food coloring if using. Mix well until the green food coloring is well distributed in the dough. Shape the dough into a log and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes or until firm.

  6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

  7. Remove the bread topping from the fridge and slice into 8 pieces. Flatten each piece until it's big enough to cover the top of the bread. Lay the bread topping on top of the rolls and score the top, making a crisscross pattern. Bake the honeydew bread for 10-12 minutes or until the bottoms of the bread are browned. Let cool completely. Serve.


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