From Tokyo with Love (for Food)

Gratin-style Bread with Autumn Vegetables

Those who have visited a Japanese bread shop know that they are filled with original shaped and flavoured breads. There is roughly speaking 3 categories – sweet kashipan, savoury o-kazupan, and shokupan, bread for daily consuming, meaning white toast-like loaf bread.

Anpan (sweet red bean paste filling bread), kuriimupan (custard filling bread) and melonpan (soft bread topped with crunchy cookie dough) are probably the most known kashipan, but the varieties are many more.

However, most o-kazupan use cheese, mayonnaise, bacon and sausages – sometimes combined with season’s vegetables. So it’s time to get creative!

Gratin-Style Bread with Autumn Vegetables (8 pcs)

200 g plain flour
20 g sugar
4 g dry yeast
20 g egg
100 cc milk
20 g butter
1/2 tsp salt

White sauce:
25 g plain flour
25 g butter
300 cc milk
A hint of white pepper

Vegetables for filling:
1/2 pack of shimeji mushrooms
1 potato
1/4 onion
40 g bacon
1/2 tsp vegetable oil
1/2 tsp soy sauce

For finishing touch:
Some beaten egg
Grated cheese
Dried parsley

1) Make the dough first. Put half of the flour in a bowl, and put sugar and yeast next to each other on it.
2) Put the other half of the flour, salt and cubed butter in another bowl.
3) Pour the egg in the first bowl, but not on the yeast and sugar. Warm the milk to 42°C and pour on the yeast and sugar. Mix well with a wooden spatula.
4) Add the ingredients in the second bowl to the mixture, and mix until the “flourness” is gone.
5) Move the dough to a table, and knead by hand. When the dough comes nicely in shape, roll with both hands like drawing the alphabet V.
6) Move in a bowl, put a wrap on it and let proof in 40°C for 25 mins.
7) Prepare the vegetables next. Peel the potato and onion, cut the potato in bite-size and onion in thin slices vertically. Cut the stalk of the shimeji off, and rip in smaller bunches by hand. Cut the bacon in 1 cm slices.
8) Boil the potato cubes in salted water for 5 mins. Put 1/2 tsp of oil on a frying pan, and fry bacon over medium heat. Add onion slices and fry until they become transparent. Add the mushrooms and 1/2 tsp of soy sauce and mix quickly. When the potatoes are finished, add to the mixture and let cool down.
9) When the dough has become double the original size, push it down to get the excess air out. Move to table and cut in 8 pieces. Shape in balls and let them rest under wrap for 15 mins.
10) Prepare the white sauce. Put flour and butter in a microwave safe bowl (glass bowl is recommended), put a wrap on the bowl and heat in 600 W microwave for 2 mins. Mix well with a whisk.
11) Add 1/3 of the milk mixing well at the same time. Add the rest of the milk, mix and put the wrap on. Heat again on 600 W for 7 mins.
12) Mix well, put the wrap back on and heat another 2 mins 30 s.
13) Mix and add a hint of white pepper for taste. Add also the vegetables prepared in 8).
14) Line up 8 aluminum foil cups (Ø 8cm) on a oven plate. Take one ball of the dough and flatten by hand making a round fitting to the foil cup. Place nicely in foil cup and picket with a fork. Prepare all the rest dough balls in the same way.
15) Fill with the gratin sauce, put the wrap and moist cloth on them, and let proof in 40°C for 30 mins.
16) Brush the dough parts with beaten egg, sprinkle some grated cheese on the top, and bake in a 180°C oven for 13-15 mins.
17) Garnish with parsley and serve for lunch or night snack.


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