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The pan-ya and bread in Japan


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I ran across an 'only in Japan' bread today, it was a French style baguette filled with mentaiko (spicy cod roe) and butter. It was actually so good I went back for 3 samples.

We discussed bread a little in the yoshoku thread, but what are some of your favorite Japanese breads?

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"


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I like the Japanese raisin bread. It's softer and less dense than the American varieties. I usually buy it at the bakery.

We never ate Wonder bread at home either, my parents bought this really thick toast from the Japanese bakery near their work place for me and my sis to make sandwiches with. They were sliced so thick, like an inch! Perfect for French toast. Sometimes I still buy it if I drop by that area of downtown. It was so dense and chewy.

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When i first came to Japan, I loved those inch thick pieces of bread, they really make the most incredible toast!

Now I buy the thinner slices.

Japanese bread comes in 3 main sizes, the actual loaf size is the same, but it is cut into either 4, 6, or 8 slices, the really thick fluffy one is the 4 slice per package bread. The 8 slice stuff is a similar thickness to American sandwich bread.

Bakeries in Japan are really one of my favorite places, there is a chain store called MUJI (the name actually means no brand or generic) it sells everything from clothes to furniture to food items to books and has a wonderful bakery.

I like anything with cheese in it. One of my favorites is a black sesame bread filled with cheddar cheese.

meronpan (melonpan?) is one of my favorite sweet breads, it is a white bread roll wrapped in cookie dough, sometimes melon flavored, sometimes not (the cheap ones!).

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"


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Here are some pictures of typical Japanese style breads, these are the ones that i try to stay away from, but my kids love! :sad:


the very bottom most left side it a macaroni salad bread, I have never seen this one before, usually it is more more common with potato salad!

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"


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Bakeries in Japan are really one of my favorite places, there is a chain store called MUJI (the name actually  means no brand or generic) it sells everything from clothes to furniture to food items  to books and has a wonderful bakery.

Aparently MUJI has stores all around the world, check here for one near you!


Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"


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I actually don't like Japanese shokupan at all (unless it's made into french toast)- never liked white sandwhich bread back home either.

And some of the kashi-pan are just weird- the ones with noodles, potatoes, ketchup, mayo etc. Some though, though, I love!

Anpan and mame-pan (a sweet bun with big sweet read beans) are two favourites, and I can't get enough of kurumi-pan (walnut bread).

I love the mentaiko bread too, but recently whenever I find it they use mayonnaise instead of butter. Yuck!

My eGullet foodblog: Spring in Tokyo

My regular blog: Blue Lotus

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  • 2 weeks later...

since we're chatting about bread, thought I'd ask for some help.

I love Japanese bread, I'd live inside Kobeya if they let me... :biggrin:

I'm trying to duplicate things here in North America....looking at japanese recipes for bread making...does anyone know which type of flour the following refer to?

最強力小麦粉--this translates to "strongest flour" I'm assuming this is bread flour

強力小麦粉--this translates to "strong flour" I'm not sure if this is all-purpose flour or not?

I know the highest gluten level here would be bread flour, followed by all-purpose and then the least gluten is cake flour.

水あめ--this translates to "water-sugar" literally; which I assume is glucose...can I make this on my own by mixing equal parts water and sugar?? or do I need to buy glucose??

thanks in advance!!

p.s. torakis, yakisoba pan is awesome!!!! wait til you try Kobeya's Croquette pan (omigosh good!!)

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I'm not much of a baker so I've never heard of 'strongest flour' (saikyouryoku-ko?). It sounds you may be right in identifying it as high-gluten bread flour, but it seems like it may be mainly for professional use- anybody know?

The 'strong flour' (‹­—Í•² kyouroyoku-ko) you mention is usually translated as 'hard flour' and the same (I think) as all-purpose flour. This is what most people use for bread and rolls at home.

There is also 'soft flour' (”–—Í•² hakuriki-ko), which is cake flour.

I think mizuame is just sugar syrup, and it probably is possible to make it. But you might want to try buying it at a Japanese market for your first few tries, just to get used to it and make sure the thickness is right.

My eGullet foodblog: Spring in Tokyo

My regular blog: Blue Lotus

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Flour in Japan

There are three main types of flour you will see for sale in the local Japanese supermarket

強力粉(kyourikiko) protein 11.5 - 13.5% bread flour,used pretty much only for bread making

中力粉(chuurikiko) protein 8.5 - 10.5% this is the flour to make udon (this can be a little harder to find)

薄力粉(hakurikiko) protein 7.0 - 8.5% cake flour, used mostly for okashi (snacks) okonomiyaki & tempura

In addition to those there are 3 that are pretty much used only professionally

saikyourikiko protein 13.5% plus very strong bread flour

junkyourikiko protein 10.5 - 11.5% for making french breads and Chinese noodles (ramen etc)

futsukyourikiko this is pretty much the same as the above one

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"


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thanks torakris and smallworld,

I found this recipe to bake "Double Soft" (similar result to the product with the same name made by Yama--ki) and the recipe calls for both strongest and strong flour. I'll see if I can just substitute with bread flour and get the same result. :smile:


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I was so busy thinking about flour, I never took the chance to welcome you to egullet!

Let us now how your making of double soft goes! That stuff makes the best toast..

The Å‹­—Í•² that I used is called Super King and is put out by Nissin (it is only sold at speciality bread stores) has a protein content 14%, the regular bread flour that I use is called Super Camellia (kameriya?) and has a protein content of 11.5%. Maybe if you mix two of types like that?

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"


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  • 4 weeks later...

I have never made anpan before, what other kind of pan (breads) are you interested in?

While looking for a recipe, I found this nice page of pictures of Japanese breads:


By the way, welcome to egullet!

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"


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  • 6 months later...

We've had a lot of Panya activity in Honolulu recently. Ginza Kimuraya (the originator of anpan) opened a branch in the Kahala Mall shopping center. Panya Bakery a local panya chain, opened up a big restaurant bakery in Ala Moana Center.

Anyone been to the Kimuraya original store - what would you recommend as their best items?

Sun-Ki Chai

Former Hawaii Forum Host

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I have eaten a lot of anpan, but I have never been to the original Kimuraya, actually it is quite sad to admit but even after 14 years in the Tokyo area, I have not once been to Ginza. :shock:

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"


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You're kidding! Why haven't you been to Ginza?

That is a very good question that I don't have an answer for. :blink::biggrin:

I guess when I first came here at the rip old age of 20, Harajuku was just a lot more exciting and then before I knew I had a family and it just never seemed the best place to drag children to.....

A lot of things are going to change when Hide (age 3) starts school in April, I am going to go to lots of places I have never been to before! :biggrin:

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"


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Are the filled rolls, such as those shown in the linked pictures, baked with the fillings inside, or are they added/injected later?

It depends on the bread, some like anpan and curry-pan are filled before cooking, while others such as those with cream, potato salad, yakisoba, etc are filled after.

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"


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In addition to an, there is another paste used in pan made with the green mung bean. When making this paste, just use it as one would make an or is there a different ratio of bean to sugar? Or even other ingredients?

-- Jason

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