Place the Kraft paper or bakery paper in the cardboard box wrapped with aluminum foil and distribute the coarse demerara sugar or coffee sugar crystals.
Lightly beat the eggs in a bowl with a hand mixer at a low speed. Add the sugar and mix.
Float the bowl in hot water and gradually heat the egg. When it begins to slightly warm up, remove the bowl and continue mixing. Turn off the burner and heat a glass of water.
Beat the egg at high speed for about 8 minutes until the color turns white, and it reaches a soft peak stage. When you lift the mixer, the rippling pattern should remain on the surface as you see here.
Dilute the honey with the heated water. Add it to the beaten egg and mix with the hand mixer for 1 more minute at high speed. Switch to low speed and mix for about another minute until it has a fine, glossy texture.
Distribute the bread flour onto the egg mixture. At medium speed, whip the mixture for about 2 minutes until it has a smooth texture again.
Drop the bowl a few times to break any air bubbles. Then, pour the batter into the square mold. Slash the batter with a spatula to remove any air bubbles.
Place the batter into a preheated conventional oven. For the first 15 minutes, bake at 170°C (340°F). Then, reduce the heat to 160°C (320°F) and bake it for about 50 more minutes. The baking temperature and time depend on the type of your oven, so adjust them accordingly.
Pierce the castella with a bamboo stick. If the stick is slightly moist, it is ready. When the stick is dry and clean, the castella has lost its moist texture. The moist texture is essential for delicious castella so avoid over-baking.
Remove the mold and drop it on the counter a few times to prevent the castella from shrinking. Place a tray covered with plastic wrap on top. Then, flip it over.
Before placing the tray onto the castella, we recommend making a cut along the corners of the Kraft paper and folding the edges outward. This will help avoid damaging the surface of the castella. Now, remove the mold.
Wrap it with 2 layers of plastic wrap crosswise, completely covering the castella. Let it sit to cool and then store the castella in the fridge for one whole day. This will make it moist and even more delicious.
Let’s serve the castella. Carefully remove the Kraft paper and slice off the edges. For each cut, wipe the knife with a dampened towel to help make a clean cut.
Cut the castella in half. Then, slice it into 3cm (1.2") pieces. Arrange the pieces onto a plate.
We will show you how to make the homemade mold for castella. This is the Kraft paper with 4 slits.
The cardboard box is wrapped with aluminum foil.
To wrap the box, carefully cover it with a long strip of aluminum foil.
Then, cover it with another aluminum strip crosswise. If you don’t have a square cake pan, try making it as shown.
All-purpose flour or cake flour can be also used but we recommend using bread flour to help create a moist and kind of gooey texture.
You can keep the castella in the fridge for 1 week or store it in the freezer for up to 1 month.
Castella goes great with green tea, coffee or black tea and it is a perfect gift for special occasions.
Let's make the cookie dough first. Whisk the butter until creamy. Gradually add the sugar, mix and dissolve in the butter.
When the color turns to white, gradually add the beaten egg and mix. Do not add the egg at once, otherwise the butter will separate. Bring the butter and egg to room temperature before use. This will make them easier to mix and the sugar will dissolve better.
Add the baking powder to the cake flour and mix with a spatula. Sift the flour mixture into a bowl. Sift it again.
Add one third of the cake flour to the butter mixture. Lightly mix with a spatula. Add another one third of the flour and lightly mix. Add the rest and stir until all the flour is thoroughly mixed. Be careful not to overmix the dough.
Place the dough on the cooking tray covered with plastic wrap. Rub bread flour on your hands and shape the dough into a cylinder. Cover with the plastic wrap. Cool down the cookie dough in a fridge for over 1 hour.
Let's make the bread dough next. Add the sugar, salt, non-fat dry milk powder and instant yeast to the bread flour. Whisk the flour mixture well. Dilute the beaten egg with the warm water. Gradually pour it into the flour and stir with a spatula until evenly mixed.
Clean the spatula with a scraper and place the flour mixture on a pastry board. Gather the crumble flour mixture and form it into a ball. Briefly knead it with your hands.
Throw the dough on the pastry board, fold it away, grab the side of the dough and throw it again. Gather the dough with the scraper. Knead the dough with your hands using your body weight. Repeat this process until the dough is less sticky.
Flatten the dough and spread on the butter. Gather the rim of the dough toward the center and knead in the butter. When the butter is mixed in, gather the dough with the scraper and form a dough ball.
Like shown before, continue to throw the dough on the board. Knead the dough on the board and throw again. Repeat this throwing and rolling process for 10 minutes. The dough is now smooth and glossy.
As shown in the video, shape the dough into a ball and replace it in the bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let it sit in a warm place for 40 minutes. This conventional oven can keep its inside warm for fermentation.
The dough has now risen by 50% in volume. Remove the plastic wrap. Dip your finger in bread flour and make a hole in the dough. If the hole quickly disappears, the dough needs more fermentation. Measure the dough to get the total weight.
Dust bread flour on the pastry board and put on the dough. Flatten the dough and remove the gas inside. Roll the dough into a long cylinder. Divide the pre-measured dough into 5 even pieces. Make sure they are equal in weight.
Spread the dough toward the other side of the cutting surface. Shape each dough piece into a ball. Make sure the bottom is tightly closed. Line up the dough balls on the cooking tray dusted with flour. Cover with plastic wrap and let them rest for 20 minutes at a room temperature.
In the meantime, let's shape the cookie dough into round sheets. Divide the dough into 5 pieces. Measure each piece and make sure they are equal in weight. Put a bit of bread flour on your hands and shape each dough piece into a ball.
Place the ball on plastic wrap, cover with another wrap and press with the side of the scraper. Placing a three and a half inch diameter drawing under the wrap will help you get an equal set of cookie sheets.
Line up the cookie sheets on the cooking tray dusted with flour. Sit the tray in the fridge while the bread dough is resting. This will make the cookie dough easier to handle.
Let's shape the dough into Melonpan. Reshape each bread dough into a ball, cover with the cookie sheet and adjust the shape. Hold the dough upside down and stretch the cookie sheet up to the center.
Pinch the bottom of the bread dough and dip the cookie dough in sugar. Hold the Melonpan on your palm and make a diamond pattern on top with the scraper.
Line up the Melonpan on the baking sheet covered with parchment paper.
Let the Melonpan sit in the warm place for the second fermentation. This conventional oven can keep the inside at 37 °C (99 °F). After 40 minutes of the second rise, the Melonpan are almost doubled in volume.
Let's bake the Melonpan. Preheat the conventional oven at 170°C (338 °F) and bake the Melonpan for about 12 minutes. When each Melonpan gets slightly brown on top, remove the baking sheet from the oven. Cool them down on a cooling rack and they are ready to serve!
You can also let the dough rise in a styrofoam box filled with warm water. In that case, cover the bowl with a plastic bag and make sure the steam won't wet the dough.
The fermentation time depends on its temperature so be careful not to over-rise the dough.
Let's prepare the ingredients. Add the salt to a small bowl of water and stir to dissolve. Add the beaten egg and mix. Refrigerate the egg mixture, flour that has been sifted, and unsalted butter until ice-cold.
Let's make the tart dough. Place the chilled cake flour into the bowl of a food processor. Add the butter diced into 1cm (0.4") cubes. Lightly even out the ingredients.
Cover and blend the mixture for about 15 to 20 seconds. The butter pieces should be about half the size of a rice grain.
Add the egg mixture. Continue to blend the mixture for about 15 to 20 more seconds. When the mixture turns yellow and forms moist large clumps, stop the processor.
Place the mixture onto a work surface covered with a sheet of plastic wrap. Pull the edges of the plastic wrap to the center and gather the clumps into a ball. Then, flatten the dough.
Dust a scraper with bread flour and divide the dough into 4 pieces. Stack the pieces on top of each other, sprinkle over flour and flatten the dough with your palms.
Adjust the edges, shaping the dough into a disk. Wrap the dough with the plastic wrap and let it sit in the fridge for 1 to 2 hours or overnight.
Transfer the dough to a work surface dusted with bread flour. Lightly flour the dough and a rolling pin. Press the rolling pin into the middle of the disk. Rotate and press it again. Repeat the process in all directions.
Roll out the dough from the middle outwards. Then, roll it out from the middle towards you. Rotate the dough 90 degrees and repeat the rolling process. If it sticks, dust the dough and rolling pin and quickly roll it out. The circle should be about 27cm (10.6") in diameter and 3mm (0.1") thick.
Flour the top of the dough again. Using a fork, pierce the dough in numerous places.
Remove the 21cm (8.3") tart pan from the freezer. Loosely roll the dough around the rolling pin. And then unroll it onto the chilled tart pan with a removable bottom.
Dust your fingers with flour and press the dough up the sides of the pan. Be sure to push the dough into the corners to remove any gaps.
Cover the rim of the pan with the dough. Then, run the rolling pin along the top of the pan. Trim the edges of the dough to fit the tart pan. Lightly press the top and sides again to firmly attach them together.
Prick the dough all over with a fork again. This will help the air to go through the dough and keep the bottom from rising. Let the tart pan rest in the fridge for 30 minutes or chill it in the freezer for about 3 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 190 °C (374 °F) and place the tart pan into it. Bake the tart at 190 °C (374 °F) for a total of about 20 minutes. To help brown the tart evenly, put on kitchen gloves and rotate the pan after about 15 minutes. Then, bake for 4 to 5 more minutes.
You will bake the crust with filling later so remove it when the whole surface is slightly browned. Place the pan onto a cooling rack. Let it sit to cool and then remove the tart crust from the pan.
This dough doesn't contain any sugar so in addition to making dessert tart, you can also make non-sweet pastry dishes like quiche with it.