We are making Cream Pan filled with a generous amount of pastry cream. This bread has been popular in Japan since I was a child. The cream is melting and the bread is fluffy! You will be impressed with the deliciously fresh baked cream pan.
First, let's make the dough using a bread maker. In the baking pan, combine the bread flour, cake flour, butter, sugar, non-fat dry milk powder, salt, beaten egg, and water. If the non-fat dry milk powder isn't available, substitute milk for the water. Place the pan into the bread maker and cover.
Add the instant dry yeast to the dedicated space. The yeast will be added to the mixture while making the dough.
Select the dough making mode, and turn on the bread machine. It will take about 1 hour to finish the first rise.
Let's make the pastry cream while making the dough. Break the egg yolks and add the sugar.
Thoroughly beat the mixture until it begins to lighten in color.
Place a mesh strainer over the bowl, and add the cake flour and cornstarch. Sieve the powder, and combine the mixture thoroughly.
The starch and gluten in the cake flour will give the pastry cream a gooey texture and thick consistency. The fine grains of the cornstarch will help make the cream translucent and add a smooth texture. Combining both advantages will make the exquisite pastry cream.
Now, heat the milk in a pot. When the steam begins to form, turn off the burner.
Add half of the milk to the egg mixture a little at a time while mixing. When you've added about half of the milk, place the pot on the burner again. Fully combine the egg mixture.
Now, place a mesh strainer over the pot of milk, and pour in the egg mixture. This process will remove any white egg chalazas and pockets of dry flour, making the cream very smooth.
Turn the heat to medium-low, and continue mixing it with a balloon whisk.
When it begins to thicken, reduce the heat to low, and whip the cream at full speed.
The pastry cream begins to turn glossy, and the consistency becomes slightly weak. At this stage, keep mixing for 1 to 2 more minutes.
Then, place the pot onto a trivet. Add a dash of imitation vanilla extract, and mix.
Float a clean bowl or tray on ice water, and pour the pastry cream into it.
Tightly cover the pastry cream with plastic wrap to avoid forming any drips since they could trigger the growth of bacteria. Quickly chill it using an ice pack. Let it sit to cool, and refrigerate the pastry cream.
And now, the dough has performed its first fermentation.
Thinly dust a kneading board with bread flour, and remove the baking pan from the bread machine. Cover your hands with flour, and place the dough onto the board. Lightly dust the dough with flour again.
With a scraper, cut halfway through the dough on the side closest to you.
Open the dough and shape it into a long oval.
Then, divide it into 8 equal pieces.
Using a kitchen scale, adjust the weight to about 47g (1.65 oz) per piece.
Attach the small pieces underneath the dough, and shape it into a ball.
Gather the dough toward the bottom, and rub it between your palms using a circular motion. Avoid rubbing it too much, otherwise the surface will be damaged.
Pinch the seam and close the bottom.
Line up the dough balls, and cover them with plastic wrap.
If the temperature of the room is relatively low, place a tightly squeezed warm kitchen towel over it. Rest the dough for 15 to 20 minutes.
And now, let's shape the cream pan. Thinly coat the baking sheet with vegetable oil. The surface of the dough easily drys out so prepare plastic wrap to cover the baking sheet.
Remove the kitchen towel but leave the plastic wrap over the dough.
Place one dough piece onto the kneading board, thinly dust the surface with flour, and slap or flatten the dough to remove the gas inside.
Then, using a rolling pin, roll the dough back and forth, shaping it into a flat oval.
With a scraper, gently remove the dough, and place it onto a kitchen scale with the clean side facing down. Measure out 35g (1.3 oz) of the pastry cream on the dough, and place it onto the kneading board.
You can fill each dough ball with up to 40g (1.4 oz) of the cream, but you will need skills to wrap it tightly so you might try it if your first batch is successful.
Arrange the cream and fold the dough in half. Close the edges in the middle. Then, close the left and right sides.
Be sure to overlap the dough otherwise the cream may come out from the gaps. It will be challenging to wrap the soft pastry cream so chill it thoroughly.
Now, make 3 or sometimes 4 incisions along the closed edge for aesthetic appeal.
Place the piece onto the baking sheet, and cover with the plastic wrap. Repeat the process and arrange 8 pieces in total.
Remove the plastic wrap. To keep the dough from sticking, we are placing strips of parchment paper in between. For the second fermentation, mist the dough with water if your oven doesn't have a steam function.
Place the baking sheet into the oven. The second rise takes 50 to 60 minutes at 40 °C (104 °F).
Now, the second rise is over. Remove the baking sheet, and preheat the oven to 220°C (428 °F). With a pastry brush, coat the dough with beaten egg for glazing. Gently brush the surface.
When it reaches 220 °C (428 °F), quickly place the dough into the oven, lower the temperature to 200 °C (392 °F), and bake for 12 to 13 minutes.
However, with this oven, it was difficult to bake the surface evenly, so we adjusted the color by rotating the baking sheet halfway and covering the quickly browning parts with parchment paper. For this reason, we didn't lower the temperature, but in most cases, you should bake at 200 °C (392 °F).
The baking time is a rough estimate so remove the bread when it reaches the perfect golden brown.
Place the cream pan onto a cooling rack.
If the baking time is too long, the moisture will evaporate, and the bread will dry out. It depends on your oven but the baking time should be 12 to 13 minutes.
Depending on your bread machine, the order of adding ingredients and the space of yeast may vary so be sure to follow the instructions in the manual.
When you knead the dough with your hands or use a food processor, check our Melonpan or Chocolate Cornet recipe.
The pastry cream easily spoils so use it by the next day. You can also fill with the chocolate pastry cream that we made for our Chocolate Cornet recipe.