Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Yakitate Japan!

A couple of weeks ago, JSJ changed our lives by introducing the anime, Yakitate Japan, to us. For those of you who don't know, Yakitate is an anime about a boy who has slightly warm hands, which allows him to bake bread like a champion. The anime focuses on a small bakery whose workers tend to get involved in bread making competitions. Now when I said this anime changed my life, I don't mean because its the best anime I've ever seen. Its far from that, and in fact I wasn't even sure if I liked the anime at all after the first few episodes. However, this anime inspired Luke and I to bake bread, and it opened up a whole new culinary avenue for me to explore.

Luke decided that he was going to bake some French Rolls and I had decided to make Japanese Curry Bread. We spent an entire afternoon baking bread and watching Yakitate with Jules and JSJ, and it was quite an enjoyable experience. Luke hadn't really baked anything his whole life, so everything about baking bread was new and amazing to him. Surprisingly, Luke was very adept at forming and kneading the dough. His bread was perfect going into the oven, but unfortunately our oven ran a little hotter than we thought and the rolls got slightly burned. Introducing Luke Pan #1 (Pan is bread in Japanese):

Burned or not, these were delicious.
For me, making Japanese Curry Bread was super ambitious, not only because this was my first time making bread, it was my first time deep frying. I failed really hard trying make the dough at first. I actually had to throw my first attempt away and start over since my dough was looking more like cake batter than anything else. My second attempt went much smoother, although my dough was still super sticky when I let it rise. I got frustrated for a bit while kneading it and probably would have given up if I didn't have Luke's help.

I suck at kneading.
After the bread had risen, I was supposed to cut the dough into pieces and roll out the pieces into circles. Again, I couldn't actually do this, so JSJ had to roll out the pieces for me while I placed curry into the circles. The curry I made beforehand was fucking amazing though, so at least I know I'm competent at something.

I was sorta good at filling them with curry and folding them over.
The worst part of my bread making experience was dipping each pastry in egg wash and coating them in panko bread crumbs. Dipping the bread in egg wash was such a disgusting feeling that I cringed everytime I did it. JSJ stood next to me laughing non stop at my expressions. The last step was deep frying the bread, which actually went very smoothly. I bought a candy thermometer the day of to let me check the oil temperature so that I didn't burn the house down. This was super helpful, and allowed me to feel more comfortable with doing the frying. The results were as follows:

Alex Pan #1    

Seriously, stuffed in deep fried bread is the best way to eat Japanese Curry. The only problem with the bread, is that my body hadn't had that much grease in a while, and it really made me feel gross for a couple days.  There are tons more pictures of this event that we will put on facebook in the near future. Even though I sucked at making the bread, I really feel like I managed to level up my cooking skills.


  1. Alex pan #1 is fucking delicious. I highly recommend it, especially if you want to feel like dying the entire next day.

  2. *Dying from being full, not from Alex Pan #1 poison.