Totoro chigiri pan which was the first character design I attempted. Chigiri refers to pull apart while pan refers to bread. In Japan, these pull-apart bread buns are transformed into adorable characters. If you are not into cute characters, these chigiri pan looks great as sandwich buns too, simply cut a slit on each bun, fill with desired sandwich fillings such as ham, scrambled eggs, lettuce, cucumber and tomato slices.
This is actually my second batch of Totoro chigiri pan, although most chigiri breads are made into 16 buns, I baked only nine buns in a 20cm square pan for the first few attempts. I only just tried baking them into 16 buns this week, in another design, sneak peek on my Instagram.
This is my first batch of Totoro chigiri pan, and also my very first attempt at making such bread. It's really fun, can't wait to try many more designs. You might also want to check out another version of Totoro chigiri pan I shared earlier here.
I used white chocolate of the eyes for this batch, whereas I used marshmallow for the eyes of the other batch. I personally prefer the marshmallow version better.
I'm using back my trusty bread buns recipe, which I've shared many times on my blog, so this recipe post is more for you to see how I shape the bread.
TOTORO PULL APART BREAD BUN RECIPE
250g bread flour
1/4 tsp salt
25g butter, at room temperature
1 tsp instant yeast
1/2 beaten egg (keep the reminder 1/2 egg for egg wash)
- Mix all the ingredients, except butter, in a large bowl to get a dough. Add in butter and knead until dough is springy and soft, this takes around 10 minutes. If you have a bread maker, you can just use the dough function for this step, as well as step 2.
- Cover the dough with cling wrap and keep in a warm place for it to rise. This takes around an hour and the dough should double in size. Do a finger test to check if it's ready.
- Take dough out and punch out the air from the dough with your fist.
- Divide the dough into 10 portions, 9 portions will be used for the Totoro's body and the last portion is used for making all of Totoro's ears. You can weigh them out if you like. I weighed out 9 portions of around 52g and just combine whatever is left for the last portion. Roll them out and form them into balls. Cover with cling wrap and let the dough rest for 15 minutes.
- Roll out the 9 portions, one at a time and form them into balls. Grease the pan and place them in a 20cm square tin. At this point, there will still be space, as the dough will double in size after proofing. Pinch off dough from the last portion and shape into ears for Totoro. Cover with cling wrap and let the dough proof for 40 minutes.
- Brush with egg wash and bake at 180 degrees celcius for around 15 minutes or till they turn golden brown. I did not brush with egg wash for mine.
- After the bread has cooled down, spread on icing sugar for Totoro's tummies. I used a brush to brush on the icing sugar. Using a mini marshmallow, cut off both ends and stick onto the bread. After cutting, the cut side of the marshmallow is sticky and can stick onto the bread. Alternatively, you can also use icing or white chocolate for the eyes and tummies, if you prefer.
- Pipe on the rest of the details using melted chocolate.