Kare Pan (Japanese Curry Bread) is a fried, stuffed bread coated with panko. I used to get it at Mitsuwa, but I haven’t been able to find it lately, so we decided to make our own. (I still grabbed a box of Golden Curry roux blocks, since the recipe said you needed thick curry, and I knew the consistency would come out right. When we make it from scratch, it comes out a lot thinner.) Japanese style curry is super mild but intensely flavorful. These were soooooo good right out of the frier, and held their consistency well when reheated the next day in the air frier. They pair well with a morning latte.
150 g all-purpose flour
50 g cake flour
½ tsp salt
1 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp active dry yeast
½ c. whole milk
1 Tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 ½ c. leftover Japanese curry (refrigerate overnight then bring to room temperature)
1 c. panko breadcrumbs
Oil for deep frying
Microwave the milk until warm to the touch, about 95ºF/35ºC. Then add in the instant dry yeast to the warm milk. Set aside. Oil a large bowl. Set aside.
Place the all-purpose flour, cake flour, salt, and sugar in the bowl of a mixer. Use the whisk attachment on low to combine the ingredients. Change to the beater attachment, and slowly add the milk mixture. Mix on medium for 2-3 minutes, or until it makes a rough dough.
Add the unsalted butter and continue mixing for an additional 8 minutes. At first, the dough will be sticky, wet, and oily but continue mixing until it starts pulling away from the bowl of the mixture.
Turn out the dough from the bowl to a lightly floured surface. Knead the dough by hand until it becomes smooth and elastic.
Form a ball and place the dough into the greased bowl, seam side down. Cover the bowl loosely with plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm spot or in a proofing drawer for an hour, or until doubled in size.
Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface and gently punch/press it down. Fold the dough into thirds widthwise and lengthwise. Turn upside down so the seam is facing down.
Divide dough into 8 equal pieces. Place the 8 dough balls on the baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Cover with plastic wrap, and let rest for 15 minutes at room temperature.
Place the dough seam side up and flatten out each piece with your hand. Fold in thirds widthwise and lengthwise, and then turn it upside down so the seam side is on the bottom. Flatten again, and flip so the seam side is up. Roll out into a 4 inch circle using a rolling pin.
Place the dough seam side up and put 1.5 Tbsp of curry paste in the center of the circle. Gather the opposing edges of the circle and pinch the sides together. Fold over the pinched area and press to seal. Be sure to seal well so it doesn’t open up during the frying process.
Keeping the seam side on the bottom, put the bread back onto the baking sheet and cover with a damp towel while working on the rest of the dough.
Once all the dough has curry filling, crack the egg into a bowl and whisk well. Place the panko in a shallow bowl/tray. Using a pastry brush, coat the formed dough with egg and roll in the panko.
Deep fry at 320°F until golden brown, approximately 2-3 minutes per side.
Drain on paper towel.