The last few days I’ve been hooked on the YouTube channel “Cooking with Dog.” My mom showed it to me ages ago, but I forgot about it until last weekend. Now, all I want to do is watch Chef and Francis cook. Francis, a grey poodle, hosts the show while overseeing the lovely Japanese ‘Chef.’ Chef cooks mostly Japanese food, or Japanese inspired food, and she is amazing. I mean, seriously, she does everything precisely and perfectly. She even weighs out cookie dough to make sure each cookie is exactly the same and then presses them flat on a circle diagram to achieve true uniformity. A woman after my own heart. It’s a whole new level of perfectionism I can only aspire to.
Curious as always, I decided to test out the merit of “Cooking with Dog” recipes and see if I can somehow match Chef’s peerless cooking grace. Though I did indeed make melonpan, I failed epically in the grace department.
I chose to make melonpan for two reasons: first, I can’t cook, but I’m actually decent at baking, and two, the ingredients were relatively simple. It started out pretty well. I copied down the recipe from the last portion of the video, went to the supermarket, and got all my supplies in order. The next step was trying to figure out the conversions. Most of measurements were given in grams, and though they also supplied the ounce measurements, in many instances I didn’t find this helpful. So, like any good modern girl, I turned to the internet. After a very daunting hour sifting through conversion tables that did me no good, I found a website that did very cool conversions of everything. It even takes into consideration substance.
Conversions done, I set to work putting out all my ingredients, pre-measured. One of the things I love about Chef, is that she has all her ingredients put into adorable little glass bowls ahead of time, and she quickly and easily adds everything together. Since I was competing for grace and elegance points as well, I also placed everything out, just so, in preparation for the cooking process. Off we go, starting with the cookie dough. The problems started here.
The conversions had seemed accurate, but somehow I ended up with way too much flour for both the cookie dough and the bread dough. However, since, as I said, I have some experience baking, I made up for it with a bit more egg/water/butter, hoping I guessed accurately enough for the finished product to still turn out okay. The bigger problem was that in my haste to fix everything I had made a mess. No more pretty cups, and less and less counter space. However, the bread dough had to rise for awhile, so, taking that opportunity, I cleaned everything up and decided to try again. “Grace,” I kept telling myself, “Elegance!”
I could keep telling myself that to eternity and it wouldn’t matter. I will never be a beautiful, elegant, Japanese lady. After fighting for about 10 minutes with plastic wrap to get it neatly covering my dough without any wrinkles, I gave up. Really, if it tastes good, who the hell cares how beautifully it was created (me, I want to say, me!). Anyway, considering the mess I made with the conversions of the flour, I was really happy they turned out at all.
I’m not going to give you all the recipe yet, but after I try it again and make it perfect, I’ll post my conversions below the pictures (give me awhile before you expect anything). If you just want the original recipe, watch the Melonpan video of Cooking with Dog. Enjoy the picture below!
For those who want to read the second installment, you can do so here!