Dissolve the yeast in lukewarm water and place in the bread machine. Then add the flour, sugar, salt, and egg and water.
Select the "dough" program and start. Set a kitchen timer to 5 to 7 minutes. Stop the machine at that point and add the unsalted butter. This is a key point!
Switch the machine back on with the "dough" setting. In 7 to 10 minutes, when the dough forms a thin translucent film when it's stretched out the dough has been kneaded enough.
Take the dough out of the machine, remove the kneading blade, and form the dough into a smooth ball. Return the dough to the machine and use the proofing setting to let the dough rise (1st rising).
When the 1st rising is done, divide the dough into 6 pieces, then devide each piece into 6 pieces again (one of them can be small) as in the photo. You will end up with twice the amount shown in the photo.
I put a 10 yen coin next to the dough to compare the size. Each ball of dough is very small! Round of each ball smoothly, and rest for 15 minutes between pieces of canvas cloth.
Roll each piece out thinly with a rolling pin. Roll out the tiny center piece into a long thin rope.
Layer the flattened pieces of dough as shown. Roll up the layered dough from the bottom. Make sure the pieces don't stick out too much.
Here are 3 flower bases. Cut each one in half.
Line the cut pieces in a round cake pan and allow to rise again (2nd rising). I put it in a styrofoam box with a cup of hot water; the rising takes 30 minutes this way.
The small pieces of dough expand to fill the pan. Brush thinly with egg wash, and bake in a 180°C oven for 18 minutes. The finish should be a deep golden brown.
Decorate with cute doilies or ribbons to give as a pretty gift.
Story Behind this Recipe
I put pretty rose shaped dough into a round cake pan and baked it. I wanted to make a bread that look like a bouquet of flowers...
Since this is a loaf without any filling, the flavor of the bread itself is the key! Even bread machine-made dough can be soft and delicious the next day with a little extra effort.