Fujisan Bread: The Luscious Pastry Fusion Made To Look Like Mount Fuji

Japan's Mount Fuji has inspired bakers and culinary creatives to come up with recipes that mirror the unique shape of the noticeable peak. From jelly desserts to plates of curry, chefs have molded and shaped ingredients to represent the mountain. Such is the case with the flakey layers of milk bread known as Fujisan bread. Fujisan bread, with influence from Japan and France, has the same shape as the mountain's peak, yet the treat is made from bready layers that could be described as some sort of love child of a brioche and a croissant. The buttery pieces are doughy and stretchy and can easily be torn apart and dipped into warm cups of tea or coffee. 

Yet unlike typical croissants, the process of making Fujisan bread is a bit more involved. Both bread and cake flours are required. Aspiring bakers can count on several days to put this recipe together. In addition to preparing bread dough, chefs must also make tangzhong, a kind of water roux resulting from a cooked flour and water mixture that is combined, cooled, and introduced to the rest of the dough used to make the bread.

A mountain-like effort

Chefs braids and swirl the folded pieces before the resulting creation is placed into ovens to bake. This somewhat laborious process helps yield the soft, gummy texture that this bread is known for. Not only does the approach help build texture but the technique is thought to keep the bread moist and chewy for a longer period of time than other kinds of baking techniques. The technique is known as lamination and is an approach used in baking and pasta-making.

As the carefully made layers of dough bake in warm ovens, the mountain of bread rises, taking on the shape of Mount Fuji. Some chefs choose to fill the pieces with cream fillings or flavored creams. Once cooled, the fluffy treats can be topped with powdered sugar to resemble snow that could set upon the mountainous ridges on top of Mt. Fuji itself. And just like setting out to climb a mountain, the lengthy efforts to bake this tasty, crunchy bread are well worth the reward.