I'm been making this Japanese bread "Melon pan" many times and it had been success.Then my brother told me to add more sugar to make it more sweet. Try adding little at first, the bread still taste the same. So decided to put a lot more sugar. I started to knead my dough and it very sticky, already added flour (even too much) but still sticky. Continued to knead it for 15-20. Still Sticky :( But somehow I baked it and my brother tried it and said the amount of sugar put in was good. But the bread lost its crispiness so It was a fail. What can I do to solve this problem? Thank you

This is the original recipe that worked before I added a lot of sugar.

  • Bread Dough - 140g Bread Flour (4.94 oz) 25g Sugar (0.882 oz) 1/3 tsp Salt 5g Non-Fat Dry Milk Powder (0.176 oz) 3g Instant Yeast (0.106 oz) - a little less than 1 tsp 1 tbsp Beaten Egg 70ml Warm Water (2.37 fl oz) 15g Butter (0.529 oz) Bread Flour for dusting

  • Cookie Dough - 25g Unsalted Butter (0.882 oz) 35g Sugar (1.23 oz) 25g Beaten Egg (0.882 oz) 80g Cake/Pastry Flour (2.82 oz) 1/4 tsp Baking Powder Bread Flour for dusting

  • This is the link: youtube.com/watch?v=5z0e-GKJA10
    – Yuri
    Jan 18, 2015 at 5:38
  • 1
    Sugar does tend to be sticky when wet :) Also the ingredients in a bread recipe have an equilibrium (hydration ratio, yeast ratio) that can produce undesirable results when broken.
    – ApplePie
    Jan 18, 2015 at 8:53
  • How much more sugar did you add? At some point, I imagine, it'll interfere with gluten development... Not to mention, adding sugar will change your rise times, the yeast love it.
    – derobert
    Jan 18, 2015 at 8:58
  • Do you know how to resolve this problem? I'm beginner. Do I need to add more of something? I added about 55 g more sugar. Thank you :) @derobert
    – Yuri
    Jan 18, 2015 at 19:30
  • 1
    That much sugar is kinda crazy for a 'bread'. Even Portuguese sweet bread has less than half that much sugar.
    – rfusca
    Jan 19, 2015 at 16:54

3 Answers 3


You cannot keep the texture if you are using that much sugar.

Two tablespoons of sugar per cup of flour is the maximum that you can add without major gluten damage. [...] Too much sugar is also damaging to the yeast.

(quotation from Cookwise by S. Corriher).

She goes on to explain that certain kinds of bread are made with more sweetness (including the Portuguese sweet bread rfusca mentioned), but they use a combination of many different sugars and malts. It is possible that your bread may become edible texture wise if you cut the amount of total sugar by half and then experiment for a few dozens of batches with different classes of sugar to get a workable texture. But I doubt that it will be worth it.

When you bake, don't think of sugar as a sweetener. Baking recipes are always calculated such that the sugar amount is right for the correct texture, not for sweetness. If you want sweet bread, use an existing recipe for a brioche style bread, which is somewhat sweetened. Or if you want it extra sweet, use a recipe for very sweet bread, but be prepared for it to handle a bit weirdly during kneading and to end up with a cakelike texture. But if your brother wants to eat something very sweet, don't bake a bread, bake a cake.


I've never tried making a bread dough with that much sugar in it. You're up to ~80g sugar, compared to 140g flour (a "baker's ratio" of 57%).

It's possible that much sugar interferes with gluten development. Since you're already adding butter later (at around 4:07 in the video), the first thing I'd try is to mix the extra sugar and butter together, and add them both there. That's probably being done after some of the kneading because butter interferes with gluten development. So if the sugar does too, that may help.

Also, sugar definitely makes yeast more active (they're eating the sugar). So you probably need to let it rise for less time. Go by how much it's expanded (risen), not by the time.

Second thing I'd try would be a tad bit more flour. Knead in a little more and see if the stickyness returns to manageable levels.

Third thing would be to use some artificial sweetener. Those are substantially sweeter (per gram) than sugar, but of course have aftertastes... The combination of some artificial sweetener and still plenty of sugar will mostly mask the aftertaste.

Fourth, similarly, different natural sugars have a different sweetness level (per gram). Fructose, for example, tastes sweeter than sucrose (table sugar). A mix supposedly tastes sweeter still.

Finally... consider just serving it with syrup! Or icing or frosting it after baking.

  • @Yuri and to be honest with you, I'm guessing #3 (the artificial sweetener) is the first one that'll actually work. Question is if the aftertaste will be too much or not.
    – derobert
    Jan 19, 2015 at 18:09

I had exactly this problem. Cut down the sugar in your dough and sprinkle the rest of the sugar into the dough after the rise and before shaping. Works fine.

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