It all started with an online image of a tray of adorable hamsters in 2016. As with most viral content, the internet quickly labeled it Japanese hamster bread. This baking sheet of critters was not food-based. Instead, it was a picture of cute artisan-made hamster figurines by Japanese artist Yumi Nakano. These figures are still made by Yumi and can be found on her Twitter page, with the name hamuco.
These images were so cute that they inspired multiple versions of a delicious Japanese hamster bread recipe as Japanese snacks. And yes, this Japanese bread hamster-inspired looks like the adorable pet of the same name.
Is Japanese Hamster Bread Real?
Although it was inspired by art, Japanese bread is available that's nearly identical to the pictures that inspired this kawaii (cute) trend. These bread hamsters are hand-painted, helping create the illusion of real hamsters.
What Is Bread In Japan Called?
If you're traveling to Japan, you may wonder how you can order these cutesy hamster-shaped bread. The first step is knowing the word pan, aka bread, in Japanese. This word will take you far, as you can search for pan nearby.
Why Is Japanese Bread Different? Why Is Japanese Bread So Soft?
It’s challenging to deny that Japanese bread is different from bread in other countries. It’s soft, springy, and super fluffy. A specific method makes the bread in Japan super-soft called yudane. This method includes combining bread flour and hot water to create a gelatinous starch. Japanese bread comes out soft and delicious every time by making this combination.
Is There More Than One Version of Japanese Hamster Bread?
You may be surprised to find out that there are two versions of Japanese hamster bread - a savory option and a sweeter version. Separate online creators crafted both versions in response to the popularity of hamuco and hamster bread.
Let's start with the savory option – you can distinguish this variety by the two raisins used as eyes and the nut that the hamster is proudly displaying in its hands. This more authentic version was crafted by a creator specializing in kawaii bread.
The second sweeter version was created by a popular Youtuber who goes by the username Kinny TV. This sweet option of Japanese hamster bread looks more like a house pet than the savory option. It helps that the bread is hand-painted with yellow cheese powder and sugar powder to create a more realistic appearance.
How Do I Get Hamster Bread?
Searching for "where can I order Japanese hamster bread?" and "Japanese hamster bread – where to buy" may leave you with more questions than answers. While Japanese hamster bread is indeed real, it's not widely available in bakeries. Instead, you'll have more luck by searching “how to make Japanese hamster bread” and using a Japanese hamster bread recipe you find to craft a homemade version. A few options may also pop up to order it online.
What Entails the Authentic Japanese Hamster Bread Recipe?
The savory option includes a delightful ham filling that easily distinguishes it from the sweeter variety. You'll usually find ingredients like yeast, bread flour, wheat flour, milk, salt, sugar, butter, egg, ham, raisins, and nuts in this option. This authentic version is super cute and tasty. You'll need to allow at least a few hours for this recipe, as you need to let the dough rise.
As for the sweet chewy creative version, it’s made with a base of gelatin, corn syrup, water, CMC powder, and egg whites. This filling is surrounded by mochi and then decorated for a delicious, almost too realistic, treat. You’ll need extra time to create this recipe, as the mochi needs to sit for a full day before you can form the Japanese hamster bread. You may want to find a Japanese hamster bread mold to make it easier to create these rolls at home.
Don't feel like creating hamster bread at home? There are tons of yummy (non-hamster-shaped) Japanese bread options that you can enjoy as a snack. Day Plus Natural Yeast Bread: Hokkaido Cream (1 Piece) is a single serving of fluffy sweet cream bread that’s seriously soft. The Day Plus Natural Yeast Bread: Okinawa Black Sugar (1 Piece) is another excellent option with a yummy black sugar flavor that helps sweeten the soft yeast bread. You can also opt for a Japanese snack box that has sweet and savory snacks, including options like milk bread or yeast bread. Get it all on Bokksu Market!