Fujisan bread is a globe-trotting pastry of mystery. Named after Mount Fuji, Japan’s tallest peak, the fluffy bread mountain blends a Japanese dough-making method with French pastry techniques to form a tender, brioche-like bun that also has the luxurious layers of croissant. But despite its Japanese and French influences, most recipes for this fusion food are in Chinese.
While Fujisan bread’s exact roots may never be unearthed, a few things are clear about making the tender, golden-crusted treat. Unlike typical French folded doughs, such as croissants, Fujisan bread must be made using a tangzhong, a Japanese preparation of cooked water and flour that, once cooled, gets folded into the dough mixture. According to bakers, this addition makes for a softer bread with a creamy texture that stays fresh longer. As for the luxurious layers that give Fujisan bread its characteristic swirl, this comes from a French pastry school technique of turning and folding known as lamination. The laminated dough is then braided and swirled before being placed in a snug container. And as the dough rises in the oven, it blooms over the pan’s edge, erupting like its eponymous volcano. A light dusting of powdered sugar, and the snow-capped Mt. Fuji miniatures are ready to eat.