Every time I pass by a Korean bakery, I have to resist the urge to buy my favorite bread, soboro bread. Soboro bread, also known as gombo or Korean streusel bread, is basically a soft roll with peanut crumble. When fresh out of the oven, it's incredibly delicious. My mouth is just drooling thinking about it! I became curious as to how bakeries create this wonderful treat and so I decided to try making it myself. Although soboro bread only costs about $1.50 per bread, I can now make them fresh at home!
Soboro Bread (Korean Streusel Bread)
- 1 ½ teaspoons active dry yeast (6 grams)
- ¾ cup warm milk, 100-110 degrees F (187 ml)
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 3 cups bread flour (370 grams)
- ¼ cup granulated sugar (50 grams)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 large egg, beaten
- ⅓ cup butter, softened at room temperature (75 grams)
- 1 ½ cups cup all-purpose flour (222 grams)
- 1 tablespoon powdered milk (8 grams)
- 1 tablespoon baking powder (14 grams)
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup butter, softened at room temperature (113 grams)
- ¼ cup chunky peanut butter (66 grams)
- ¾ cup granulated sugar (150 grams)
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
- 1 egg plus 1 tablespoon water for egg wash
- In a small bowl, combine yeast with 1 teaspoon granulated sugar and warm milk. Let sit for 5 minutes or until yeast is activated and mixture is foamy.
- In a large bowl, sift together bread flour, ¼ cup sugar, and salt. Add yeast mixture, egg, and butter and mix to combine. Knead until dough is smooth, about 7-8 minutes. Transfer dough to a clean bowl, cover, and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
- Meanwhile, prepare peanut topping. Sift together flour, powdered milk, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. In a separate bowl, beat together softened butter with peanut butter until smooth. Add sugar, egg, and honey, stirring until well-combined. Add flour mixture and mix until combined. Keep in fridge until ready to use.
- Punch down dough and divide into 12 pieces. Roll each piece into a ball and place them on two lined baking sheets, 6 rolls on each. Cover and let rise for 1 hour in a warm area.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Portion peanut topping into 12 equal pieces. Use the palm of your hand to flatten each piece until it's ⅛ inch thick. Brush tops of rolls with egg wash and gently press peanut topping on top. Bake bread for 15-20 minutes or until topping is golden brown. Let cool slighlty and serve warm or at room temperature.
**Helpful tips and common mistakes
This bread is not difficult to make but it does take a while because you have to proof it two times. Proofing the dough allows it to become this wonderfully light and airy bread so don't skip this step!
Start by activating the yeast and combining it with the remaining ingredients. Make a well in the center, add in the wet ingredients to the dry and stir until you have a dough. You can knead the dough by hand or use a kitchen mixer, which will save you lots of time and energy.
The dough will be smooth and very soft. Add a touch more milk if the dough is dry, adding 1 tablespoon at a time. Cover the dough and let it rise in a warm area for 1 hour. If your kitchen is particularly cold, put the dough in the oven with the oven light on.
Punch down the dough and portion it into 12 rolls. It's helpful to use a scale to get consistent sizes.
While the dough is proofing for the second time, make the peanut topping. Beat together the peanut butter with softened butter, add the wet ingredients, then stir in the dry ingredients. The topping will have a similar texture to cookie dough. You can also use smooth peanut butter if you don't want little bits of peanuts on your bread.
Brush the tops of the buns with the egg wash and place the topping on each of the rolls. If the peanut topping is too firm, let it sit out for 10 minutes to soften up.
Gently press down on the topping to ensure that it sticks. Don't worry about making the topping the perfect size. The buns will expand so the topping will expand and most likely crack but that's the beauty of soboro bread!
Alas, after 2 hours or so, it's finally time to bake! Rotate the pans halfway while baking to ensure an even golden color. You can just smell the peanut aroma permeating through the kitchen!
This bread is best served fresh; as the days pass the bread does tend to get dry. I have to say, I was very pleased with the outcome of this recipe. It tasted almost exactly like the soboro bread sold in the bakeries with the added bonus that I now have 12 rolls all to myself!
For more sweet bread inspiration check out this Meyer lemon pull apart bread!