Every time I pass by a Korean bakery, I have to resist the urge to buy my favorite bread, soboro bread. Soboro bread is also known as gombo or Korean streusel bread. It's basically a bread covered with peanut crumble and can be filled with red bean, more peanut butter, or even pastry cream. 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 teaspoon active dry yeast
- ¾ cup plus 2 tablespoon warm milk 105-110 degrees F
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 3 cups bread flour
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 large egg beaten
- ⅓ cup butter softened at room temperature
- 1 ½ cups cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon powdered milk
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup butter softened at room temperature
- ¼ cup chunky peanut butter
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 egg at room temperature
- 1 egg plus 1 tablespoon water for egg wash
- In a small bowl, combine 1 ½ teaspoon yeast with 1 teaspoon granulated sugar and ¾ cup plus 2 tablespoon warm milk. Let sit for 5 minutes or until yeast is activated and the mixture is foamy.
- In a large bowl, sift together 3 cups bread flour, ¼ cup sugar, and ½ teaspoon salt. Add the yeast mixture, 1 egg, and ⅓ cup butter and mix to combine. Knead until the dough is smooth. Transfer the dough to a clean bowl, cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
- Meanwhile, prepare the peanut topping. Sift together 1 ½ cups flour, 1 tablespoon powdered milk, 1 tablespoon baking powder, ¼ teaspoon baking soda, and ¼ teaspoon salt in a medium bowl. In a separate bowl, beat together ½ cup softened butter and ¼ cup peanut butter until smooth. Add ¾ cup sugar, 1 egg and 1 tablespoon honey, stirring until well-combined. Add the flour mixture and mix until combined. Keep in the fridge until ready to use.
- Punch down dough and divide into 12 pieces. Roll each piece into a ball and place them on a lined baking sheet and cover. Let rise for 30 minutes.
- Prepare egg wash by whisking together egg with 1 tablespoon water. Brush the tops of the dough with egg wash and gently press a handful of peanut topping on top. Cover and let rise for 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Bake bread for 15-20 minutes or until topping is golden brown.
**Helpful tips and common mistakes
This bread is not difficult to make but it does take a while because you have to proof it three 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. Use a scale to have consistent sizes.
While the dough is proofing for the second time, make the peanut topping. The streusel should be slightly crumbly and not too wet - it almost looks like ice cream!
Brush the tops of the buns with the egg wash and put a generous amount of the topping on each of the rolls. The buns will expand so the topping will 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!