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!




Serves 12



3 hrTotal Time

Yields 12 soboro

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  • 1 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tbsp warm milk (105-110 degrees F)
  • 1 tsp granulated sugar
  • 3 cups bread flour
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/3 cup butter, softened at room temperature
  • Peanut topping
  • 1 1/2 cups cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp powdered milk
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup chunky peanut butter
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 egg at room temperature
  • 1 egg plus 1 tbsp water for egg wash


  1. In a small bowl, combine 1 1/2 tsp yeast with 1 tsp granulated sugar and 3/4 cup plus 2 tbsp warm milk. Let sit for 5 minutes or until yeast is activated and the mixture is foamy.
  2. In a large bowl, sift together 3 cups bread flour, 1/4 cup sugar, and 1/2 tsp salt. Add the yeast mixture, 1 egg, and 1/3 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.
  3. Meanwhile, prepare the peanut topping. Sift together 1 1/2 cups flour, 1 tbsp powdered milk, 1 tbsp baking powder, 1/4 tsp baking soda, and 1/4 tsp salt in a medium bowl. In a separate bowl, beat together 1/2 cup softened butter and 1/4 cup peanut butter until smooth. Add 3/4 cup sugar, 1 egg and 1 tbsp honey, stirring until well-combined. Add the flour mixture and mix until combined. Keep in the fridge until ready to use.
  4. 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.
  5. Prepare egg wash by whisking together egg with 1 tbsp 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.
  6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  7. 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 tbsp 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.

proofing the dough

Punch down the dough and portion it into 12 rolls. Use a scale to have consistent sizes.

portioning the dough

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!

peanut topping

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!

proofing for the third time

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!



Looking for someone to come to your house and prepare these dishes for you? It is possible! If you are in Los Angeles and looking for a private chef, please feel free to contact me. For more information, visit Private Kitchen Los Angeles.


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