My love for bread started when I was still in my mother’s womb. I believe she consumed loaves and loaves of bread on a daily basis when she was pregnant with me. That diet has passed on to me and I now am eating loaves and loaves of bread on a daily basis. Sweet or savory, I will eat it all. Some of my favorite baked goods include Korean pastries including soboro and coffee buns. Today, I’m going to spend some time making one of my favorite savory bread, the Korean croquette bread. Yes, a croquette bread. It’s exactly as it sounds, a potato and beef filling stuffs a soft bread coated in panko crumbs. It’s magical. And now I’m going to show you how to make it at home.
**Helpful tips and common mistakes
Believe it or not, when I was trying to find a recipe for Korean croquette bread, I couldn’t find a single one! There are plenty of recipes for Japanese curry croquette bread, but not for the Korean version. It was time to remedy that.
Let’s jump right in, shall we? First, the dough. What I love about Korean bread or all Asian baked goods for that matter, is that they are always so soft. No matter the filling or topping, the dough itself is top-notch. To recreate a beautifully soft bread, we are going to use ingredients like milk, eggs, and butter to the dough. Even as you knead the dough, you will notice how soft it is. Cover the dough and let it proof for 1 hour or until doubled in size.
Meanwhile, make the filling. Mash some potatoes and mix it with sauteed ground beef, onions, carrots, garlic, scallion, and a touch of mayo until well combined. Give it a taste and season it with salt and pepper. This is the filling for the croquette bread so we have to make sure it tastes amazing!
When the dough is ready, portion it into 8 equal portions. I like to use a scale to ensure each one is exactly the same. Roll each portion into a ball and let it rest for 15 minutes. Relaxing the dough for a couple of minutes will make it easier to roll out later. Roll out each portion into a 5-inch circle and stuff it with the prepared filling. Normally when you make dumplings or ravioli, people always say don’t overstuff it. Today I’m going the opposite and saying, put as much filling as you can.
Seal up the filling by gathering up the edges and re-shaping the dough into a patty. To get the full croquette effect, dip each bread in egg and coat all of the sides with panko. Cover the bread and let it rest for a final time.
Korean croquette bread is normally fried but I wanted to be just a wee bit healthier and decided to bake them instead. It’ll probably be better fried; however, I will honestly say that they were still very delicious baked. To get that crispy coating, spray the buns generously with cooking spray. I like to check on the bread about halfway in to see if there are any spots that aren’t getting as browned. If there are, just spray a little more cooking spray in that area.
Let the croquette bread slightly cool and dig in while it’s still warm. Hear that crunch? Yup, that’s the sign of a successfully baked Korean croquette bread. These buns were quite excellent. Each bread was stuffed with a sufficient amount of delicious filling and the bread was oh so soft. Look out bakeries! You may have some competition!
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