Korean streusel bread or Soboro-ppang (소보로빵) is a light, fluffy yeast bread with a crumb topping made with peanut butter. Due to the amount of sugar, it is not gout friendly. With the eggs, butter, and milk, it is not vegan. But I am sure it could easily be made vegan. My wife and girls love Soboro-ppang, so we decided to document the process, but they are not on my menu.
Every time we go to H-Mart during the checkout process, my wife will disappear. Nothing to worry about; she is at the bakery for a little shopping. About the time we get on the highway, she will open the bag from the bakery, and the first thing she will eat is, of course, Soboro-ppang.
She has spent a lot of time working on this recipe, reading Korean food blogs, and watching YouTube videos. She says it’s about 90%. She may never get it just right, kind of like me with pizza dough.
The recipe is broken up into two parts—one for the bread and one for the crumb (streusel like) topping.
Ingredients for the dough:
Bread flour: Bread flour is a high protein very strong flour. It gives dough lots of strength.
Cake flour: This is a finely milled low protein flour. It’s used to make cakes light and fluffy. Can you use all-purpose flour instead of mixing the two? Possibly but when it comes to Korean streusel bread, I just go along with the program.
Sugar: Sugar will feed the yeast so that it will develop quickly and act as a lubricant for the bread.
Salt: Let’s face it recipes need salt to balance out the flavors.
Dry or powdered milk: To add flavor and help with browning the outside of the bread.
Yeast: Yeast is what will cause the rise in our bread and give a yeasty flavor. It also makes the house smell nice while cooking.
Milk: We use two percent milk but you can use what you have.
Egg: Eggs help to lighten the texture of the bread.
Butter: Softened (let it come to room temperature) I am sure that there is a chemistry reason, but butter will make the bread richer.
Ingredients for the crumb topping:
Butter: Yep lots of butter in the topping to help with the browning.
Peanut butter: To give a nice flavor to the buns. We used smooth, natural peanut butter, but chunky works great. Perhaps you could even grind up some peanuts and add to the crumb topping. That might push the recipe to 92%.
Raw sugar: The sugar we used is from Korea labeled as organic brown sugar. But to me, it looks like turbinado sugar.
Honey: The topping needs some kind of thick sweetener. We used honey but corn syrup is probably more common.
Egg: To help bind the topping and to make it richer. We will also brush some of the egg on the bread to help the topping stick. We used one large egg that had been beaten.
Dry Milk: For flavor without adding moisture.
Salt: Got to have some salt
Baking powder: Not sure why this is needed; I just go along with the program. Remember safety first in the kitchen. Actually, it helps to lighten the crumb.
All-purpose flour: The type of flour here is not too important. In fact, I would like to try grinding up some oats and mixing them with flour.
The volume to crumb topping is more than what you will need. But in this house, you must have enough topping. To keep from having too much leftover, just cut back on how much flour you use.
Let’s make the bread dough. Add all of the dry ingredients (dough only, not the topping) to a mixing bowl. We used the stand mixer, so we added it to that bowl. Then gave a quick mix with the whisk.
Then we placed the bowl on the stand mixer and added the wet ingredients (milk and egg), reserving the butter. I turned the mixer on setting one. Mixed a little, then went to setting two. Mixed a little, then used a spatula to scrape down the bowl. After everything was combined, we started to speed up the mixer. Finally, mixed on setting eight for three minutes.
Yep, we beat the crap out of the poor dough. When we lifted the mixer, the dough fell off of the hook. After this, the dough needs to rest.
Note: You could knead by hand, but it takes a lot of work. I am too lazy, and as they say, ain’t nobody got time for that.
Put some (about a teaspoon) flour on your surface and scrape your dough out of the bowl and form it into a ball. The dough is very sticky and hard to work with, but the best that you can. Cover with plastic wrap and let it rest for ten minutes.
After the dough has rested, it will be a lot more elastic (stretchy) it is ready for a little hand kneading. Put a touch (about a teaspoon) of flour on your surface and knead for three or four minutes. Then form it into a ball and add to a bowl and cover. Let it rise until it has doubled in volume.
The time to double in volume will depend upon the temperature and humidity in the air.
We have an electric bread proofer that we set on 120F. The bowl was placed inside, and it took about one hour. You could turn your oven on just long enough for it to start to get warm, then turn it off. Put your dough inside and leave the light on. Just make sure your oven is not hot.
After the dough has doubled in size, punch it down and form it into individual balls. This time we make twelve, but eight is probably the best size.
Cover the balls and let them rise until close to doubled in size. This took about forty-five minutes in the proofer at 120F.
During this rize is a good time to make the crumb topping.
Now they are ready to add the crumb topping.
The first step to our crumb topping is mixing the peanut butter and butter. The butter does not have to be completely soft or even fully mixed.
Then mix in the sweeteners, in this case, honey and raw sugar. You want the sugar to dissolve mostly. But little crunchy bits of sugar is a sweet thing.
Then add about 1/3 of a large egg that has been beaten. We save the other 2/3 of the egg for an egg wash. But if you would like to add all of the egg at this point. And give a good mix.
Now mix in the dry milk, salt and baking powder.
Dump in the all-purpose flour and use your hands to mix it in. You want it to have a coarse uneven texture. You now have your crumb topping.
When your dough balls are ready, roll them into balls and brush with egg or milk. We used egg. And top with crumb mixture.
Note: Instead of egg or milk, mix cornstarch with water and brush onto the dough balls. The egg, milk, or cornstarch’s main purpose is so that the crumb topping sticks to the dough.
Place your dough balls on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper and add more crumb mixture and press them kind of flat. The more crumb topping, the better.
Start preheating your oven to 350 F and let them rise until they have almost doubled in size.
Please place them in the oven and cook for twenty minutes. At about the fifteen-minute mark, turn your sheet pan around 180 degrees so that they brown evenly. For this batch, we forgot to do that, and some more brown than others. If you have a convection oven, this is not as big of an issue. Also, after the fifteen-minute mark, keep a close eye on them. With all of the sugar in the topping, they can go from brown to burn rather quickly.
- 210 grams Bread flour Sifted
- 72 grams Cake flour Sifted
- 60 grams Sugar Fine white sugar
- 5 grams Salt Fine salt
- 12 grams Dry milk Powdered milk
- 14 grams Yeast instant dry yeast
- 140 grams Milk 2% Milk or whole milk
- 1 Egg Large (60 grams)
- 24 grams Butter Softened
- 60 grams Butter
- 30 grams Peanut butter Smooth
- 90 grams Raw sugar
- 10 grams Honey
- 20 grams Egg
- 15 grams Dry Milk
- 1 gram Salt
- 2.5 grams Baking powder
- 150 grams All purpose flour
- Add all of the dry ingredients (dough only not the topping) to a stand mixer bowl. Then give a quick mix with a whisk.
- Then add the milk and egg. Turn the mixer on low to incorporate everything. If needed use a spatula to scrape down the bowl.
- Slowly increase the speed of the mixer, mix on high for three minutes.
- Put some flour of your surface and scrape your dough out of the bowl and form it into a ball. The dough is very sticky but just do the best that you can. Cover with plastic wrap and let it rest for ten minutes.
- After the dough has rested put about a teaspoon of flour on your surface and knead for three or four minutes. Then form it into a ball and add to a bowl and cover. Let it rise until doubled in volume.
- After the dough has doubled in size punch it down and form into eight to twelve individual balls.
- Cover the balls and let them rise until close to doubled in size.
- Add the the peanut butter and butter to a bowl and mix.
- Add and mix in the honey and raw sugar.
- Add about 1/3 of a large egg and mix.
- Add and mix in mix in the dry milk, salt and baking powder.
- Dump in the all purpose flour and use your hands to mix it in.
Make the Soboro-ppang
- When your dough balls are ready roll them into balls and brush with egg or milk.
- Top the dough balls with with crumb mixture.
- Place your dough balls on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper and add more crumb mixture and press them kind of flat.
- Let them rise until they have almost doubled in size.
- Preheat oven to 350 F
- Bake for 20 minutes at 350 F. After 15 minutes turn 180 degrees.