A classic Korean bakery sweet bun with a delicious crumbly topping.
Funny enough, this Korean bread was one of my very first fails in baking that I had a few years back. My theory is that I either accidentally put in too much salt or that I just completely mistaken salt for sugar! Whatever it was, the bread was super salty. I had been newly baking and was on a roll with successes until this major salty fail. I never made it again for years.
But I’ve been craving this soboro ppang, it’s $3+ per bun and hasn’t been available our last few visits to our nearby franchise Korean bakery. This determined me to face my fears and bake it myself!
What is soboro ppang?
Soboro = streusel – a popular crumble topping that’s made from flour, butter, sugar and importantly, peanut butter.
Ppang = bread – the base of this bread is a sweet and soft bun
Soboro is a streusel topping that is found on many different Korean breads that are filled with custard, red bean, whipped cream and more but soboro ppang is the golden standard. Just a plain but delicious sweet soft bun with crumbles on top. It’s also one of my favorites as a basic but always on point delicious bun.
As a kid, I used to like just picking the crumbles off the bread. Ha, of course I got in trouble. But now, I can stuff as much crumble on the bread as I can compared to other franchises who may not be as generous with their portions. Hope you enjoy!
Soboro Ppang (Korean streusel bread)
- 250 g (2 cup) bread flour
- 10 g (2 Tbsp) powdered milk see note
- 5 g (1 ⅔ tsp) instant dry yeast
- 2 g (¼ tsp) salt
- 75 ml (5 Tbs) milk
- 25 ml (1 ⅔ Tbsp) water
- 1 egg beaten
- 37 g (2 ⅔ Tbsp) butter room temperature
- 50 g (3 ½ Tbsp) butter
- 20 g (1 ¼ Tbsp) peanut butter
- 75 g (¼ cup + 2 Tbsp) sugar
- 1 tsp corn syrup
- 1 egg yolk
- 100 g (¾ cup + 1 ⅓ Tbsp) all purpose flour
- 27 g (2 ⅔ Tbs) cornstarch
- 13 g milk powder
- 2 g (⅜ tsp) baking powder
- 1 g (⅛ tsp) baking soda
- Bowl of water or left over egg whites both will work fine
- Make the bun dough. In a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, sift in the bread flour and powdered milk; add in the yeast, salt and sugar and mix on low speed. Pour in the milk, water and beaten egg. Continue to mix on low-medium speed for about 2-3 minutes until the dough starts to come together but is still very sticky.
- Add in the butter . Continue to mix in the stand mixer until the dough comes together. The dough should be smooth, and pull off the sides of the bowl neatly when being mixed. (Often takes me somewhere between 11-16 minutes, depending on speed and weather).*If kneading by hand, follow similar steps as above. You will most likely need to knead it for a few more minutes. Use the windowpane test to check that the dough is ready.
- Lightly oil or butter a clean bowl. Place the dough in the and cover. Set aside in a warm spot for about 1 hour to proof the dough until its doubled in size.
- In the meantime, make the streusel topping. In a medium sized bowl (or stand mixer), mix the butter and peanut butter until smooth. One by one, mix in the sugar, corn syrup and egg yolk. Continue to mix until the batter is smooth without clumps.
- Sift in the all purpose flour, cornstarch, milk powder, baking powder and baking soda on top of the butter mixture. Using a rubber spatula, mix the flour slowly into the butter mixture. Once it looks crumbly, stop mixing. Set aside.*I tend to hit at the dough with the spatula and also make lines down the batter. You don’t want the dough to clump into one mixture.
- Return back to the bun dough. Lightly flour your working area and divide the dough into 10 equal pieces. Roll each dough into a round piece. Cover and set aside for 15 minutes.
- Lay some of the soboro crumble on the working surface (or large bowl/plate that has a wide enough flat surface). Reroll the dough back into a round shape. Lightly brush the top of the dough with water (or egg whites). Press the wet side down into the crumble. Place about a Tbsp of the soboro on to the back of the dough as well so the bottom of the bread will also have a bit of crumble.*my batter had dried out a bit in the pictures.
- Lay the roll with the bigger crumble side on top. Cover and set aside for 40 minutes to proof a second time.
- *the crumbles may pull apart as the dough rises!
- Preheat your oven to 355 degrees F (180 degrees C). Bake the dough for about 15 minutes, until golden brown. Let cool for a few minutes until at room temperature. Enjoy! Great with a cup of coffee or glass of milk!