Gombo or Soboro bread

Once in a while I get a massive craving for an old fashioned doughnut, my favorite type. I know it's very plain, but that's the kind my mom used to make, and they were delicious. Doughnuts are hard to find (or so they were) in Argentina; there used to be one Dunkin Donuts location we knew about- right across the street from the American embassy, where else? During each visit for our American greencards, my parents used to buy us a box of doughnuts to keep us quiet and happy while we spent what seemed like days sitting in the watiting room of the American embassy. Later on, Dunkin Donuts went out of business and left Argentina, and my mom started making doughnuts at home once every while. That was the only pastry type thing she made.

Gombo bread is not too sweet, and it has a crumbly top. They remind me of my mom's donuts for the not-so-sweetness, and... it's my favorite Korean bun. However my mom was never a baker, and I really wanted to try and make Gombo bread specially since I never baked any Korean breads and it was the perfect timing to share them with my parents while they visited last week.

Also, it happens to be my dad's favorite Korean bread (thou he eats anything and it's hard to pin point something as his favorite). He had never tried a home made version, let alone a warm one right out of the oven. It was gone in seconds.

There are two parts of this bread, there is a crumble topping on top of a slightly sweet bun. First, you have to activate the yeast in a warm milk and warm water mix, along with the sugar for the bun.

The recipe did not call for activating the yeast separately, but patience is always rewarded, this time with an airy bread.

Mix the flour and salt and make a hole in the center. Place the yeast mixture (yeast, sugar, warm milk and warm water), a lightly beaten egg and mix with the hook. Once the dough is starting to pull together, add the melted butter.

Mix until you form a dough.

Place in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with a damp cloth. Let it sit in a warm place for an hour. I placed it inside the oven, the pilot keeps it warm.

Meanwhile, make the crumble top. Cream the butter with the sugar. I made this bread twice last week; the first time I used regular granulated sugar and the second time, brown sugar. Go with regular granulated sugar.

Add the yolk and syrup. Scrape the bowl and add the flour and baking powder. 

Mix it just until all the ingredients are incorporated, don't over-mix. Otherwise, it'll become like a cookie dough. If that happens, just break it apart with your fingers. Set aside.

After an hour, punch out the dough and divide in 8 pieces.

Dip each bun in water and then place the crumble topping on top. The water will act as glue for the crumble topping.

Repeat with each one, flattening the bun.

The more crumble topping you put, the better. Use all the crumble topping you've made. Divide it equally among the buns.

Cover with a damp cloth, and let them sit for 20 minutes while you preheat the oven at 350F.

Bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown. Enjoy! 

Gombo bread

For the bun:
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon of dry instant yeast
  • 2 tablespoons of sugar
  • 1/4 cup of warm milk
  • 1/4 cup of water
  • 2 1/4 cups of all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons of butter (melted and cooled)

For the Topping:
  • 4 tablespoons of butter (room temp)
  •  1/3 cup of sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon of light corn syrup
  • 1 cup of all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder


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