Chocolate Brioche with Sichuan Peppercorns
- 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon milk, warmed
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 package active dry yeast
- 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon Sichuan peppercorns, finely ground, (see Note)
- 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
- 7 large eggs
- 2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
DirectionsIn a small bowl, combine the warmed milk and 1 teaspoon of the sugar.
Sprinkle the yeast over the milk and stir lightly.
Let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes.
In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle, combine the flour, cocoa, salt, ground Sichuan peppercorns, chocolate chips and the remaining 3 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons of sugar and mix well.
With the machine at medium low speed, beat in the yeast mixture.
Add 6 of the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the side of the bowl as necessary.
Reduce the speed to low and beat in the butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, until thoroughly incorporated; scrape down the sides of the bowl a few times.
The dough should be soft, smooth and slightly sticky.
Transfer the dough to a floured bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let stand in warm place until risen and puffy, about 1 hour.
On a floured work surface, pat down the dough.
Gather it into a ball.
Flour the bowl and return the dough to it.
Cover and let stand again until risen, about 45 minutes.
Generously butter two 9-by-4 1/2-inch loaf pans.
Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and cut it in half.
Pat each half into a 9-by-8-inch rectangular loaf and transfer to a prepared loaf pan, seam sides down; neatly fold in the ends.
Loosely cover with plastic wrap and let stand until the dough fills the pans, about 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 350. Beat the remaining egg and brush some over the tops of the loaves.
Using a sharp knife, make a lengthwise slice in the center of each loaf.
Bake for 35 minutes, rotating the loaves halfway through baking, until they sound hollow when tapped.
Transfer the pans to a rack to cool slightly, then run a knife around the edges and turn the loaves out onto the rack.
Serve the brioche warm or at room temperature.