RECIPE | Chocolate brioche with Sichuan peppercorns
. 70ml milk, warmed
. 50g sugar
. 1 package active dry yeast
. 500g all-purpose flour
. 60g unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
. 2 tsp salt
. 1 tsp finely ground Sichuan peppercorns
. 100g semisweet chocolate chips
. 7 eggs
. 220g unsalted butter, at room temperature
1. In a small bowl, combine the warmed milk and 1 teaspoon of the sugar.
2. Sprinkle the yeast over the milk and stir lightly. Let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes.
3. Combine the flour, cocoa, salt, ground Sichuan peppercorns, chocolate chips and the remaining sugar and mix well.
4. Beat in the yeast mixture.
5. Add 6 of the eggs, one at a time.
6. Reduce the speed to low and beat in the butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, until thoroughly incorporated. The dough should be soft, smooth and slightly sticky.
7. Transfer the dough to a floured bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let stand in warm place until risen and puffy, about 1 hour.
8. 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.
9. Generously butter two loaf pans. Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and cut it in half. Pat each half into a 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.
10. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
11. Beat the remaining egg and brush some over the tops of the loaves.
12. Using a sharp knife, make a lengthwise slice in the center of each loaf.
13. Bake for 35 minutes, rotating the loaves halfway through baking, until they sound hollow when tapped.
14. Transfer the pans to a rack to cool slightly, then run a knife around the edges and turn the loaves out onto the rack.
15. Serve the brioche warm or at room temperature.