Chocolate Brioche with Sichuan Peppercorns

Light bread created by Gontran Cherrier to accompany foie gras terrine. Also delicious with strawberry jam or quince paste. Fragrant, mouth-numbing Sichuan peppercorns from China add a spicy, aromatic kick that is good with rich foods. They are available at most Asian markets and at thespicehouse.com. Recipe adapted from "Essential Pépin: More Than 700 All-Time Favorites from My Life in Food" by Jacques Pépin, French cooking legend. Recipe published in Food & Wine: October, 2011.

Yield: 2 servings ( Serving Size: 9-inch loaves )
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Recipe Time

Prep Time:
Cook Time:
Rise: 2 Hours, 45 Minutes


Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup(s) plus 1 tablespoon milk, warmed
  • 1/4 cup(s) sugar
  • 1 package(s) active dry yeast
  • 4 1/2 cup(s) all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup(s) unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
  • 2 teaspoon(s) salt
  • 1 teaspoon(s) finely ground Sichuan peppercorns
  • 1/2 cup(s) semisweet chocolate chips
  • 7 large eggs
  • 2 stick(s) unsalted butter, at room temperature

Preparation

  1. 1. In 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.
  2. 2. 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.
  3. 3. Transfer the dough to a floured bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let stand in warm place until risen and puffy, about 1 hour.
  4. 4. 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.
  5. 5. Generously butter two 9-by-4½-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 both loaves to the prepared loaf pans, 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.
  6. 6. 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.
October 2011

This recipe is a personal recipe added by psfreeman and has not been tested or endorsed by MyRecipes.

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