The original recipe for tahini brioche comes from Ana Sortun and Maura Kilpatrick's cookbook, Soframiz. Figuring that tahini isn't unlike peanut butter in the arenas that would matter here (texture and fat content), I played Mad Baker-Scientist and replaced it for the tahini, one for one, in Maura's original recipe. (Cry "American obsession with peanut butter," if you must.) Where the tahini is a sophisticated, subtle background note, the peanut butter comes through strong. Six tablespoons of peanut butter goes further than six tablespoons of tahini—enough to make your kitchen smell like you're baking cross-hatched cookies; enough to make the final loaf taste like a peanut butter sandwich but without the tacky stickiness.
A note or two on the recipe:
This recipes requires a stand mixer and it requires you to use it a lot—like nearly-30-minutes-of-active-mixing a lot. Do not start a riveting podcast right before you embark.
My peanut butter dough was much softer than the tahini dough. It required 5 to 10 minutes of additional mixing in order to for the gluten window to form—and even then, it was delicate and fairly wet. I added flour to the bowl and to my hands when I transferred it from the bowl of the stand mixer to the bowl for its first rise. But don't worry: The dough does rises in refrigerator for six hours and will be much easier to work with after its chill out time.
A sprinkling flaky salt on the top of the peanut butter loaves before they bake will counter the PB's sugary leaning.
You can freeze the dough after it's final rise. Keep it in the freezer for up to 5 days, thaw it in the fridge overnight before baking, and then allow it to come to room temperature before proceeding.
You can also freeze the baked loaves or rolls or buns. Let it come to room temperature before reheating it gently in a low temperature oven. —Sarah Jampel