The spectacular looking Couronne Bordelaise is quite easy to make if you have a couronne banneton and know a couple of tricks. Unless you are a specialist baker (in Bordeaux) you wouldn’t expect to shift much in terms of volume but the odd one would look great as a centrepiece if you were catering for a wedding or generally advertising your skills.
Basically, the tricks are knowing the right weight for the rolls, the right size for the rolled dough, and remembering to brush the rim of the flat dough with olive oil so that it opens out from the main loaf in the oven.
The inside diameter of my banneton is 235mm at the top and approx 190mm at the base. It’s probably classed a s 1K basket and comfortably takes my usual 940g doughs. But for this couronne the rolls have got to both join up and remain distinct from each other – if they just merge the visual effect is lost. I only bake this bread very occasionally and since 2015 I’ve been reducing the weight of the rolls. This time at 120g I think I’ve got it right.
Seven equal dough pieces are needed – six rolls + the rolled out piece. 7 x 120g = 840g.
I used my basic Campagne formula:
Strong Bread Flour 449g
So, ignoring the kneading and bulk fermentation routine, which you all know, divide the dough into 7 x 120g pieces. Shape six as rolls. Roll out the seventh piece into a circle just wide enough to be cover the dome and the base of the banneton – might take a couple of tries to get this right. You don’t want it to extend up the sides of the basket.
Brush the edge of the of the circle with olive oil – this is very easy to forget while you are trying to get everything else right.
Arrange the six rolls in the basket so that they are just touching.
Now then. Carefully, with a sharp knife, cut through the dough across the dome between the joins of the rolls, and fold back the flaps as shown in the photograph above.
So, all that’s left is to prove it and bake. I stick to my usual prove of 3½ hours. In the Pico I give virtually everything 250C top, 220C bottom, steam 15 minutes and take it from there.
In this case I was a bit stunned by the way the flat piece had freed itself from the rolls and curled upwards. Hastily covered it loosely with kitchen foil so it didn’t burn, juggled the heat downwards (and then back up again) and ended up giving it the full 50 minutes. That is, I nursed it and I can’t be more precise than that.
A feat, I think.
An European antidote to an English Jubilee weekend.