Couronne Bread Ring

Couronne Bordelaise

A while back a customer inquired if we carried Couronne proofing baskets. I had no idea what they were. Fortunately he inquired by email so I didn’t have to sound dumb on the phone. An internet search led me, among other places, to the Wild Yeast Blog (excellent bread website), where I learned what a Couronne Bordelaise is, and how to make one.

While they’re actually pretty easy to make, you could never describe in words alone how it’s done. An illustrated tutorial is needed, but I thought a video would be better, so here’s one.

I’ve made couronnes several times and they’ve all turned out pretty decent looking so I figure they must be easy. You can make them from most any kind of dough. I usually use a mix of white and whole wheat flour since that goes well with most foods, making it particularly well suited for bringing to a get together or pot luck kind of event.

I’m hoping some of you will give it a try, add your feedback below and include a photo.

Have fun!

Basic Steps:

The above video is going to be your best bet for following the procedure for making a couronne, but it might also help to print out these basic guidelines to help recall the steps while in your kitchen.

These steps are intended as a basic “memory jogger” to accompany the video and pick up from when you have a risen dough to work with.

Divide your 750 grams of medium hydration (60-65%) dough into 6 balls of 100 grams each and one ball of 150 grams.

(For a basic white bread recipe, combining 460 grams of all purpose or bread flour with 300 grams of water, will yield the quantity and hydration level used in the video)

Roll the 150 gram dough ball into a flat (pizza like) disk roughly 8” in diameter. Drape it over the center cup of your couronne form and position the 6 balls evenly around the cup. Slash the disk as shown below.

Couronne Dough Positioning

Position and slash dough

Drape the triangles of dough over the dough balls.

Couronne Baking Steps

Fold dough over balls

Cover with plastic and let proof until the 6 dough balls are touching (1 to 1½ hours)

Couronne Baking Steps

Cover and proof

Invert the whole thing onto a peel and slide onto baking stone or La Cloche base preheated to around 450-475.

Couronne Baking Steps

Couronne Baking Steps

Bake for about 30 minutes until golden brown and internal temperature is 200-210.

Cool and devour.

Finished Couronne

Sesame Seed Couronne

Sesame Seed Variation

Also check out some great Couronne creations from Kristine Nickel and Torbie Phillips.

57 thoughts on “Couronne Bordelaise

  1. Bill

    I don’t have an oven stone so I baked it on a pizza pan. I also poured some water in the hot oven because I like my bread soft. Not as good looking as yours, but the shape and flavor turned out great. Thanks for the recipe!

    • Nice going, Bill. Flavor is the most important part!

  2. Karens Kuisine

    Hey Eric

    Firstly what an absolute treasure your website is – how lucky are we to find you, who is happy to share all your fabulous tutorials and knowledge base on all things bready!

    I’ve just found the Wild Yeast website you mentioned here – another great one! She has a fabulous GF sourdough recipe that I made for a friend – great result first time.

    A question about the Couronne – could you hazard a guess at proving times using a sourdough starter vs instant yeast?

    Thanks again for all that you do. I’m a huge fan (and my friends thank you too! But their wastelines, not so much :) )

    KarensKuisine
    Brisbane, Australia
    (follow me on Instagram – just started, after my simple sourdough panettone success!)

    • Thanks Karen. Proving times are really most dependent on temperature and weather. But to answer your question a little bit better, you just have to figure it’s going to take somewhat longer using sourdough if all else is equal and “normal”. Sounds like you already have enough experience to get reasonable close at guessing (from look and feel of the dough) when the proving times are about right. If not, you’ll will soon enough!

  3. Mike

    Not only interesting to make but really tasty. Will fill the next one with lots of fresh herbs to really enhance the flavor.

  4. Tom Owen

    Finally success Awsome looking have not ripped it apart yet still cooling thanks for a great and easy and very complicated looking bread

  5. Richie

    Great , Great, Great — web site — so many wonderful, helpful comments. Where were you when I was 30 or was it 40 — After living in France and Germany and NYC –We kind of know how great bread can be–The comments , pictures , videos give one the feeling of belonging , thinking , I must turn on the oven and get out that flour –What great therapy awakens with the working, mixing, shaping, anticapating, sharing and savioring the result. Your comments and videos should be in every assisted living place –maybe there are some wonderful bakers out there just waiting for the chance to blossom …

    As a practial note –you could buy a big stainless steal mixing bowl ( a cheap one ) Drill a hole though the top –buy an Eye bolt and two big washers and two nuts. put one nut on the eye bolt – and thread it all the way down –the put on the washer —put the eye bolt though the hole -hold the eye bolt in place –put the other washer on the installed eye bolt — Then put on the other nut –Tighten both nuts enough to hold the eye bolt in place — BE SURE to drill the hole to just fit the eye bolt — You now have a nice handle for the stainless steel bowl – Remember that the eye bolt will stay hot after you remove the bowl from the oven – And do not buy a bowl that will not fit in your oven with the eye bolt handle on it …

  6. Larry

    I just found this web site, saw the video about making the famous sourdough french bread and decided to give it a try. It is for a Christmas gathering (today) and while it was proofing for 24 hours, I saw the instructions for the couronne and decided to gave it a shot. Thanks for the information. I hope that it tastes 1/2 as good as it looks.

  7. Hedy

    Neal, I make Challa every Friday….I do various shapes. Since you need to leave the challa-type dough in one place after the 2nd rise (other wise it will deflate), I would put a balled-up piece of aluminium foil in the center….and arrange the rolls around it, all on the cookie sheet or pizza pan you are planning to bake on. I use different size pizza pans depending on the amount of rolls I am making. I even make heart shapes…and place the foil in the cleavage of the heart shape…preventing the dough from closing in on itself. Then I egg-wash the dough, sprinkle sesame and poppy seeds. I remove the foil after the initial rise has baked about (15 minutes) in and then the center will bake nicely too. Good luck!
    Hedy

  8. Neal

    Hi All,

    I am planning to try this for my Thanksgiving this year. I am playing host. My wife asked if I could make this shape using a more enriched dough, like a dinner roll or challah type dough? Is the technique relatively independent of the type of dough? I will do a practice run this weekend. I am looking for advice as to the type of dough that works best. Thanks

  9. Ann Timms

    Pam, I’m sure you could use regular yeast instead of the starter – maybe 1/2teaspoon? Not sure because I’ve never done it that way so maybe someone more knowledgeable will chime in. One thing I should correct – I only add 1/4cup steelcut oats, not the 1/2cup I stated. I also use the same amount of bulgur now and again and I never soak either of them because the dough sits in the refrigerator over night and that softens them. Hope this helps, Ann.

  10. Pam

    Well, I’m glad I didn’t give up and gave it a second try for the Couronne….I think it was a success!

    • Wow. Perfect. Nice going, Pam

  11. Pam

    Ann~
    I would like to try your recipe with the steel oats, but…can I substitute regular yeast in place of the sourdough starter? What adjustments do I need to make to do so?

    Thanks for your time. :-)

  12. Pam

    Kristine~
    Another request Please!
    Could you please provide the measurements of the bowl and plate w/lip? I want to try and duplicate the same thing in hopes that my bread will look like yours!
    Thank you!

  13. Pam

    Kristine Nickel~
    Please share your recipe…I just love the look of the sunflower seeds on your bread….was that applied after the egg wash??
    Love the pictures. Thanks!!

    • Kristine Nickel, New Smyrna Beach, Fl

      Hi Pam, Thanks for the compliment. The white shallow baking pan has a diameter of 10 1/2 ” and is 1 1/2 ” deep. The small bowl for the center has a 4 1/2″ diameter and is approx. 2 1/2 ” deep.
      The lining is a well floured flour sack. I followed Eric’s recipe, and gave it an egg-wash before sprinkling it with seeds. Next time I want to try Ann Timms’ whole grain recipe. Like Ann, I like to give them to friends.

  14. Ann Timms

    Hi Eric, sorry this is so belated, but I have made several couronnes using my usual sourdough recipe – with great results. About 3/4cup of starter, 1/2cup of steelcut oats, 1/4cup rye and 2 1/4cups King Arthur all purpose flour plus 3/4cups water. After the final proof and shaping the pie dish and couronne spend the night in the refrigerator. Next morning I preheat the baking stone to 450* and bake the loaf for 15 minutes under a big stainless steel bowl and 15 minutes uncovered. I have one proofing this afternoon to bake for my hairdresser tomorrow, a special request because they enjoyed the last one so much. I enjoyed your camping videos but doubt I’ll be copying you – way too old for camping! Annie.

  15. Pam

    Eva! Just love the pic of your efforts with this bread recipe. I only tried it once and was less than happy with my technique or recipe. Can you share the recipe YOU used. I’m tempted to try again…
    Thanks!
    Pam

    • Eva

      Pam,
      I used
      460 g Bread Flour, 1/4 t salt, 300 ml water and 1 t salt. I think my bread was a little bit short on the salt side and I will try it with whole wheat flour the next time.
      Eva

      • Eva

        sorry – 1/4 t yeast of course – not salt

  16. Melody

    Hi! As soon as I saw this video, I made them right away. I made two since I had a potluck to attend, and they were beautiful, tasty, and everybody loved them! Thanks Eric for a stellar video tutorial, always so helpful :)

    • You’re welcome. Glad it worked out so well.

  17. Eva

    Great Video, thanks for posting. Here is my couronne. I can’t wait to try it with different kind of doughs. Do you think I could let rise the dough overnight in the fridge after shaping (2nd rise) and then just pop it in the oven the next morning?
    Eva

    • Hi Eva,

      Great looking couronne! I love that the rolls aren’t too smashed together. The definition looks nice plus they’re just easy to pull apart.

      An overnight rise in the fridge might work. It’s more challenging getting the timing right that way. You’ll want to let to let the dough warm up some before baking while being careful not to let it go too long. If you try it, please let us know the outcome.

      • Eva

        I will for sure – thanks
        Eva

  18. Greg H.

    On my third try, I got something I was pretty pleased with. I used Susan Tenney’s (WildYeast) Norwich Sourdough (which is a variation on Jeffrey Hammelman’s Sourdough recipe (I believe that’s the correct history). Really tasty bread which I enjoyed. Will be using a couple of These for a Labor day BBQ.

  19. Kristine’s Couronnes

    Kristine Nickel had a lot of fun and great success from the start with this fine couronne. Inverting a bowl over a plate with a lip and draped with a towel sufficed just fine for a “proofing basket”.

    Scroll down to see her second and more ambitious creation.

    Couronne Form Couronne Form
    Couronne Proofing Couronne Proofing
    Ready to Bake Ready to Bake
    Done

    On her second go around, Kristine gave it an egg-wash prior to baking. After removing the cloche lid, she tented it with foil for the last few minutes of the baking time to keep it from getting too dark.

    Fantastic, Kristine!

  20. Hi Beth,

    Good question. The answer is probably not. I used to do it that way (combine the salt with the flour) but some say you should add it later since salt is a yeast inhibitor. Not sure I’ve noticed any difference.

  21. Beth

    PS, is there any reason in particular that the salt isn’t combined with the flour and THEN added to the water?

  22. Beth

    Eric, So glad you’re back! I love the new (?) kitchen background. I do miss the quaintness of the old one, though. :) Thanks for posting this in a way that we can make it without another pan in the kitchen. I love to make beautiful creations using what I already have. I am excited to try this. I think the cranberry pecan bread would be delicious for breakfast! For now, I will just try a standard dough and see if I can have one ready for dinner tonight. Next, sourdough (which is proofing in a jar right now!).

  23. Hedy

    sorry…thought I could add a few photos at one time.

  24. Hedy

    I loved your instructions and your generosity of knowledge.
    I made 6 rolls the first time….came out pretty nice. A little smashed when I tried to maneuver the bread into a large pot. No photos.
    Second time I tried 8 rolls on a baking stone and tried to cover the bread with the pot. A little deformed but the taste was outstanding.
    I used the basic no knead recipe with 1 1/2 cups better for bread flour and 1 1/2 cups white whole wheat. I kept to the 150 gr. for the rolled out dough and each roll was 76 grams. Here are some photos.
    I’ll keep working on perfecting my technique.

  25. Rosemarie

    I love this bread shape, I want to try it. Tearing bread is really the way we are supposed to eat bread. I like sesame seeds on mime too.
    Great job, thanks for the video.

  26. Jerry Abbanat

    Eric keeps coming up with more great video’s! I have learned more about bread baking from him than many of the books I have read. This couronne video is great and I am anxious to give it a try

  27. Kristine Nickel, New Smyrna Beach, Fl

    OOOPS ! I wasn’t quite finished….must have hit “ENTER” Wanted to upload a couple of photos.

    • These are beautiful Christine! Is the one on the right an egg bread (or semolina?)
      Thanks for sharing…

      • oops! Kristine…:)

      • Kristine Nickel

        Thank you for the compliment. I used Eric’s basic recipe for both breads. One just got a little darker…..tented the second one with a piece of foil. Happy baking.

  28. Rosemary C

    So happy to see you back. Thought you were in the witness protection program :) You have to watch out for wild bread bakers. Love the new video and can’t wait to try it. Looks amazing.

  29. This is from Breadtopia reader, Torbie Phillips —

    Here was my poufy couronne—sort of a Pillsbury Doughboy or Michelin Man version—and it tasted SUPER!
    Hope you like the pics–

    Torbie

     

  30. Pam

    love the appearance of this bread! I especially want to make the sesame seed version. Any tips on apply the sesame seeds before baking? I would guess brushing the dough w/water and then sprinkle on the seeds?Thanks!

  31. Gary Buda

    Thanks for the new video on the Couronne. I will have to give it a try. My wife likes EPI because of all the extra surface area and hence extra portions of crispy crust. The Couronne looks like it would fit that bill as well.

    And thanks for the sour dough starter recipe. Mine will be a year old in August.

    Yes, we were wondering where you went. You’re in Iowa! Wow, us too.

  32. Kristine Nickel

    Dear Eric , Thanks for the great new recipes and videos. Needless to say, they are exceptional. Can’t wait to to get to work on the FINANCIERS ( ordered the tins from you yesterday along with the large BREAD BOARD. I ordered the ALMOND MEAL/FLOUR from :http://store.honeyvillegrain.com/search.aspx?find=almond+flour
    It’s an excellent site. Have ordered most of my whole grains, seeds and bread flour from them for several years. The bags of grains weigh around 45-50 lbs. Their shipping charge, regardless of weight, is still under $5.00.

    Eric, thanks again for providing us with an excellent site.

    FOREVER a BREADTOPIA fan.
    Kristine ( AKA : BREAD MANIAC )

  33. susan

    Now that I watched the video I see how easy it is and that no special equipment is required! Well done. I can’t wait to try it

  34. Janet H.

    I have seen pictures of these in books and have veered away assuming they required too much work for this novice. You video has changed that assumption and I will now give one a try. :-)

    Thank you for taking the time to shoot the video and for posting it on your site for all to see.

    Janet

  35. TONY KIRK

    ERIC,

    THE Couronne LOOKS DELICIOUS — HAVE YOU TRIED IT USING SOURDOUGH?? — IF SO WHAT CHANGES DID YOU MAKE?

    THANKS,

    TONY

    • Hi Tony,

      I only used yeast for the video since it was about the shaping mostly and I wanted to keep it on the simple side. Every other time I’ve used sourdough and all I do is mix up the same ratios and quantities but mix in maybe a 1/4 max of some stiff sourdough starter. The timing doesn’t change on anything.

  36. Hi Susan,

    Thanks. Nothing all that special required though. Just things that are in most kitchens.

  37. susan

    Hi Eric,
    This is really gorgeous and requires special equipment. Nice if you have room for yet another baking pan. Maggie Glezer in Artisan Breads from around the world has a Couronne recipe from NY. Not quite as fancy but pretty gorgeous which requires nothing but a pair of hands. I will try your recipe as I am sure it is fantastic like the others . Thanks.
    Susan

  38. Rick E

    You make it look easy. I appreciate that you provide weights of ingredients. I have a bking stone; this may inspire me to get a La Cloche.

  39. Awesome.
    Really enjoyed the video. Will have to try it one day.
    Susie

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