A Festive Shaping Technique for Whole Wheat Breads

Couronne BordelaiseWe’re smitten this holiday season with Couronne Bordelaise, the beautiful crown-shaped bread of Bordeaux.  Couronne is often made with white baguette dough or mostly-white country dough, but we’ve discovered it also works wonderfully for a variety of healthy whole wheat breads.

Marketing guru Amy made her Couronne with a mix of whole wheat, whole spelt and all-purpose flours, then flavored the bread with honey and walnuts. She served it with sliced hard salami, gouda with sun-dried tomatoes and a fresh green salad.

 

Couronne Sliced

Couronne richly studded with walnuts.

Julie in Culinary Development ventured into a 50% sprouted whole wheat flour bread enriched with both walnut oil and toasted walnuts.  It was paired with St. Andre cheese and fresh berries.

Both breads had walnuts kneaded into the six mini-boules, but not in the disc that envelopes the boules in order to avoid burning the nuts.

Breadtopia
We first encountered this festive bread on Breadtopia.com, which recently became our newest Folding Proofer retailer.  Breadtopia has a great website with quality content, including instructions and a video for shaping a Couronne.  The video is especially helpful and makes forming the crown easy.  Definitely a site worth visting and re-visiting.

Our Walnut-Wheat recipe, below, makes a great Couronne, but the same shaping technique can be used with many bread recipes, as long as the dough is of medium consistency and not too wet.

Walnut Wheat Couronne Bordelaise Recipe

Volume Grams Ounces
Levain
Mature Sourdough, 100% hydration 1 Tb 11 0.4
Unbleached flour, 11.5-12% protein 3/8 c 55 1.9
Water, 68-70F 2 Tbs + 3/4 tsp 33 1.2
Main Dough
Unbleached flour, 11.5-12% protein 1 c 140 4.9
Sprouted Whole Wheat flour* 1  1/8 c 182 6.4
Water,  about 90F 7/8 c + 1 Tb 222 7.8
Instant yeast 1/4 tsp 0.8 0.03
Honey 1 Tb 21 0.7
Salt 1 3/8 tsp 6.0 0.2
Levain all from above all all
Walnut oil 2 Tbs + 1 tsp 30 1.1
Walnuts, chopped 7/8 cup 100 3.5

couronne crop*If substituting regular (non-sprouted) whole wheat flour, the main dough will ferment more slowly.  Add an autolyse (rest) before kneading the dough, extend the bulk ferment/ first rise until the dough has reached double in size (6 cups), and extend the shaped proof until an indent made in the dough fills in slowly.  No changes are necessary to the levain.

Couronne form

Create a Couronne form by taping a small bowl to a plate.

Timing:  Mix the levain the night before baking.  Make the main dough in the morning, and bake the Couronne in the afternoon.

Equipment:  Brød & Taylor Folding Proofer, Couronne proofing form or a clean dish towel, 12″ plate or flat basket, 3-4″ diameter bowl and tape.  Sheet pan or pizza pan and parchment.

Mix the Levain.  Set up the Proofer with water in the tray and the temperature set to 70F / 21C.  Combine the levain ingredients and knead until smooth, 3-4 minutes.  Ferment in the Proofer 12 hours. The levain should be well risen but not yet beginning to deflate.

Mix and Knead the Main Dough. Refill the Proofer’s water tray if needed and set the Proofer to 85F/ 29C.  Place the two flours, yeast and salt in a large bowl and stir to combine.  Add the warm water, honey and levain and mix thoroughly.  Knead for five minutes, then add the walnut oil and knead until incorporated.  (The chopped walnuts will be added later, during shaping). Knead for an additional five minutes after the oil is incorporated.

Couronne Doughs

Divide 150g of dough and shape into a round. Knead the walnuts into the remaining dough.

Ferment the Main Dough.  Place dough in the Proofer and allow to rise to about 1.5x in volume (about 4 cups).  At 85F, this will take about 2½ hours.  During the first hour, perform two stretch and folds.  For each fold, stretch all four sides of the dough and fold to the center.

Prepare the Nuts and Couronne Form.  While the dough is rising, lightly toast the walnuts for 6-8 minutes at 350F/177 and rub them with a kitchen towel to remove a good portion of the skins.  To create a Couronne form, tape the small bowl to the center of the plate or basket and cover with a floured kitchen towel or couche.

Add Walnuts and Pre-Shape the Couronne.  Cut off a piece of dough weighing 150g/ 5.3oz and shape into a round.  Cover and allow to rest.  Add the walnuts to the remaining dough and gently stretch and fold a few times to incorporate.  Divide into six equal pieces, about 110g/ 4oz each, and shape into rounds.  Cover.

 Fill the Couronne Form.  Roll out the larger ball of dough (without walnuts) on a floured surface to form an 8″ disc.  To ensure good separation of the crown ridge, brush a little oil around the rim of the disk.  Place the disc over the center of the form so that it drapes down the sides and extends an inch or so onto the flat surface of the plate or basket.  Arrange the six walnut rounds evenly around center disc, ideally so that the edge of the disc hits the center of the round.  Use a sharp knife to cut the center of the disc so that there is a triangular flap to wrap over the top of each round.

photo 1

Final shaped proof.

Proof the Couronne.  Place in the Proofer, still at 81F, and allow to rise until a gentle indent springs back slowly, 45-60 minutes.  Preheat the oven to 450F/232C with a stone or sheet pan.

Bake.  Remove the Couronne from the Proofer.  Lay a sheet of parchment on the sheet or pizza pan and place over the top of the couronne, then invert to transfer the Couronne to the sheet pan.  Steam the oven and bake 25-30 minutes, or until the bread reaches and internal temp of about 205F.

Couronne 2 crop

Walnut Couronne with St. Andre cheese

 by Julie