Traditional Sourdough Couronne Bordelaise: A traditional bread from the area Bordeaux in SW France. This “Crown” bread is proved & shaped in a special “Couronne” banneton wicker basket. It’s a great shaped bread to serve for any buffet or cheeseboard, as a cheese, such as a boxed Camembert, can be placed in the middle.
A Great Sourdough Bread for Bread & Cheese!
I am an avid collector of what is called “Kitchenalia”, I suppose it comes with the territory of being a food writer and recipe developer. And, most of my vast collection comes from France, where I lived for over 18 years. I have all sorts of bric-a-brac for the kitchen and dining room…..oyster plates, old cutlery, bread boards, bread knives, vintage Le Creuset pans, vintage French (and English) crockery, enamel bowls, old coffee pots and a small collection of wicker Couronne Bannetons which hang on the wall. These lovely old baskets are used to shape and prove a classic French bread, Traditional Sourdough Couronne Bordelaise, the recipe of which I am sharing today.
A Traditional Sourdough Couronne Bordelaise is a bread that I’m used to enjoying, as we used to live just North of Bordeaux, where this bread hails from. Anything that is named “Bordelaise” means that it originates from the Bordeaux region in the Aquitaine, in SW France; and, a “Couronne” means a crown in French, which this bread emulates by being baked in a round with little rolls making up the crown shape. Our local bakery in Saint-André-de-Lidon used to sell the most amazing Traditional Sourdough Couronne Bordelaise bread, along with the usual suspects of baguettes, pain, batard, flutes, ficelle and pain d’epi.
However, as I now live in North Wales, I can’t just nip down to the boulangerie in the next village, so I decided to liberate one of my couronne bannetons, which was hanging on the dining room wall, to make my own Traditional Sourdough Couronne Bordelaise. The following recipe is made with a batch of my classic sourdough bread made easy dough, and although it isn’t hard to make a Traditional Sourdough Couronne Bordelaise, it does take some time, and it’s a little fiddly, but it is a thoroughly enjoyable and rewarding process all the same. I have shared some very simple step-by-step instructions below, with photos, to help you make one of these wonderful French loaves.
To follow the instructions below, you must have first made a batch of sourdough, and therefore I have added my recipe for Classic Sourdough Bread made Easy. Start the process off the day before you plan to shape and bake your Traditional Sourdough Couronne Bordelaise. Allow it to prove overnight, then at about 10:00 or 11:00 the following day, follow the step-by-step instructions below. It only needs another hour to prove (in a cold place) after shaping before baking. As it is a ring (or more precisely a crown!) of bread, it doesn’t take as long to bake as a large sourdough boule. The recipe and procedure is shared below, and PLEASE don’t hesitate to ask me if you have any queries. Happy baking, Karen
Disclaimer: [AD] The beautiful Mason Cash Terracotta Bread Baking Set that I used in my recipe and which is shown in the photos, was a gift from The Big Kitchen. I was not paid to share photos of this gift on my site or to create this recipe. RRP: £32:00
Step-by-Step Procedure to make
Traditional Sourdough Couronne Bordelaise:
You will need:
**12″ (30cm) wicker couronne banneton**
Large linen tea towel (if the banneton is not lined)
Large bowl for proving overnight
Shower cap or cling film to cover
Flexible dough scraper and cutter
12″ (30cm) pizza stone or baking stone
**If you don’t have a wicker couronne banneton, use a large bowl with a ramekin upturned in the middle, then drape it with a large tea towel to shape**
After the basic sourdough has proved overnight, tip it out of the bowl onto a large floured board. Use rice flour and not wheat flour. (Place the linen tea towel inside the banneton if it’s not lined, and sprinkle rice flour over it)
Divide it into 10 equal pieces, using a flexible dough scraper to cut it. Be gentle and do not handle too much, as it will knock the “air bubbles” out of the dough.
Set 9 balls of dough to one side, and roll out the remaining ball into a large round, similar to the shape of a flat bread or pizza.
Place the rolled out dough over the raised hump in the middle of the banneton basket, easing it out evenly.
Arrange the remaining 9 balls of dough over the dough disc forming a circle of balls. With a pair of scissors or a razor blade, cut the centre of the disc so it has 9 points, then pull these back and fold them over each ball of dough. Cover with a shower cap or clingfilm and set aside in a cold place for 1 hour.
Pre-heat the oven to 230C/450F/Gas mark 8. Cut a circle of baking paper to fit the pizza or baking stone. Invert the banneton basket over the top of the lined pizza/baking stone, and ease the Couronne Bordelaise out.
Bake in pre-heated oven for 35 to 45 minutes, or until the Couronne Bordelaise is well risen, is light brown and sounds hollow when tapped underneath. Gently lift the Couronne Bordelaise off the pizza/baking stone onto a wire cooling rack, and allow to cool completely.
Enjoy! Especially with cheese, soup, stew, or as a sandwich.