Sep 12, 2017

Auvergne Crown | Couronne Auvergnate | #BreadBakers

The Auvergne Crown, or Couronne Auvergnate, is a classic bread from France. You can find these couronnes in boulangeries (bread bakeries) throughout most of the country. The loaves are deeply browned and crusty, and the crumb is exceptionally flavorful with lots of uneven holes.

The Auvergne Crown is a classic French shape. You can find these couronnes in boulangeries throughout most of France. The loaves are deeply browned and crusty, and the crumb is exceptionally flavorful with lots of uneven holes.




There are actually bannetons (rising baskets) made expressly for theses loaves. While I love collecting bread baking toys, I do not have one of these, so I rigged up a large round deep dish pizza pan with a small inverted bowl in the center, and I lined the contraption with floured tea towels.

You could also use an inverted bowl on a rimmed baking sheet or sheet cake pan. The goal is to keep the center from growing into itself while the dough rises.

This Auvergne Crown, or Couronne Auvergnate, originated in a region in central France, which is mostly agricultural, and the area that grows most of the country's grains.

This dough can also be used for baguettes, epis (wheat stalks), and boules. The flavor of this bread is complex, having been developed by a long, slow rise. The active time is short, but the waiting is long, and well worth it.

You will need a sourdough starter to make this bread. If you don't have one and don't want to start and maintain one, I also have a version of this bread made with an old dough starter (vieille p√Ęte) and a little bit of yeast. It's a little sweeter than this bread, and the flavor is also exceptional.

The Auvergne Crown is a classic French shape. You can find these couronnes in boulangeries throughout most of France. The loaves are deeply browned and crusty, and the crumb is exceptionally flavorful with lots of uneven holes.


Sample two day schedule for making this bread:

First day:
6:00 am: Mix starter.
2:30 pm: Mix final dough.
6:30 pm: Shape loaf.
7:30 pm: refrigerate the loaf.

Second day:
9:00 am: Remove the loaf from the refrigerator.
1:00 pm: Bake the loaf.

Sample three day schedule for making this bread:

First Day:
Noon: Mix the starter.
5:00 pm: Refrigerate the starter.

Second Day:
2:00 pm: mix the final dough.
5:00 pm: shape the loaf.
6:00 pm: refrigerate the shaped loaf.

Third Day:
8:00 am: remove the loaf from the refrigerator.
Noon: Bake the loaf.

The Auvergne Crown is a classic French shape. You can find these couronnes in boulangeries throughout most of France. The loaves are deeply browned and crusty, and the crumb is exceptionally flavorful with lots of uneven holes.

The hardest part about making this bread, besides waiting, is removing the couche/tea towel from the risen loaf. I use a 50/50 mixture of wheat and rice flour to prevent sticking.

This month, the Bread Bakers are making International Breads, a theme chosen by Wendy of A Day in the Life on The Farm. I am so excited to see all of the different breads created by our already international group of bakers. Be sure to visit them after the recipe.


Auvergne Crown Recipe

Auvergne Crown Recipe

Ingredients

For the starter:

  • 5 ounces (1 cup) unbleached all purpose flour
  • 4 ounces (1/2 cup) room temperature water
  • 4 ounces (1/2 cup) active sourdough starter

For the final dough:

  • 14 ounces (1 3/4 cups) room temperature water
  • 22 1/2 ounces (1 pound, 6 1/2 ounces) (4 1/2 cups) King Arthur Flour unbleached all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon salt

Instructions

  1. To make the starter: In a medium bowl, mix all of the starter ingredients with a wooden spoon or dough whisk until all of the flour is absorbed. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest at room temperature for 5 hours.
  2. Let rise an additional 3 to 7 hours at room temperature (for the two day method), or place the starter in the refrigerator for 16 to 24 hours (for the three day method).
  3. To make the final dough: Stir the water into the starter until combined. In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the flour and starter mixture and mix with the dough hook for about 2 minutes, until a shaggy dough forms. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 20 to 30 minutes.
  4. Add the salt to the bowl and mix on low for about 2 minutes. Transfer the dough to a large oiled bowl or dough rising bucket, cover with plastic wrap, and let rest for 30 minutes.
  5. Uncover the dough, and using wet hands and/or an oiled bowl scraper, pick up an edge of the dough, and fold it over itself. Rotate the bowl about a quarter turn, and repeat the fold. Continue to rotate the bowl and stretch and fold the dough for a total of eight times. Cover and let rest for 30 minutes. Repeat 3 more times, for a total of 4 stretch and fold sessions with 30 minute breaks in between.
  6. After the final 30 minute rest, turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Stretch the dough out to a 10 inch round, pinching any air bubbles. Fold the edges of the dough toward the middle to form a ball. Cover and let rest for 15 minutes.
  7. Put a small bowl in the center of a rimmed baking sheet or large deep dish pizza pan, and cover with a linen couche or large tea towels. Dust generously with a 50/50 mixture of wheat and rice flour.
  8. Uncover the dough and re-form it into a ball. Turn the ball over, seam side down. With floured hands or a bench knife, drag the dough ball on the counter from all sides to tighten and strengthen the skin on the top of the dough.
  9. Press your floured fingertips through the middle of the dough ball to create a hole. Invert the dough and place it in the lined pan, with the inverted bowl in the middle. Fold the floured couche over the dough, and then cover with plastic wrap. Let sit at room temperature for one hour, and then move to the refrigerator for 12 to 16 hours.
  10. Take the shaped dough out of the refrigerator, and let come to room temperature, about 3 to 4 hours, until almost doubled.
  11. About an hour before baking time, set your oven up for steam. I use a baking stone on the upper middle rack and a broiler pan on the lower rack. Bring a cup of water to a boil in a saucepan. Preheat the oven to 475 degrees F.
  12. Uncover the risen loaf and place a piece of parchment over the dough. Top with an inverted baking sheet, and turn the whole contraption over. Remove the top baking sheet, the bowl, and carefully remove the couche/towels. Gently reshape the dough. I used an oiled scraper to tuck the edges of the dough under the loaf to tighten the top of the dough.
  13. Carefully pour the boiling water into the pan on the lower rack (cover your oven window with a towel while doing this), and close the oven door. Score the outer edge of the ring all around, about an inch from the edge. Repeat with the inner edge of the ring.
  14. Slide the loaf, parchment and all, onto the hot stone. Bake for 15 minutes, and then lower the oven temperature to 425 degrees F. Bake until the interior of the loaf reaches about 210 degrees F, 20 to 25 minutes more. Cool completely on a wire rack before slicing.
Yield: 1 large loaf

Recipe adapted from Bread Illustrated

More international bread recipes:
#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. You can see all our of lovely bread by following our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated after each event on the #BreadBakers home page. We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient. If you are a food blogger and would like to join us, just send Stacy an email with your blog URL to foodlustpeoplelove@gmail.com.
BreadBakers
The Auvergne Crown is a classic French shape. You can find these couronnes in boulangeries throughout most of France. The loaves are deeply browned and crusty, and the crumb is exceptionally flavorful with lots of uneven holes.

36 comments:

  1. Hi Karen, I was so excited to see your post. The bread is golden and crusty and looks yum. Loved your contraption:)

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  2. Karen - what a gorgeous looking bread ! this looks totally doable - bookmarking: )

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    1. Thanks! Let me know when you give it a try!

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  3. Your loaf turned out perfectly and what great improvisation. A kitchen can only hold so many specialty items.

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    1. Thanks Wendy, and my kitchen (and extra bedroom closet) hold way too many specialty items already!

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  4. Love the contraption idea. The bread looks so tempting and hole-y. Am a fan of baking bread over a couple of days...makes for a delicious loaf!

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    1. It definitely boosts the flavor. Thanks Sowmya!

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  5. Amazing bread, isn't it? I really need to re=visit this and start baking bread more often....

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    1. Yes, you must! I just visited your couronne and I love your ring pan in the roaster trick! No way will your bread collapse!

      P.S. Can you believe I resisted getting the couronne banneton? What is this world coming to?

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    2. Have you seen your doctor lately? Maybe it's time for a physical? I don't intend to alarm you, but your apathy towards a banneton is a bit of a red flag... ;-)

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  6. What a gorgeous loaf! I love your breads, they're always so perfect. You clearly have a real knack for bread baking. Lovely!

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    1. Thanks so much! You just made my day!

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  7. Could you use a bundt pan for this?

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    1. I think a large ring pan would work, but a bundt pan is a bit too small I think. I also think the baking temperature would not be good for most bundt pans' finish.

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  8. That loaf looks just fabulous and what a great texture of the bread. Love how adaptable we get when baking. I love bread baking toys, but there are times when ideas like your come very handy.

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  9. Fantastic and perfectly baked bread, gorgeous crust, feel as though I am, in one of the boulangerie in France.

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  10. I better make space in my fridge soon. This bread is something I definitely want to try. Love your contraption may be my angel cake tin will work ??

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    1. It would work if it's super large. Otherwise I'd go with a bowl in the middle of a sheet pan.

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  11. DEAR KAREN THANK YOU FOR SENDING ME FRENCH BREAD :-)
    REGARDS
    SILVIO

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  12. Hi Karen, I always love seeing what you have been baking. This looks amazing, as usual!

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  13. Such a beautiful loaf. I read somewhere that the local boulangerie in smaller towns and villages may soon close down and then locals will find it difficult getting authentic French breads like boule, croissants, baguettes, brioche as more people are opting for low carb diets or buying the commercial types of breads from supermarkets. That's sad as these small town boulangerie as so quant and they make delicious bakes.

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    1. I hope that is not true! I can't believe the people of France are buying into all of that! So sad.

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  14. Crusty crown looks fantastic karen.......

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  15. What a gorgeous loaf of bread. The crust is absolutely stunning -- so crisp and delicious.

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    1. Thanks Pavani! I was pretty happy with this loaf!

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  16. I love everything about this bread. That crust is amazing and that interior is just begging for a pat of butter!

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    1. Thanks so much Julie. I was so happy with this loaf!

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  17. Hi Karen, What you made is gorgeous to steal any bread baker heart. I am becoming a fan of your. Boy, look at the texture and that contraption idea, amazing. Thanks for sharing your recipe.

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    Replies
    1. Aww Sonia, you just made me smile! Thank you!

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