Couronne Bordelaise-The Crown of Bordeaux

This bread takes its name from the capital of the Aquitaine of France, Bordeaux. Couronne means crown and Bordelaise is the name given to the citizens of Bordeaux.  While looking very intricate in design, it is actually a simple dough to form. Proofing is traditional done in a special banneton which is difficult to fine in the USA, but a suitable one can be made using a basket or pie plate, a tea towel dusted with flour and a small bowl that fits in the middle(shown in the second photo). I have to say that I have made two of these crown shaped breads and each has looked at least somewhat like a proper Couronne Bordelaise. 

Couronne Bordelaise

One of my favorite bread baking books is Rustic European Breads From Your Bread Machine and for the Couronne Bordelaise, I made the Pain au Levain, French bread from a starter. The starter being a held back cup of dough using a starter of choice, then use the starter the next day in another Pain au Levain. You may have a starter  you already have, so that will work fine, too. I make bread once or twice a week and always hold back a cup of dough to add to another batch of bread. The flavor using these “old doughs” is amazing.

Shaped Dough

Here are a few videos and a pdf on how to shape the Couronne Bordelaise. Very helpful when first starting out making this bread.

Baking Tips

Couronne Bordelaise-Breadtopia-This site also has recipes, other tutorials, a store and a blog.

Couronne Bordelaise-The Fresh Loaf

Ready for the Oven

For the Pain Au Levain


1-1/4 cups bread flour

1/2 cup warm water

3/4 cup starter of choice-sourdough, etc, room temperature


1 teaspoon bread machine yeast

1 cup warm water

3 cups bread flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 egg white and 2 tablespoons water, whisked until frothy, omit for Couronne

In the pan of your bread machine, add the flour, water and starter. Process on the dough setting. I sometimes let this sit about an hour before adding the remaining ingredients for the dough.

Afterwards, add the ingredients for the dough, with the exception of the egg white wash. Process again on the dough cycle. Once the dough cycle has finished, remove the dough to a lightly floured work surface. This is when you cut off 1 cup of dough, place it in a jar for a another loaf you might make the next day or sometimes during the next week or so.

Using 750 grams (26 ounces) of the dough, divide the dough into 6 pieces, 100 grams each and one piece 150 grams. Shape the pieces into ball and cover with cloth. Meanwhile prepare your banneton by flouring the linen towel with flower. (The links above give detailed instructions on preparing your banneton and also shaping the bread dough for the couronne. ) Roll the 150 gram piece of dough into a 10-inch circle. Drape it evenly over the center hump of the your banneton. Shape the remaining pieces of dough into tight balls and place seam side up and evenly placed. They should not touch.

Place a baking stone in your oven and preheat for 30 minutes at 450°F. Prepare a peel by dusting liberally with flour.

With a sharp knife, cut the center of the dough draped over the hump into six even pieces so it has six points centered over the six balls. Fold each point back over the dough ball. Cover with plastic and let rise until the dough balls are touching, nearly doubled.

Using your prepared peel, invert the couronne onto the preheated baking stone. Place a pan on a rack below the baking stone and immediately pour in 1 cup of hot tap water. Close oven door and bake for 20 to 30 minutes or until golden brown and internal temperature is 200°F-210°F. Serve

This bread has been shared with YeastSpotting.


Please do not use images or text without my permission. 

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