Festive cranberry couronne recipe
PUBLISHED: 20:44 16 December 2014 | UPDATED: 20:44 16 December 2014
The Couronne, French for crown, has become associated with Christmas as a festival bread that looks spectacular.
The recipe provided by Julie and David Peeks aims to simplify the many over-complicated recipes and methods you find on the internet and in some cookery books.
The bread is an enriched dough filled with dried fruit, nuts, butter and sugar. We prefer to use cranberries as this gives a more festive appearance to the bread but any dried fruit or nuts can be substituted.
The couronne can be made a couple of days in advance as the high sugar level improves the keeping qualities.
250g strong white flour
50g soft butter
90g soft butter
70g light brown sugar
35g plain flour
120g dried cranberries (chopped and soaked in 100g orange juice)
65g walnut pieces
Grated zest of 1 orange
50g apricot jam
100g icing sugar (sifted) and one tablespoon water
25g flaked almonds, toasted
Combine milk, egg and yeast and add flour and salt. Knead the dough until the gluten is formed, the dough is smooth and shiny and you can see the ‘window pane’ if you lift and stretch the corner. If the dough tears keep kneading!
Leave to prove in a bowl in a warm place for one to two hours until the dough has risen and springs back when lightly prodded. Meanwhile combine the fruits, nuts, butter, flour and sugar for the filling.
Once the dough is proved, remove from the bowl, degass and lightly knead into a tight ball.
Stretch out the dough to about A4 size and spread the fruit across the surface leaving about half a centimetre all around the edges. Starting from the top, roll the dough towards you tightly into a sausage shape.
Turn the sausage shape by 90 degrees so it is vertical to you. Now divide the dough in half lengthways by cutting through the dough with your scraper, but leave 1cm still joined together at the top (furthest away from you).
Take the two strands and pull one over the other (as though you are plaiting) and follow the cross over to make a round shape until a wreath shape is formed with the fruit facing upwards.
Leave to prove for a further one hour or until the dough pushes back when it is prodded with your finger.
Bake on a tray for 25-30 mins on 190C and adjust the temperature after 10 minutes if the bake appears too dark (due to the sugar content and the oven being used).
Meanwhile gently melt the apricot jam in a small saucepan or use the microwave. Add the water to the icing sugar to make it drizzle consistently.
Remove the couronne from the oven when golden brown and place on a wire rack.
Decorate by gently brushing on the melted apricot jam. Drizzle over the icing and sprinkle with toasted flaked almonds to finish.
Leave to cool and enjoy by tearing off pieces to suit.
Merry Christmas and Best Wishes for 2015 from all of us at Artisan Foodworks in Burscough. For more information about breadmaking classes call David or Julie on 0845 860 2141.