Couronne is French for “crown.” Bakeries feature this sweet bread all over France using different sweet or savory fillings. This cranberry couronne is a lovely holiday treat any time, but especially on Christmas morning with coffee.
This recipe uses sourdough discard and works with leftover cranberry sauce, which I used the first time I made this after Thanksgiving, thus saving myself a cooking step.
Ever since I became hooked on homemade sourdough I’ve hunted for interesting ways to use up discard, stumbling on this recipe when googling “recipes for sourdough discard.” Hannah Dela Cruz, founder of Make It Dough, has mastered the art of dough, and this is her recipe slightly modified by me. It demands a kitchen scale, as all ingredients are measured by weight rather than volume. This ensures a superior, more consistent product because weight measures are more accurate than cups and spoons.
My taste testers gave this two enthusiastic thumbs up. It’s truly wonderful. The dough is a sweet, buttery brioche and the filling’s tang contrasts nicely with the sweetness of the dough and glaze. It’s perfect when company calls or to give away as a present.
In addition to the recipe, I’ve provided a two-minute video of how this goes to help you understand the details. Happy baking to all of you who give it a go. You won’t regret it.
- One sheet pan.
- Some parchment paper cut to fit sheet pan.
- A rolling pin, longer than 12 inches.
- Two large bowls. One if using stand mixer.
- Two spatulas.
- A kitchen scale. This is indespensible.
- A whisk.
- One damp kitchen towel. Wet it completely then wring it out.
- One small sauce pan.
- A stand mixer (optional).
- A pastry brush.
- 300 g all purpose flour.
- 20 g cornstarch.
- 4 g salt.
- 80 g sourdough discard.
- 1 large egg.
- 150 g milk.
- 30 g brown sugar.
- 84 g butter. cut into chunks about the size of a tablespoon.
- 7 g instant yeast which equals one envelope.
- zest from one orange.
- 150 g fresh cranberries or frozen, defrosted.
- 60 g granulated sugar.
- 29 g butter.
- 29 g orange juice or water.
- 1 egg.
- 1 pinch of salt.
- 100 g powdered sugar.
- 8 g vanilla extract.
- 14 g milk or orange juice.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer or other large bowl, whisk together flour, cornstarch, orange zest and salt.
- In a separate bowl, combine milk, discard, egg, brown sugar and instant yeast. Whisk until discard is fully incorporated and no traces of egg remain.
- Stir milk mixture into the flour mixture and work it with a spatula until no dry flour remains visible.
- Attach dough hook to stand mixer, if using one, and secure the bowl. Knead (I use power level 3) the butter into the dough one tablespoon at a time until each addition is fully integrated. If kneading by hand, you'll find the dough is oily after each addition and smooth once the butter is fully integrated. After the butter is incorporated by the stand mixer, I knead the dough by hand on the counter to make sure the texture is right and the dough is smooth and even.
- Gather the dough into a tight ball and place it into a glass bowl. Cover with plastic wrap or a clean, damp kitchen towel and let rest in a warm (78°-80°F) (25°-26°C) place for 15 minutes. I use my oven, set to proof. If your oven doesn't have a proofing setting, then simply turn the light on and allow the dough to rest there.
- Now, create strength and elasticity in your dough by turning it out onto a clean counter and kneading it with the palm of your hand for 5-10 minutes until it looks smooth, feels elastic, and is only a little bit sticky.
- Rub some olive oil into a bowl so that it covers the surface and put the dough ball into the bowl, cover, return it to a warm place, and let rise for 45 minutes or until doubled in volume. This could take longer than 45 minutes if your house is cold and your oven doesn't have a proof setting. Be patient, it will rise.
- While the dough rises, make the filling.
- Combine cranberries, orange juice or water, and sugar in a small saucepan set over medium heat and cook, stirring often to prevent burning, until the berries have broken down and the sauce has thickened. 5-10 minutes.
- Allow to cool to room temperature before adding it to the dough.
Shape the Dough
- Once the dough has risen, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Roll it into a 20-inch by 10-inch rectangle (50 cm x 25 cm).
- Spread over cranberry filling, leaving a 1-inch (2.5 cm) border.
- Starting with the longer side, roll the dough up and pinch it closed so that it is sealed into a long log.
- Put it on the parchment lined sheet pan.
- Put the pan of dough into the fridge for 15 minutes. Don't skip this! It makes it easier to finish shaping the dough.
- Take the dough out of the fridge and cut it in half the long way, opening up the insides. Place one half over the other to create an "X". Twist the two strands of dough together. Put it back onto the sheet pan and join the ends to create a circle or crown.
- Cover with plastic wrap or damp towel and let rise for 45 minutes until the couronne looks puffy. When ready, move on to baking.OR refrigerate overnight and bake in the morning. Take it out of the fridge and rest it on the counter while your oven is heating, then bake. It will hold in the fridge for up to 16 hours.
- Preheat the oven to 375°F / 190°C.
- Whisk together the egg and salt with a fork, and, using a pastry brush, paint it over the entire surface of the couronne.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes, checking after fifteen minutes to make sure the top isn't getting too brown. You may need to tent it with foil to prevent burning.
- Cool completely before glazing.
- In a small bowl, using a spoon or a fork, mix powdered sugar, vanilla, OJ or milk into a smooth glaze.
- Drizzle over cooled couronne.
- Slice and serve.