Happy Easter. Since we don’t have children to decorate eggs with or give baskets to, here is how we have come to treat our bulldog as child—Izzy’s story time: in the cookbook.
I thought it was appropriate to make the crown loaf today, in honor of the resurrection of Our Lord. The crown loaf is popular in rural France because the peasants, my book says, prefer the crust. Figeac, the town where this bread recipe comes from, is on the Way of St. James, a major medieval pilgrimage trail in SW France. I’m thinking about making my own bread pilgrimage at some point in my life.
This was my first go at pate fermentee or the “old-dough method.” If you have left over dough from pain ordinaire, like I did, you can wet it down and use it for another batch, although the rising times must be reduced.
La Couronne de Figeac
Adapted from The Village Baker
1 cup very old (5 to 8 hours) yeasted pain ordinaire dough
½ cup warm water
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons rye or whole wheat flour
½ tsp salt
Break up the old dough completely and pour the warm water over it, mixing vigorously for four or five minutes. Mix flours together and add pinch by pinch until all but 1/3 cup of flour has been incorporated. Sprinkle the salt over the mixture and move to a worktable to add the last bit of flour. Do NOT add more flour. Let dough rise in a bowl covered with a damp towel until doubled in bulk. Punch down and let rise for another 45 minutes.
Heat baking stone and oven to 450 degrees. Place dough on parchment paper and bake for 45-50 minutes.
We brought this over to the Wiseman’s the other day, and it tasted sublime when topped with a bean spread they got from Z-Zest, the name of which escapes me. The crust is really crispy and dark. It is a giant Cheerio. It occurs to me know I should have placed an egg in the middle of the O for Easter. tee hee.