La Couronne de Figeac

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. Image

 This loaf is exactly how I imagine a giant Cheerio would be.Image

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.

Punch dough down again and shape into a boule (round loaf).Image

With your elbow, punch a hole in the center of the round, and form a circle.Image

Put a teacup into a bowl and cover with a towel and flour.Image

Put the dough ring in the bowl and let rise until doubled.Image

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.

6 thoughts on “La Couronne de Figeac

  1. Ha, that video is hilarious! Also, I am not surprised that you of all people managed to make Cheerio-shaped bread 😉

      1. That is wonderful news! They are healthy, delicious, and made by a Minnesota company 🙂 Do you ever eat the various fancy flavors, or stick to the classic? I would recommend not buying the Dulce de Leche variety – against my better judgement I bought a box and, in my humble opinion, they are not so delicious, unlike most foods involving that Latin American delicacy!

      2. Oh good, you are saving yourself from potential devesatation and heartrbreak 😉 Also, I’m glad you’re not a purist in all areas of life 🙂

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