Yield 2x900g round loaf crown & couronne.
This bread recipe can be baked the same day or postponed to the next day (overnight chilled proofing method).
A small amount of yeast is necessary in order to boost the fermentation process especially during cool weather.
In the mixing bowl, use a 7qt & heavy duty mixer, add water, yeast, flours, salt and levain (To make levain: see the dark rye loaf recipe).
Mix for 12 min on low speed and 3 min on medium speed. The internal temperature of the dough should be at 75/77ºF/24/25C.
Transfer dough into a lightly greased bowl; cover and let rest to get the first fermentation going for 3 hours; punch down the dough half way through; after 90 minutes.
Transfer dough onto a floured work surface and divide in half; gently degas dough and shape into 2 rounds (boule) not to tight, or, make one round and divide the other half into 8x 3 ounces (90g) portions to make a couronne Bordelaise (Bordelaise crown is popular in the Bordeaux region of France). Traditionally this ring-shaped loaf is composed of six to eight rounds of campagne bread dough, blanketed by another flat disk of dough that holds the loaf together. Flour x2 banneton (linen lined crown basket).
Make a flat disk with one ball and place it in the center of the banneton making sure that it covers half of the basket bottom. Brush some vegetable oil all around the seam of the disk. Arrange the 7 remaining rounds seam side up (re-tight rounds prior placing in the banneton). Open up the center of the disk and fold over the rounds.
To shape a regular crown, use your elbow and gently press down the center to create a hole and stretch it out a bit. Flip (skin side down) and place dough inside basket. Cover with a couche, wet kitchen towel or plastic wrap –
Proof bread for 2 hours or until it has doubled in size and bake. Or, leave bread out for an hour and refrigerate to rest and proof slowly overnight ≈12 hrs. If using a controlled temperature proofer, leave bread to proof overnight at 50/54ºF (10/12ºC) / 90% humidity.
As for baking bread goes, a pizza stone is highly recommended.
Position rack in the lower third of conventional oven or on baking setting only with an upside-down baking tray or a pizza stone to create more thermal mass.
Heat up oven to 550ºF (290ºC). Dust top bread with some semolina flour and flip bread onto an upside down tray lined with a mat or parchment. Score bread with the tip of a razor blade or a sharp pairing knife and slide off immediately onto the hot pizza stone – spray some water* and bake for 5 min – then, lower temperature to 450ºF (230ºC); continue to bake for about 30 min more.
Cool bread onto a cooling rack. Enjoy!
*Steam in oven (optional). To get the most volume from your bread, you need to slow down the formation of the crust. The slower the crust forms, the more time the dough has to expand by adding steam to the oven. Using a spray bottle, water quickly around the internal surface once bread is in.