I love it when a recipe works. Last week (or there abouts) I watched Paul Hollywood’s final programme in his BBC baking series. The savoury brioche couronne (that’s a crown to you and me), looked really great. My children umm’d and ah’d as he brought out the bread from his TV oven stuffed with mozzarella and parma ham. So, yesterday I felt that I must rise to the challenge and see if I could add this recipe to my repertoire. It was a total success and is definitely worth baking for teatime or for the children’s lunchboxes.
30 mins to put together
2 hours to make
500g/1lb 2oz strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting
10g instant yeast
170ml/6fl oz warm full-fat milk
4 free-range eggs
250g/9oz unsalted butter, in small pieces, at room temperature
4 x 125g/4óoz balls buffalo mozzarella
8-10 slices prosciutto
6 handful fresh chopped basil
1 free-range egg, beaten
handful grated parmesan
1. If you have a food mixer with a paddle fitting, make the dough as
follows: into the bowl put the flour, salt, yeast, milk and eggs and mix
until the dough becomes smooth and shiny. Add the butter piece by
piece as you mix well for a further five minutes, until all the butter has
been incorporated into the dough. It’s important to add the butter
2. If you do not have a machine, make the base dough by bringing the
flour, salt, yeast, milk and eggs together in a bowl. Tip the dough
onto a floured surface and knead for about ten minutes, or until the
dough becomes smooth and shiny. Gradually incorporate the butter
piece by piece into the dough, kneading as you go.
3. Tip the dough into an oiled 1 litre/1 ¾ pint plastic container with a lid as it
it needs plenty of room to rise. Leave the dough to rise until at least
doubled in (at least an hour, or overnight in the fridge).
4. Line a baking tray with baking parchment. Tip the dough out onto a
lightly floured surface, without knocking the air out of it. Roll it out to
a thickness of just under 1½ cm/ ¾ in, in a rectangle that’s about
40-50cm/16-20in long. Have the long side facing you.
5. Cover the dough with a loose layer of ham. Break off large pieces of
mozzarella and distribute them all over the ham. Scatter the basil
over the top.
6. Roll up the dough from the long side furthest from you, into a long
sausage shape. Cut the roll of dough in half down the length to
expose the filling, leaving you with two long strips side by side.
7. Twist the two strips together, holding both ends of the dough and
twisting your hands in opposite directions, to make a long rope that’s
quite tightly twisted. Form the rope into a circle and join the ends
together so that the dough becomes a ring – a ‘couronne’ or crown.
8. Put the crown onto the lined baking tray, and put the tray in a large
plastic bag, big enough so that the risen dough won’t touch the
sides. Leave the crown to rise for 1-1ó hours, or until it has at least
doubled in size.
9. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6. For this recipe you ideally
don’t want a fan oven.
10. Whisk an egg with a pinch of salt and brush the egg over the crown.
Finally top the couronne with grated parmesan.
11. Bake the couronne in the preheated oven for 25 minutes, or until
golden-brown. Leave to cool slightly. Serve warm or cold.