With the coronation of King Charles III in mind, we made this Couronne. It seemed appropriate as Couronne means crown. This bread wreath usually contains a sweet filling, but it works very well in savoury form. If you can’t get wild garlic use rocket or watercress instead and add an extra clove of garlic. As it is devised for the coronation, we have stuck to ingredients grown or produced in the UK.
You can watch a step-by-step guide on how to make this delicious Couronne on TikTok by clicking the link here.
For the bread:
500g strong white bread flour
2 tsp salt
20g fresh yeast or 10g fast acting yeast
170mls lukewarm milk
4 eggs, beaten
115g unsalted softened butter, cut into cubes
For the Wild Garlic Pesto:
75g walnuts, chopped
120g wild garlic leaves (or rocket or watercress), chopped
1 small clove garlic, crushed
75g strong mature cheddar cheese, grated
100-150 mls cold pressed rape seed oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper.
55g grated strong mature cheddar cheese
1. Sift the flour and salt into a large bowl, make a well in the centre. Cream the fresh yeast with 2 tablespoons of milk until it forms a smooth cream. If using fast acting yeast add to the flour.
2. Tip the yeast mixture into the well, add the rest of the milk and the 4 beaten eggs. Mix until the dough becomes smooth and shiny. Put onto a lightly floured work top and knead for about 10 minutes. Then add the softened butter bit by bit. Make sure each piece is incorporated before adding more. The dough can be made in a machine with a dough hook, once the liquid has been added and the dough mixed for a few minutes start adding the butter slowly.
3. Put the dough in a lightly greased big bowl and cover with a piece of lightly greased cling film. The bread needs a long slow rise so leave at room temperature for about 30 minutes and then put in the refrigerator overnight.
4. Meanwhile make the pesto: Put the walnuts and wild garlic leaves in a food processor and add the garlic. Process together until well chopped. Add the cheese and with the engine running add 100mls of the oil. It should produce a thick paste. Add more oil if it is too thick. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Keep refrigerated until ready to use.
5. When the dough has risen take it out of the bowl and place on a lightly floured work top. Roll out to a rectangle about 35cm x 45cm.
6. Carefully spread the pesto over the surface and roll up along the long side. You should have a long 45cm roll of dough. Take a large sharp knife and keeping the top 7 cm uncut cut down the middle and length of the roll so that you have two long strips side by side. Working from the uncut top twist the two strands together and form into a wreath or crown. Do not twist it too tightly. Place on a lined baking sheet and cover with the greased cling film until it has doubled in size. Depending on how cold the dough is it could take 1 – 1 ½ hours to prove.
7. Pre heat the oven to 200C/Fan 180C/ Gas 6. Bake in the preheated oven for 25 minutes. Take from the oven and scatter over the cheese. Replace and cook for another 10 minutes or until the bread sounds hollow when tapped underneath.
8. Put to cool on a wire rack and serve warm or cold.
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