cranberry and pecan couronne on wooden plate.
Print Recipe
5 from 3 votes

Cranberry and Pecan Couronne

A traditional French festive bread with an international twist.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time25 mins
proving/ rising time4 hrs
Course: Bread, Snack, Tea Time
Cuisine: French, International
Keyword: bread, Christmas, festive
Servings: 12
Author: Jacqueline Bellefontaine

Equipment

Ingredients

For the dough

  • 300 g (10½oz) strong white bread flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 7 g (¼oz) sachet easy blend yeast
  • 50 g (2oz) butter softened
  • 1 large egg lightly beaten
  • 125 ml (4floz) lukewarm milk
  • finely grated zest of 1 orange

For the filling

  • 125 g (4oz) dried cranberries roughly chopped
  • 50 g (2oz) chopped mixed peel
  • juice of 1 orange
  • 75 g (3oz) butter softened
  • 75 g (3oz) light muscovado sugar
  • 3 tbsp plain flour (all-purpose flour)
  • 50 g (2oz) pecan nuts chopped
  • 225 g (8oz) marzipan

To complete

  • about 3 tbsp maple syrup
  • 100 g (4oz) icing sugar
  • flaked almonds to sprinkle

Instructions

To make the dough

  • Place 300g (10½oz) bread flour in a bowl and add 1 tsp salt to one side of the bowl and 7g (¼oz) yeast to the other side of the bowl. Add 50g (2oz) softened butter, 1 lightly beaten large egg and 125ml (4floz) warm milk to the bowl.
  • Mix the dough with your hands until you have a very soft sticky dough. Tip the dough onto a work surface and knead for about 5 minutes. Knead in the orange zest. Continue kneading until the dough is no longer sticky and the dough becomes smooth and silky. Shape into a ball.
  • Place a little oil into a bowl and add the dough to the bowl, turn the dough around in the oil so that the oil coats the bowl and dough. Cover and leave in a warm place to prove for at least 1½ hours or until doubled in size.

Meanwhile make the filling

  • Place 125g (4oz) dried cranberries and 50g (2oz) mixed peel in a saucepan with the juice of one orange. Heat until just simmering then turn off the heat and allow to stand.
  • Beat 75g (3oz) butter and 75g (3oz) light muscovado sugar together until light and fluffy. Stir in the cranberries and mixed peel, 3tbsp flour and 50g (2oz) chopped pecan nuts.

To complete

  • Turn out the risen dough and without knocking back roll into a rectangle about 35 x25cm (14x10in). With the long side facing you. Spread the cranberry mixture evenly over the dough.
  • Next roll out 225g (8oz) marzipan thinly and lay it over the cranberry mixture.
  • Roll up the dough from the long side like a swiss roll. Roll it a few times to seal. Then cut in half lengthways cutting almost the whole length of the roll leaving it joined at one end.
  • Twist the two lengths together and then join the ends to form a circular crown (Couronne). Carefully transfer to a baking sheet lined with baking parchment.
  • Place the whole tray inside a clean plastic bag or cover loosely with oiled cling film and leave to rise for about 1-2 hours and is doubled in size.
  • Preheat the oven to 200℃ (180℃ fan)/400°F/gas mark 6. Bake the Courrone for 25 minutes until risen and golden. Allow to cool for a few minutes on the tray then transfer to a wire rack.
  • Brush with maple syrup.
  • Mix 100g (3½oz) icing sugar with 1 tbsp maple syrup and enough water to make a smooth thin icing and drizzle over the warm loaf. Sprinkle with flaked almonds and leave to cool.

Notes

Cook's Tip
The dough will be very sticky to begin with but will lose its stickyness as you knead the dough and develop the gluten, to form a smooth silky dough.  Try not to add extra flour at this stage or you will make the dough dry and tough.