La Couronne Lyonnaise / The Lyon Crown Sourdough Bread

I continue the adventure with traditional French loaves and I travel from Bordeaux (in one of my previous posts) to Lyon. Similar flower look but with a different way of shaping it. Wich one do you like better? I think each one has its own charm, so for me is difficult to choose.

Like the previous one, the dough is made by a number of dough balls arranged in a circle in the basket. Both Bordeaux and Lyon versions have a flap. For the Bordeaux version, one of the balls is flattened and the dough balls are put over. In the case of the Lyon version, a flap is created for each ball of dough. This version has a more petal look and the other one is more of a circle that is rising in the oven. Both of them are outstanding in terms of design and I can only thank the French to invent these amazing loaves.

Like the other crown bread, this one is traditionally based on sourdough and made from white flour combined with a bit of rye flour. The crust is crunchy, the crumb is dense but soft and this is the way is traditionally made. The dough needs to be stiff to keep the shapes of the balls. The bread is straight, meaning that there is no overnight retard, for the same shape reasons. 

I visited Lyon more than 20 years ago and unfortunately, I was not aware back then of this fantastic bread. If I have the chance to visit again this beautiful town, trying this local bread would be one of the first things to do.

Ingredients: (65,1 % hydration, total dough 1200g)


  1. [Day 1, Saturday, 8:30] Scaling. Start by measuring all ingredients.
  2. Immediately after,  Mix water + flours. Mix only the flours with water just until well combined. Do not knead at this stage, just ensure there is no unincorporated dry flour resting in the bowl and that's it. I use lukewarm water to speed up the fermentation. After the mix, I keep the dough at 24ºC for 2 hours. [PH:5.85; DT:26.5ºC]
  3. [Day 1, Saturday, 10:00] Sourdough starter. Add the starter over the dough and knead with a standing mixer on a slow speed or by hand for 10 minutes. Ensure that the starter is well incorporated into the dough. Then, let the dough relax for 90 minutes. [before: dough PH:5.84; DT:24.3ºC, starter PH:4.42; DT:21.6ºC; after mix PH:5.61; DT:21ºC]
  4. [Day 1, Saturday, 11:00] Salt. Sprinkle salt over the dough and knead again for 5 minutes. Then, let the dough relax for 1 hour.  [PH:5.54; DT:21.4ºC]
  5. [Day 1, Saturday, 12:00] Stretch and Fold 1. Do a set of stretch and folds straight in the bowl.  Let the dough relax for 2 hours.  [PH:5.48; DT:20.1ºC]
  6. [Day 1, Saturday, 14:00] Stretch and Fold 2. Do a second set of stretch and folds straight in the mixer's bowl.  Let the dough relax for 3 hours.  [PH:5.1; DT:22ºC]
  7. [Day 1, Saturday, 16:00] Divide and shape. The dough has 1200g in total. I divide it into 6 pieces of 200g. For each ball, stretch 1/3 of it with a rolling pin to create a flap. Brush the borders of the flap with oil and turn the bowl over the flap. Place it in the bread basked with the flap down with the opening on the sides. I cover the basket with a linen towel and let the dough rise for 3 hours.  [PH:4.52; DT:22.5ºC]
  8. [Day 1, Saturday, 20:00] Decorate. This step is optional but I like to play with stencils on the bread. I sprinkle a mix of rice - white flour over a stencil put it on the bread. 
  9. Bake them in the preheated oven at 250ºC on the hot stone/baking steel for 15 minutes. For steaming, pour 200ml of hot water on the hot lava rocks to create steam. Close the oven door as quickly as possible to capture the steam inside. Be careful at this step as the hot steam can cause burns. As a trick, I use a teapot to pour water far from the hand.  
    After the first 15 minutes, I reduce the temperature to 220ºC and I continue to bake for 25 minutes more, without steam. [PH:4.17; DT:21ºC]
  10. [Day 1, Saturday, 20:40] Cool. The bread loaves need to cool for at least 2 hours until they reach room temperature. If you can resist, of course...
  11. [Day 1, Saturday, 22:40] Cut/Eat. Now is the big moment to enjoy this special French bread.


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