This section is from the book "The Epicurean", by Charles Ranhofer. Also available from Amazon: The Epicurean, a Complete Treatise of Analytical and Practical Studies on the Culinary Art.
For twelve crowns: Take thirty-six pounds of dough; divide it into twelve parts of three pounds each, and mold all the pieces into separate balls; flatten them to a third of their thickness. Lay these in lightly floured boxes and leave them to rise for half an hour; then remove them from the boxes and lay them on the table, one by one, to flatten out: roll over in four and finally stretch out to the shape of a roll twenty-six inches long. As soon as they are done return them to the boxes and leave them to rise for twenty-five to thirty minutes, then take one of them from its box and lay it on the table; with a wooden rolling-pin, as described in the bread-making utensils, split the dough through its whole length without separating it entirely, forming a depression along the center an eighth of an inch in thickness, separating the dough on each side, two and a half inches apart; then take up the furthest edge of the dough, and raising it, bring it forward toward yourself in such a manner as to partially envelop the other edge of the dough. Bring the two ends together and fasten so as to form a crown.
Transfer this into another long box. as explained in No. 3406, covered inside with a piece of coarse linen, laying the split side underneath; continue to mold all the other balls in a like manner, then cover and leave for an hour and a half. As soon as they are sufficiently raised take the round board with a handle, as denoted in No. 3406, in the right hand, and lay it on the right of one of the first molded crowns, slanting it slightly against the crown; at the same time with the left hand take hold of the piece of linen which extends beyond the crown on its left, and with a deft stroke turn the crown over on the board without injuring its shape; transfer this crown on the board and slip it on to the peel, then push it at once into the oven. Continue the same operation for all the other crowns until they are in the oven and leave them there for thirty to thirty-five minutes.