Le Cordon Bleu Cranberry Pumpkin Seed Bread

This recipe is an example of what students make in their classes at Le Cordon Blue North American Schools. This recipe is for Cranberry Pumpkin Seed Bread, and Biga (a pre-ferment). Yield: two 1-pound loaves or 9 torpedo rolls Commentary: The use of such a large amount of biga insures maximum sugar breakout from starches, which evokes a sweetness that is far beyond the small amount of sugar in the formula. The finished bread will be slightly softer than French bread and less crusty. If a crustier loaf is desired, lower the oven temperature to 400 after the steaming and increase the baking time. This will thicken the crust and give it more crunch. For another variation, add 4 oz. Kalamata Olives, or any other savory flavor, as desired. Popular combinations include Cranberry, Orange and Hazelnut; Cheddar Jalapeno; and Sun-Dried Tomatoes with Rosemary and Feta.