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Le Cordon Bleu Cranberry Pumpkin Seed Bread

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Why I Love This Recipe

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


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.

Ingredients You'll Need

18 oz. Biga (see recipe below) 160%
11.25 oz. Bread Flour 100%
0.41 oz. Salt 3.6%
1 tbsp. Sugar 4.4%
1 tsp. Instant Yeast 0.98%
1 tsp. Malt Syrup 1.5%
1 tbsp. Olive Oil 4.4%
8 oz. Water 57.8%
4 oz. Dried Cranberries
3 oz. Toasted Pumpkin Seeds


Mixing Method:

Straight Dough Method, with the use of a pre-ferment.

Cranberries and pumpkin seeds are kneaded in during the last few minutes of kneading.


90 minutes

Scaling, Benching and Shaping:

Scale the dough into equal pieces (4 oz. for torpedo rolls, or 18 oz. for loaves). Let rest 5 minutes, then finish shaping.


60 minutes, until nearly doubled.


450º, with steam. Internal dough temperature should be above 200º. Total bake time depends on size of units.

Biga Recipe

Yield: 18 ounces

11.25 oz. Bread Flour 100%

1/4 tsp. Instant Yeast 0.49%

8 oz . Water 66.7%

Mixing Method:

Straight Dough Method. Knead for 4 – 6 minutes, until the dough is soft and pliable, but not sticky. This dough will not pass the windowpane test.


2 -4 hours, then punch down, cover and retard overnight. Biga can be held at this stage (in the refrigerator) for up to 3 days.

®The Le Cordon Bleu logo is a registered trademark of Le Cordon Bleu B.V. Any use of the Le Cordon Bleu trademark for advertisement, promotional and marketing activities or references, without the expressed written consent of Le Cordon Bleu is prohibited.

CEC2161194 – 01/08

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