The Fresh Loaf

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20220117+0124 Le Cordon Bleu (lemony) Kouglof with CLAS

Yippee's picture

20220117+0124 Le Cordon Bleu (lemony) Kouglof with CLAS


To learn more about concentrated lactic acid sourdough (CLAS), please see here and here




After eating the entire gigantic (2.4kg) Pain de Rois I made during the holidays, neither my family nor I could stand to eat another slice of "orangey" bread. Hence, the idea of making lemon-flavored bread came to mind. Many thanks to Derek, aka yozzause, who inspired me to perfect Le Cordon Bleu's Kouglof recipe; his brilliant idea and my beloved CLAS took the recipe up a notch and transformed it into a super flavorful and refreshing lemony dessert bread that I can't wait to share with you!


Kouglof = Alsatian brioche

"OR" = original recipe

"tweak" = adjustment to OR




39% eggs

3% rye - CLAS, tweak

5.7% water - CLAS, tweak

10% sugar

5% lemon juice, tweaknone in OR

0.5% lemon extract, tweaknone in OR

0.25% vanilla extract, tweaknone in OR

97% Beehive AP




27% full-fat milk, boiled and cooled( tweak; no pre-processing in OR)



1.6% gold yeast, tweakOR uses fresh

1.5 % salt

zest of 1 lemon



29% butter, diced



40% golden raisins, rum-soaked, tweakOR uses much less


Total dough weight ~ 1140g





by Zojirushi bread machine


1. x10mins

+ A.

then gradually + ~ half of B


2. x10 mins

+ remaining B.

develop the dough to "medium-well" 


3. x10 mins

+ C.

The dough must be fully developed before proceeding to the next steps. 

+ D. gradually


4. x5 mins



DT 29C



32-33C until doubled ~ 60-75 mins


In the meantime


generously butter a 9” bundt pan 

Then coat it with almond slices, tweakOR uses very little 

Refrigerate the pan, tweak; not done in OR


Make lemon syrup, tweakDerek's idea; none in OR; 

juice of 3 lemons : sugar

1:1 by weight

microwave until sugar dissolves





poke a hole in the middle and dump it in the bundt pan



32-33C x 30-45 mins



preheat 350F, tweak; OR temp too high; no stone; my oven takes ~ 15 mins

egg wash, tweak; not done in OR (this part of the dough will become the bottom of the Kouglof)

sprinkle almond slices on top, tweak; not done in OR


350F x 30 mins, no steam

start checking doneness with a skewer

cover with foil

insulate the bottom of the bundt pan; I use a few pizza pans


350F x ~ +5 mins



Glazetweak; Derek's idea; not done in OR


Before inverting the Kouglof onto a wire rack, gently brush it with lemon syrup


Invert the bread onto a wire rack, which sits on top of a pan that collects syrup dripping


Gently brush or dab lemon syrup onto the bread


Let cool/dry overnight


Decorate with powdered sugar before serving


Glazed and dried overnight


















 20210124 Kouglof 2.0

This time I used the tricks that Leigh, aka Naturaleigh, shared to enhance the lemon flavor. 


Rubbed the zest with sugar


Poked holes in the Kouglof to let the lemon syrup seep through




And I used my flower mold









The lemon flavor is more intense and the crumb is moister this time,  I 💕💕💕 it!  Thank you, Leigh!


yozzause's picture

That looks sensational Yippee, lots of good stuff in that bake, did the family like the switch to lemon flavours?

Yippee's picture

Even the "meanest" and pickiest critic approves!

Thank you so much, Derek!


happycat's picture

Yippee that is so beautiful. Wow. Those colours and textures are spectacular.

Lemon must taste really fresh. And those nuts look nicely browned.

I made some orange zest/nutmeg/Tahitian-vanilla-bean bostock over the holidays that was really amazing. I love to see these citrus inspired bakes!

naturaleigh's picture

Perfection!  Wish I could have some...I'm sure lots of TFLers feel the same.  Was the glaze a part of your initial recipe or a recent tweak?  Well have a very lucky (and happy) family, I'm sure!

Yippee's picture


I made this bread before seeing your comment on Derek's post, so I basically followed his procedures to improve my bread. Now that I've re-read your comment, some of your procedures are quite similar to his. I hope you don't feel that I'm ignoring your suggestions. I value them highly and equally. I will include your procedure, such as rubbing the zest with sugar to improve my bread. Since I am not a cake baker, some of the tricks you described, such as poking holes in the bottom to allow the syrup to seep through, are new to me. Do you think the syrup will change the texture of the bread? If not, this would be a very effective way to impart lemon flavor to the bread.

Again, I appreciate your suggestions. Thank you.


naturaleigh's picture

Hi Yippee!  Absolutely no worries at all...I felt no exclusion ;-). I was simply curious if you had used that glazing method before because I couldn't tell from the pictures and was curious how that may have worked with the nuts--I should have read your instructions more closely and could have figured that out myself.  There were definitely some similarities mentioned between the multiple posts.  The syrup would add extra moisture to the crumb of the cake if you poke holes in the cake before brushing it on.  It would only be a good idea on a more sturdy type of cake.

I enjoyed your post and the pictures are stunning!  Got me dreaming about more spring-like bakes despite our single digit temps here with our weather.



Yippee's picture

Please see Kouglof 2.0 that I included in my post. Thank you!


naturaleigh's picture

Looks delectable!  I'm glad some of those tweaks worked out and that you got that lemon blast you were looking for...always happy to help out another citrus fanatic ;-)

Such a lovely cake...can't wait to give it a try!

happycat's picture

Leigh, I guess I need to try that rubbing zest with sugar trick on the next one. Plus check out the winter citrus to see what's coming out. Although... another great fruit is the kiwi. I made an amazing kiwi jam last winter. Kiwi mght be great in a kugelhopf, it's quite intense.

Also based on the recent discussion on eggs.... maybe focusing on yolks and excluded whites to get more rise.

That flower mould version sure looks great, Yippee.

naturaleigh's picture

Hey HC!  Yes, it really does work IMO.  I always make sure I zest the citrus directly over where it needs to go too, so that none of the essential oils get lost.  Although Yippee used rum, you can always soak any fruit add ins in orange juice and zap it for a few seconds in the microwave...that adds another layer of citrus.  

Kiwi jam sounds wonderful...never had it!  One of my other favorite citrus combinations is lime/ginger/coconut.  Looks like the cake recipe ^^ could be infinitely tweaked!

I will have to catch up on the eggs discussion.  I think I missed that one.

happycat's picture

Lime ginger coconut... oh boy that one sounds good, too and I happen to have 2 out of 3 ingredients. Thx!

HeiHei29er's picture

Beautiful loaf and love the color and texture of the crumb.  Looks extremely tender.

gavinc's picture

Superb! Looks delicious.

Benito's picture

Amazing Yippee, the crumb with fruit looks like a fine panettone!  With this incredible bread sho needs panettone.  I’d love a slice for breakfast.


Yippee's picture

Benny is right. Kouglof's texture is quite similar to panettone. It can be an alternative holiday gift option because it looks pretty and festive. Now I have another bread to impress my friends! I am so so happy that I've perfected the recipe the way I like. I can eat it all day long! Now tiramisu has competition!

Thanks again, Derek!