The dough for the colomba is made in a similar manner to panettone, with flour, eggs, sugar, natural yeast and butter; unlike panettone, it usually contains candied peel and no raisins. The dough is then fashioned into a dove shape (colomba in Italian) and finally is topped with pearl sugar and almonds before being baked. (wikipedia)
While Colomba is usually made with candied orange peel, I’ve Americanized it with dried fruit. Use your favorite combination; I’ve chosen raisins, and a mix of toasted nuts.
Soft and fragrant, this Easter dove bread (Colomba Pasquale) is rich with butter and eggs, and filled with dried fruit (raisins, nuts and/or candied orange peel).
- for the Starter Dough
- 1 c. Unbleached All-Purpose Flour -
- 1/2 cup cool water -
- 1 1/2 tsp instant yeast -
- for the Dough
- 2 1/4 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour -
- 1 1/4 teaspoons salt -
- 1 tsp instant yeast -
- 1/4 c. water -
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar -
- 7 tsp. butter, at room temperature -
- 2 large eggs temperature preferred -
- 1/8 teaspoon Fiori di Sicilia or 2 teaspoons vanilla extract -
- grated peel of 1 large orange -
- 1 cup dried fruit of your choice, chopped if large -
- 3 tablespoons almond flour or 3 tablespoons blanched almonds, finely ground -
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar -
- 2 tablespoons sliced almonds or ground nuts -
- 2-3 Tbs coarse white sugar or pearl sugar -
STARTER DOUGH (Lievitino)
Starter Dough: in a mixer bowl place flour and yeast, pulse for a few seconds, then add water. Mix for about 5-6 minutes. Move to a bowl and let rest until it doubles in size (about one hour)
2nd Dough:in the meantime prepare the second dough by mixing: flour, butter, sugar, salt, vanilla, grated zest and water. Knead for 5-6 minutes until the batter comes together, forming a smooth ball. Keep dough in bowl covered with a plastic wrap (or bowl lid).
Mixing the 2 doughs together: when the starter dough has doubled in volume (first 3 pics), add it to the mixer bowl and knead the two doughs well, until the batter looks homogeneous (about 5-7 minutes)
Adding the dried fruit: If using raisins, slightly flour them before adding. Add your favorite dried fruit to the dough: raisins, nuts, lemon/orange zest etc.. Mix well. Cover with a plastic wrap and let rise again (about 1 hour, 1 hour and 1/2)
When dough has proofed, remove delicately from bowl, cut in two equal parts
Cover an oven liner with parchment paper or baking sheet and start shaping the dove. With half dough shape an 'S' and bend the top for making the dove head. Divide the rest in half and make the wings by slightly squeezing and pulling the 2 ends outwards
add wings and one raisin to make the dove eye
sprinkle ground nuts (almonds, pecans etc), brown sugar and pearl sugar all over the dove body, decorate with whole almonds.
Bake at 325 F* for about 20/30 minutes.
This "brioche" dough is incredibly versatile: ideal for making delicious buns, brioches and so on.