Easter Dove Bread

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Easter Dove bread or Colomba Di Pasque (Colomba Pasquale), is a traditional and artisanal Easter bread from Italy. According to Wikipedia:

The Colomba was commercialized by the Milanese baker and businessman Angelo Motta as an Easter version of the Christmas specialty Panettone that Motta foods were producing.

This recipe has three doughs, the first dough works as a starter, it is a long one and should be prepared one day before. If you look for a quick one, just make the starter and combine all the ingredients like Panettone, rise the dough, shape, and bake.  

Note that the detailed recipe of Easter Dove bread is quite long, but if you’re interested to make a homemade one for the upcoming Easter, consider making it two days in advance, and follow the recipe, as directed.

How To Make Easter Dove Bread Dough?

1st Starter Dough:

  • 40 g          whole milk, at room temperature
  • 100 g        water, at room temperature
  • 140 g        all-purpose flour
  • 5 g            dry yeast

2nd Dough:

  • 100 g         all-purpose flour
  • 20 g           confectioners’ sugar
  • 20 g           unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into two pieces

3rd Dough:

  • 210 g         all-purpose flour
  • 120 g         confectioners’ sugar
  • 3                regular eggs
  • 80 g           unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into 4 pieces
  • 1/2 tsp       salt
  • 25 g           candied fruits
  • 20 g           Candied Orange Peel, cut into cubes
  • 60 g           dark/golden raisins or Mix (Optional)
  • 40 g           dark chocolate chips drop (Optional)
  • 1/2 tsp       vanilla extract, or 1 Vanilla bean

The Easter Dove Bread Icing:

1                  egg white
40 g            almonds, blanched and peeled
40 g             hazelnuts, peeled
20 g             cornstarch
40 g             brown sugar

The Easter Dove Bread Garnish:

The Making Of Easter Dove Bread

  1. (A) Make the starter with the 1st dough ingredients: Stir the flour, yeast, milk, and water together. Mix well with a wooden spoon or spatula, until smooth.
  2. Cover the starter with a plastic wrap film, and let rest in a warm place or in the oven (depending on the weather), for at least 1-2 hours, until it has tripled in volume.
  3. Shape the dough, transfer to a glass bowl, cover with a plastic wrap film, and let it rise in a warm place, at least 1-2 hours, until it doubled in volume.
  1. (B) Transfer the risen dough to a dough maker (or work manually), on medium speed, then add the 2nd dough ingredients, starting with sugar, and gradually add the flour, blend until well mixed, then add the softened butter, one by one, until you get a homogeneous batter.
  2. Laminate the dough onto the work surface, for 2-5 minutes (you should feel the smoothness of the dough with your fingers).

(C) Work with the 3rd dough ingredients: First, soak the raisins in cold water. Proceed with the risen dough like in step 3, starting by adding the sugar, gradually the flour, and one by one the eggs, and salt.

  1. Let the dough absorb the ingredients, then add the melted butter, the vanilla extract, candied orange, candied fruits, and chocolate drops.
  2. Drain well the raisins, dry with kitchen towels, and incorporate them into the dough. Whisk again about 10-20 minutes, on medium speed, until you get a smooth and homogeneous dough, all the ingredients, candied fruits, and raisins should be well combined.
  3. Shape the dough and transfer it into a glass bowl, cover it, and let it rise in the refrigerator, over the night, about 16 minutes.
  1. (D) The next day, take out the dough from the refrigerator and let it rise in a warm place or in the oven, about 2-3 hours.
  2. Slightly flour your hands, and shape the dough as a dove, in a dove-shaped mold. Let the dove rise about 4 hours in a warm place.
  3. When the dove has risen, prepare the glaze: Blend the almonds, hazelnuts, and brown sugar in a blender. Add the cornstarch, the egg white, and mix all the ingredients well.
  4. (E) Sprinkle carefully the glaze over the risen dove, garnish with wholes almonds, slivered almonds, and pearl sugar.
  5. Bake The Easter Dove Bread in a moderate oven, about 45 to 60 minutes. Ensure that the dove is cooked, by inserting a toothpick. Cool on a wire rack.

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