Colomba di Pasqua {Easter Dove Bread}

March 31, 2021

Once I consider Christmas in Italy, I consider Panettone, and this candy bread fashioned within the form of a dove is what you discover throughout Italy at Easter. Though Italians outdo themselves baking regional sweets for each vacation, this conventional candy bread is one you’ll discover in each area at Easter. The dough is similar to Panettone as it’s an enriched dough that features recent eggs, sugar, butter, and pure yeast. The flavorings for this bread normally include candied orange peel and dried fruit, most frequently raisins, though as of late yow will discover a Colomba made with the whole lot from chocolate chips to a filling of both lemon or Nutella! Historically this bread is topped with a shiny glaze, pearl sugar, and almonds, and you’ll discover it in all places at Easter bought wrapped in colourful paper. These colorfully wrapped candy breads are sometimes given to household and pals as items at Easter. This candy breads is nice sliced and toasted, eaten with a cappuccino for breakfast, or loved after your meal with a glass of candy wine.

I first made this bread nearly twenty years in the past once we lived in Milan, however since it’s a lot simpler (and cheaper) to purchase fine quality Easter candy breads at your native bakery, I need to admit till this week, I haven’t made it since. I truly ended up making this bread twice this week. I first adopted an Italian recipe however didn’t really feel that my Colomba rose sufficient. It didn’t have that spectacular look I used to be in search of. I then adopted King Arthur Flour’s model as their recipes have at all times turned out for me. I made a number of adjustments within the recipe, however I discovered that if you happen to adopted the directions as written, your bread can be overbaked. The recipe was what I used to be in search of, nevertheless, so I simply made a number of adjustments and set to work.

So why form the bread like a dove? There are lots of variations of the story, however aside from stating that the primary Colomba originated in Milan and that the dove represents peace, each legend is totally different. One legend traces this Easter cake to the Lombard king Alboino who in the course of the siege of Pavia within the mid-sixth century noticed himself providing, as an indication of peace, a candy pan-shaped dove. One other legend says the Easter dove linked to the Lombard Queen Teodolinda and the holy Irish abbot San Colombano who refused an enormous meat-filled feast created for him as he was observing Lent. When the Queen took offense, the abbot raised his proper hand as an indication of the cross, and the dishes changed into white doves of bread, white as their monastic tunics. No matter its origin, this bread represents Easter to many Italians.

This recipe requires an in a single day biga, so it’s best to start out the day earlier than you need to bake it. Similar to Panettone, it additionally requires lengthy rising or resting durations, about four to six hours complete, so do make sure you plan to make this bread when you have got time in your palms. For me, it wouldn’t be a Colomba with out candied orange and raisins, but when candied orange is tough to search out or to not your liking, you possibly can use recent orange zest as an alternative. I like golden raisins on this bread, and I exploit greater than referred to as for, however any raisin or dried fruit corresponding to cranberries might be used. Though complete almonds are conventional used to high this bread, I desire sliced almonds as an alternative. I used to be capable of finding the dove-shaped paper kinds used to make this bread on our latest journey to Emilia Romagna, however you possibly can additionally form the dough by hand as instructed beneath, or simply use a big soufflé dish and form it such as you would a Panettone.

Buon Appetito!
Deborah Mele Revised 2021



  • 1 Cup All-purpose Flour
  • 1/2 Cup Cool Water
  • 1/eight Teaspoon Instantaneous Yeast


  • 2 1/2 Cups All-purpose Flour
  • 1 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1 Tablespoon Instantaneous Yeast (I Use SAS Model)
  • 1/three Cup Sugar
  • 6 Tablespoons Butter, Melted & Cooled
  • 2 Giant Eggs & 1 Egg yolk At Room Temperature (Save Egg With For Topping)
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Fiori di Sicilia (Or 2 Teaspoons Vanilla & 1/2 Teaspoon Orange Extract)
  • 1/three Cup Finely Chopped Candied Orange Peel (Or Grated Zest From 1 Giant Orange)
  • 1 1/2 Cups Golden Raisins, Chopped If Giant


  • 1 Giant Egg White
  • three Tablespoons Almond Flour
  • three Tablespoons Granulated Sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons Sliced Almonds
  • 6 Teaspoons Pearl Sugar


  1. The evening earlier than, combine collectively your huge substances in a small bowl, cowl, and let rise in a single day.
  2. The following day, in a big bowl, add the massive starter, the flour, salt, yeast, sugar, butter, eggs, and extract.
  3. Use a picket spoon to combine right into a shaggy dough, then add the candied orange and raisins.
  4. Dump the dough out onto a evenly floured counter, and knead by hand till the dough could be very easy and elastic, about 7 to eight minutes.
  5. Alternately, combine substances in a stand mixer with a dough hook till easy.
  6. Place the dough in a evenly oiled bowl, cowl with plastic wrap and place in a heat spot in your kitchen to rise for two to three hours till mushy and nearly doubled in dimension.
  7. Divide the dough into two items and both place in your Colomba type, or form by hand by forming a cross form.
  8. Place the dough on a parchment lined baking sheet, cowl with greased plastic wrap and let rise once more for one more 2 hours.
  9. On the finish of your rising time, preheat oven to 350 levels F.
  10. Make your topping by beating the egg whites till foamy, then including the almond flour, and sugar.
  11. Liberally brush the highest and sides of the bread with the egg white combination after which scatter the pearl sugar and sliced almonds on high.
  12. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or till a cake tester comes out cleanly when inserted within the heart. (If the bread darkens an excessive amount of when baking, tent some aluminum foil on high.
  13. Cool utterly, slice, and luxuriate in!


Tailored from King Arthur Flour Colomba di Pasqua

Vitamin Info:

Yield: 16

Serving Measurement: 1 slice

Quantity Per Serving:

Energy: 274Whole Fats: 7gSaturated Fats: 3gTrans Fats: 0gUnsaturated Fats: 3gLdl cholesterol: 69mgSodium: 188mgCarbohydrates: 47gFiber: 2gSugar: 22gProtein: 6g


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