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Colomba Pasquale for #BreadBakers (Easter Dove Bread--Eggless Recipe)

By Pavani @napavani
BM# 51 -- Baking Marathon: Day 12 Bake of the Day: Colomba Pasquale (Easter Dove Bread) I'm taking a short break from breakfast bakes today and instead have a delicious Easter bread. I recently joined the Bread Bakers group. #BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. More information about the group and how to join in the baking fun is at the end of the post.
Colomba Pasquale (Easter Dove Bread) This month's theme is Easter, Passover and Springtime breads from around the world. I made these cute little spring breads last week and wanted to try a more traditional Easter bread for the Bread Bakers group. Found this Colomba Pasquale or Easter Dove bread recipe on King Arthur website. The dove shaped bread looked lovely, so I decided to give it a try.
Colomba Pasquale is a traditional Easter bread made with flour, eggs, sugar, yeast and butter. It is fashioned into a dove shape (colomba in Italian) and then topped with pearl sugar and slivered almonds before baking. It is very similar to it's Christmas counterpart, the Panettone. It is flavored with candied peel.
Colomba Pasquale (Easter Dove Bread) This KAF version of dove bread has dry fruit and orange rind/ zest in it. I think I followed the instructions to the T, but the shape of my dove is up for discussion. My husband thinks it looks like an octopus, whereas I can clearly see a very very chubby bird. I've seen dove shaped baking pans online that one can use, but I guess it's the thought that counts and also once the bread is sliced, who cares if it looked like a skinny or chubby dove :-)
The dough is fairly high in fat and sugar, so it takes a little bit of time to come together and is equally slow during the rise. So be patient and give yourself extra time for rising if your house is cool.
I did not add eggs to the bread, instead used some egg replacer (flax seed goop can also be used). For the egg white wash, I used some soy milk and it worked just fine. I would have added at least ½cup of whole wheat flour to the dough, but with all the baking I have been doing, I ran out of whole wheat flour. All in all, the bread turned out soft, flaky and oh so flavorful with the addition of fiori di Sicilia extract (flowers of Sicily extract).
Colomba Pasquale (Easter Dove Bread) Recipe adapted from here: IngredientsBiga (Overnight Starter):
All purpose Flour - 1cup
Cool Water - ½cup  Instant Yeast - ⅛tsp
All purpose Flour - 2¼cups
Salt - 1¼tsp
Instant Yeast - 1tbsp (SAF Gold Instant yeast preferred)
Sugar - ⅓cup
Butter - 4tbsp, at room temperature
Eggs - 2 large+1egg yolk (reserve the white for the topping) -- I used 2tbsp egg replacer whisked with 6tbsp water instead of the eggs and skipped the yolk apart altogether. For the egg white wash, I used 1tbsp soy milk.
Fiori di Sicilia - ⅛tsp or 2tsp vanilla extract + ⅛tsp orange oil
Grated peel of 1 Orange
Dried fruit - 1cup, chopped if large (I used dried apricots, cranberries and raisins)
For the Topping:
Egg white - 1 large, reserved from the dough
Almond Flour - 3tbsp or 3tbsp blanched almonds, finely ground
Sugar - 2tbsp
Sliced Almonds - 2tbsp
Coarse White Sugar or Pearl Sugar or Demerera sugar- 5~6tsp
Colomba Pasquale (Easter Dove Bread) Method:
  • Make the Biga: The night before making the bread, mix together the biga ingredients, cover the bowl and set aside for up to 15 hours at room temperature.
  • To make the Dough: Biga will be quite bubbly in the morning. Combine the biga, flour, yeast, sugar, salt, butter, eggs (egg replacer mixture), fiori di sicilia and mix to combine. I had to add 2~3tbsp water to get the dough to come together. Knead the dough with the dough hook for 12 minutes, by this time dough will be soft and satiny.
  • Knead in the orange zest and dry fruit.
  • Cover and set the dough aside for 3 hours. By this time, dough will be very puffy.
  • Gently deflate the dough and divide into 2 pieces -- one slightly bigger than the other.
  • Shape the pieces into 10" and 7" long logs. Taper the 10" log on one side. 
  • Place the longest log lengthwise on a parchment lined baking sheet; use the edge of the hand to form a crease in the center.
  • Lay the shorter log crosswise across it, right at the crease. Shape the shorter log into 'wings' by pulling it into a crescent shape. Flatten the tail and the wings, then using a sharp knife or scissors to snip 'feathers'. Place a whole almond for an eye.
  • Cover with a lightly greased plastic wrap and let rise for about 2 hours. Don't let it rise too much as the shape of the dove might get too distorted.
  • Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 375°F.
  • Prepare the Topping: Combine soymilk (or the reserved egg white), almond meal and sugar in a small bowl. This will be a thick glaze. Brush it on the dove liberally. Sprinkle the almonds and pearl/ coarse or demerera sugar on top.
  • Bake for 15 minutes. Then lower the oven temperature to 350°F and bake for 20 additional minutes. For the last 10 minutes, loosely tent the bread with an aluminum foil to prevent over-browning.
  • By the end of baking time, bread should be golden brown and the internal temperature should be 190°F on an instant read thermometer inserted into the center.
  • Gently move the bread onto a wire rack and cool completely before slicing.
Colomba Pasquale (Easter Dove Bread) BreadBakers #BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. You can see all our of lovely bread by following our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated after each event on the BreadBakers home page. We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient. This month Camilla at Culinary Adventures with Camilla has chosen breads from around the world that are traditional for Easter, Passover or Springtime. If you are a food blogger and would like to join us, just send an email with your blog URL to Stacy at [email protected]
Here's our International Easter/Passover/Spring Bread Basket, in alphabetical order... Armenian Choereg by Chef Mireille's East West Realm Bacci's Bread by A Day in the Life on the Farm Bobka - Polish Easter Bread by Seduction in the Kitchen Bread Stuffed with Guava Jam by Basic N Delicious Casatiello by Culinary Adventures with Camilla Colomba Pasquale (Easter Dove Bread) by Cook's Hideout Cornish Saffron Bread by Pastry Chef Online Folar (Portuguese Easter Bread) by Passion Kneaded Hot Cross Buns by En la Cocina de Caro Hornazo - Spanish Easter Bread by Ruchik Randhap Hungarian Egg Twist by Hostess at Heart Hungarian White Bread by Magnolia Days Individual Italian Easter Breads by Hezzi-D's Books and Cooks Italian Easter Bread by La Cocina de Aisha Kulich by That's My Home Lambropsomo - Greek Easter Bread by Spice Roots Lithuanian Easter Bread by My Catholic Kitchen Matzo by A Shaggy Dough Story Mennonite Paska by Food Lust People Love Pääsiäisleipä - Finnish Easter Bread by Bakers and Best Pane di Pasqua - Italian Easter Bread by Karen's Kitchen Stories Spring Sweet Bread by cooking club Strawberry Fritters by Cindy's Recipes and Writings Tsoureki (Greek Easter Bread) by Simply Veggies Colomba Pasquale for #BreadBakers (Easter Dove Bread--Eggless Recipe) Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 51.

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