Easter Dove Bread (Colomba Pasquale)

Celebrate Easter in true Italian style with a traditional and delicious Dove Bread! One of my favorite Easter traditions – along with oversized chocolate eggs – is the Easter Dove Bread, or Colomba Pasquale as they call in Italy. This sweet bread is really popular in Brazil, because of our strong Italian heritage, and my family always gobbles a few of these for Páscoa (Easter in Portuguese). The texture is so soft, the bread is not overly sweet and your home will smell amazing!

The recipe does requires a little work and time, but it is so worth it!  The dough for this bread is quite sticky and difficult to come together – given that it requires a lot of butter – so using a strong stand mixer is ideal. Can you make it by hand? Yes. Will you enjoy making it by hand? No. (But you will enjoy eating it later. That I can guarantee!)  The dove bread goes great with some mascarpone and a little drizzle of honey. I like to serve it with coffee for Easter brunch or with a glass of Prosecco if I’m serving it as an afternoon snack or dessert.  Recipe courtesy of Olivia Mesquita from Olivia’s Cuisine.

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Servings 8 servings
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Passive Time 11+ hours (includes rise, etc.)
Submitted By Olivia Mesquita from Olivia's Cuisine
Rating
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  • 5
Votes: 0
Rating: 0
You:
Rate this recipe!
Servings 8 servings
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Passive Time 11+ hours (includes rise, etc.)
Submitted By Olivia Mesquita from Olivia's Cuisine
Share this Recipe
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Ingredients
Ingredients
Instructions
Making the starter:
  1. Sprinkle the yeast on the warm milk and let it sit for 5 minutes. Whisk in the flour and sugar, cover with plastic wrap and let it rest overnight (or for at least 6 hours) at room temperature.
Making the dough:
  1. The next day, combine the starter, the remaining yeast and 2 cups of flour in the bowl of a stand mixer attached with the dough hook. Mix it on medium speed for about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the sugar, eggs, remaining ½ cup flour, salt, orange zest and Fiori di Sicilia and knead for about 15 minutes on medium speed, adding more flour if necessary if the dough is not coming together.
  3. Once the dough is soft and elastic, add the butter slowly while kneading. Continue kneading for 10 more minutes or until the dough is satiny and really soft.
  4. Add the fruit and mix to combine.
  5. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a towel, and let the dough rise for 3 hours or until at least doubled in size.
  6. Transfer the dough onto a floured counter and punch it down. Divide the two into two equal pieces and form them into logs (one being slightly longer).
  7. Spray a dove bread paper mold with cooking spray and place the dough logs into the mold. The first piece goes across the body and around the edges of the wings. The second piece goes on top of the first piece, placed from head to tail.
  8. Pat the dough down around the edges of the mold to fill in any gaps. Cover with a towel and let it rest at room temperature for 45 to 60 minutes or until doubled in size.
  9. Preheat oven to 375°F degrees.
  10. In the meantime, make the glaze. Beat the egg whites until foamy and whisk in the alomd flour and sugar until you have a white paste-like glaze.
  11. When the bread is ready to be baked, carefully brush the glaze on the bread, being careful not to deflate it. Sprinkle with the pearl sugar and decorate with the almonds.
  12. Bake the loaf for 15 minutes, then reduce the oven heat to 350°F and bake for an additional 20 to 30 minutes, tenting it with foil for the final 10 minutes of baking, if necessary. The finished loaf will be golden brown, and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center will register 190°F.
  13. Remove the bread from the oven, and carefully slide it onto a rack to cool. Let it cool completely before serving.
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