Happy Easter! Recipe for Colomba di Pasqua (Italian Easter Dove Bread)

5 Apr

Easter is only 3 days away! Have you finalized your family dinner menu yet? If not, you might want to try out Chef Marion’s recipe for a delectable Colomba di Pasqua (Italian Easter Dove Bread). This is a super fun recipe to make with the kids!

You’ll Need:

·         6-7 cups all-purpose flour

·         1-1/4 cups sugar

·         1 tablespoon baking powder 6-7 cups all-purpose flour

·         1 tablespoon baking powder

·         1 teaspoon salt

·         5 large eggs, divided

·         4 ounces unsalted butter, melted

·         1-1/4 cups milk

·         1 tablespoon vanilla

·         2 hard-boiled eggs

·         2 dark raisins

·         Colored sprinkles

Let’s Prep!
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Grease two baking sheets.
From a piece of paper, cut out a dove shape pattern that is 12-inches long from beak to tail and 7-inches wide.

  1. Combine 6 cups of flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a bowl.
  2. In another bowl, add 4 eggs, butter, milk and vanilla.  Beat until well blended.
  3. Add the liquid mixture to the dry ingredients and mix with your hands to form a dough.
  4. The dough should not be sticky.  If it is, add a little more flour.
  5. Transfer the dough to a floured surface and knead it until smooth, 1 to 2 minutes.
  6. Divide the dough into two pieces.
  7. Roll each piece of dough into a 13-inch by 10-inch rectangle.
  8. Place the dove-shaped pattern on each piece of dough and cut around it.  Remove scraps of dough.
  9. Using scissors, make cuts in the tail to resemble feathers and one cut in the beak area.
  10. Push one raisin in each dove for an eye.
  11. In a small bowl, lightly beat the remaining egg and  brush it lightly over each loaf.
  12. Place 1 hard- boiled egg in the middle of each dove body.
  13. Cut 2 thin strips 4-inches long from dough scraps. Cross 2 over each egg.
  14. In a small bowl, lightly beat the remaining egg and  brush it lightly over each loaf.
  15. Sprinkle the loaves with the colored sprinkles.
  16. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the loaves are lightly browned and firm to the touch.
  17. Remove to cooling racks.

To Make The Dough You’ll Need:

-1 envelope (2-1/2 teaspoons) dry yeast

-1/2 cup warm water (105 to 115  degrees F.)

-3 eggs, room temperature

-2/3 cup sugar

-8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled

-1/2 cup warm milk

-2 teaspoon vanilla extract

-1 tablespoon grated orange zest

-5 to 5-1/2 cups flour

-1 teaspoon salt

-6 whole uncooked eggs, colored if desired

-1 egg yolk beaten with 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash

-Colored sprinkles
Please… Proceed…

  1. In a small cup, combine the yeast with the warm water.  Let stand until creamy, about 5 minutes.
  2. Stir to dissolve.
  3. In a large bowl, beat the eggs.  Beat in the sugar.  Stir in the butter, milk, vanilla, and orange zest.
  4. Stir in the yeast mixture.
  5. Add 5 cups of the flour and the salt.  Stir until a soft dough forms.
  6. Add enough of the remaining flour to make a smooth dough.
  7. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead for a minute or two until very smooth.
  8. Shape the dough into a ball.  Place in a buttered bowl.
  9. Cover and let rise in a warm place until double in volume, about 1-1/2 hours.
  10. Butter 2 baking sheets.
  11. Punch down the dough and cut into 4 pieces.  With your hands, roll one piece into a rope about 20 inches long.
  12. Repeat with another piece of dough.  Lay the ropes side by side and loosely twist them together.
  13. Place the ropes onto the prepared baking sheet.  Bring the ends together to form a ring.  Pinch the ends to seal.
  14. Place 3 eggs at intervals around the wreath, tucking them in between the ropes of the dough.
  15. Repeat with the remaining dough and eggs.  
  16. Cover and let rise about 1 hour or until doubled in size.
  17. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  18. Brush the egg wash over the dough.  Scatter the colored sprinkles on top.
  19. Bake the loaves for 30 minutes or until golden brown.  Transfer the bread to wire racks to cool completely.

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