In Italy you know it’s almost Easter when La Colomba Italian Easter Dove Bread, arrives in every store you enter.
La Colomba is a delicious sweet bread made with yeast. Believe me of all the things I have baked this believe it or not is the recipe I am the proudest of.
At Christmas time in Italy there is Panettone and Pandoro which I like but I have always liked the Easter equivalent Colomba, Italian Easter Dove Bread the best. By the way, Colomba means Dove in English.
Last Easter I made a delicious Easter Bread that was always baked and shared at Easter time when I was a kid by my sister’s late mother-in-law. And now since I am having so much fun baking with yeast, I just had to try La Colomba this Easter.
Usually these Italian sweet breads are filled with candied fruit or raisins, and since a few members of my family don’t like candied fruit and the other couple don’t like raisins, chocolate chips won.
And yes you can purchase La Colomba with chocolate chips or even covered in melted chocolate which is amazing.
I know I have said it before and I will continue to say it, do not be afraid to bake with yeast. I never used to make Sweet Doughs with yeast because I was convinced it was difficult and would taste yeasty. But believe me it isn’t and it doesn’t.
Colomba Italian Easter Dove Bread
I started with a simple Brioche and now I have tackled this amazing Colomba Italian Easter Dove Bread. If you have tried this delicious sweet bread then you must try making it yourself, and if you have never tried it then you really have to try making it.
All you need is time and patience. It just might become your new Easter tradition. Enjoy!
- 2 1/4 teaspoons dry yeast (7 grams)
- 1/2 cup tepid water (100ml)
- 1 cup + 1 tablespoon flour (133 grams)
- 2 3/4 cups + 3 tablespoons flour (367 grams)
- 3/4 cup butter - divided (180 grams)
- 3/4 cup sugar (150 grams)
- 5 egg yolks
- 1/4 cup milk (57 grams) **add a little at a time may need a little more or less
- 1 teaspoon vanilla (5 ml)
- zest of 1 lemon and 1 orange
- 1/4 teaspoon salt (1.4 grams)
- 1/4 - 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips (70 grams)
- 1 egg white
- 2 tablespoons powdered sugar (15.6 grams)
- whole almonds
- Pearl sugar
In a medium bowl add tepid water and yeast, let sit 3-5 minutes then stir to combine. Slowly drizzle in 1 cup + 1 tablespoon of flour, mixing to combine until mixture forms a ball (will be quite sticky), place in a clean bowl, cover with plastic wrap, place in a warm draft free location and let rise 1 hour.
In a large bowl mix together remaining flour (2 3/4 cups + 3 tablespoons), sugar, egg yolks, 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons butter softened (100 grams), vanilla, zest and salt, add the milk a little at a time, mixing until dough is soft and elastic, move to a lightly floured flat surface, (keep surface lightly floured at all times, because dough is quite sticky) spread dough and add risen Starter dough, knead to combine (approximately 5 minutes), place in a large clean bowl, cover with plastic and let rise in a warm draft free location for 1 hour.
Place dough on lightly floured surface and knead in 3 1/2 tablespoons butter softened (50 grams), approximately 3 minutes (there may be spots of butter throughout the dough). Place in a clean bowl, cover with plastic and let rise in a warm draft free location for 4 hours.
Place dough on lightly floured surface and knead in 2 1/2 tablespoons butter softened (30 grams), chocolate chips (or candied fruit or raisins if using) approximately 3 minutes (there may be spots of butter throughout the dough). Place dough in an un-greased and un-floured dove pan or cake pan (9 or 10" / 22-25 centimeters), cover with plastic and let rise in a warm draft free location for 3 hours.
In a small bowl beat together until thick, egg white and powdered/icing sugar, coat top of final risen dough, sprinkle with whole almonds and pearl sugar.
Bake in 350° (180° celsius) Pre-heated oven for approximately 45-60 minutes or until toothpick (I used a wooden kabob stick) comes out clean and dry. Let cool before serving. Enjoy!