Sunday, April 5, 2009


When Elra from "Elra's Baking" and "Elra's Cooking" (USA) contacted me and invited me to make a "Colomba Pasquale" (a.k.a "Easter Dove" the national Easter bread of Italy) together with four other lady foodbloggers (Cindystar ,Zorra, Lien, Natalia) my answer could not have been else than "yes, of course"!

Elra didn't have to convince me at all as it could not have been a better opportunity for me to bake that brioche for the very first time and put my sourdough know-how as well as my courage and resilience as a mad homebaker to the test...

At first, I was a little nervous regarding the recipe we were asked to use as it calls for a sourdough starter. Knowing how tricky it is to work with such an unstable living entity/ingredient, I was not too sure regarding the outcome of the recipe.

Anyway, I made Beth Hensperger's ridiculously easy "Sourdough Starter" for the first time and luckily, the "monster" proved to be more tame and stable than the ones I had made in the past and which needed more attention.

So, I followed the recipe and adapted it according to my baking modest experience. Thankfully, everything went smoothly and I came across no problem at all. This led to good results as the end product was mindblowingly beautiful and stunningly toothsome!

Rarely have I eaten such a heavenly delicacy! This lovely Italian egg brioche is somehow similar to "Panettone" or "Pandoro" (not exactly though as there are slight differences in the making, composition and texture) and is a delicate candied bread that could very well be compared to a cake as it is sweet and luscious. The tangy and yeasted flavor of the sourdough starter contrast wonderfully with the more fruity as well as nutty mellowness flavors of the "Colomba Pasquale". And, it's light, shreddy and divinely smooth texture will leaves me all the more speechless. This godly brioche is a revelation!

Homemade "Colomba Pasquale" brioches are mighty scrumptious and sooooo good that eating a slice will instantly put you in a state of total bliss that'll take hours to fade away! Trust me, it is definitely worth all the efforts and time put into their making!

This post is submitted to Yeastspotting.


Cindystar at "Cindystar" (Italy) will be hosting a "Colomba Pasquale" event, so if you want to participate, here's what you have to know:
1. Bake your colomba, feel free to follow any recipe, and blog about it.
2. Please link back to this announcement in your post, and eventually to the round up.
3. Leave a comment to her post linking your entry.
4. The last day of submission is April 18th, 24.00 Rome Time.
5. For further information please do not hesitate to contact her at cmc(at)cindystar(dot)it. 6. The roundup will be on line on April the 21st 2009.

We all chose different recipes, but everybody is free to follow their favorite one. So, if you think it's a good challenge, if you have already done and blogged about your "Colomba Pasquale", if you are going to do so, if you don't yet know which recipe to follow or if you would like to take part in the "Happy Baking Easter" event, then this event is for you!

~ Easter Dove or Colomba Pasquale ~
Recipe by Papum and adapted by Rosa @ Rosa's Yummy Yums 2009.

Makes 2 breads.

Ingredients for the "First Dough":
135g Sourdough starter (see recipe)
390g Strong white Flour
155g Unsalted butter, softened
105g Castor sugar
3 Egg Yolks
150g + 50g Lukewarm water
Ingredients for the "Second Dough":
1x First dough
85g Strong white flour
15g Runny honey
4g Sea salt
30g Castor sugar
3 Egg yolks
30g Unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 1/2 Tsp Pure vanilla extract
1 Tbs Orange zest (organic)
300g Candied orange peels, chopped (see remarks)

Ingredients for the "Frosting":
30g Hazelnuts
55g Blanched almonds, toasted

10g Pinenuts
225g Sugar
Enough egg white to blend
Pearl sugar, for sprinkling
Confectioner's sugar, for decorating

Method for the "First Dough":
1. Over low heat, melt the sugar in 150g water.
2. Let cool until lukewarm.
3. Whisk the sourdough starter together with the egg yolks.
4. Add the sugar syrup, 1/3 of the flour and the butter. Beat well until blended.
5. Add the rest of the flour and continue to beat for about 5 minutes, until you obtain a viscous dough.
6. Add 50g water, little by little and beat well until incorporated.
7. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rise, for about 12 hours in warm place (at room temperature).

Method for the "Second Dough":
8. Add to the first dough : flour, honey, salt and sugar. Beat well with a spatula.
9. When the dough comes together in a ball add the yo
lks, one at a time and then the melted butter (not too hot) little by little, while beating well.
10. Then add the orange zest and candied orange peels. Incorporate well.
11. Let the dough rest one hour covered with a cloth/towel

12. Then shape (as shown here/first the wings and then the body over them).
13. Let the the colomba breads rest for 3 to 4 hours until they reach
the edges of the mold.
Method for the "Frosting" and "Baking":
14. Finely mince all the dry fruits (apart from the almonds) and set aside.
15. Incorporate enough egg white to the sugar in ord
er to obtain a soft batter to spread.
16. Cover the colomba breads with the f
rosting, sprinkle with the chopped nuts and almonds as well as with the pearl sugar.
17. Cover with a lot of icing sugar.

18. Bake at 180° C (350° F) for 50 minutes.

Instead of using candied orange peel only, you can also use any other chopped candied fruits (lemon, mixe peel, etc...).
I didn't have pinenuts, so I used 65g almonds instead of the 55g requested.
If you don't have dove paper moulds, then you can also use Panettone paper moulds or round (and high) pans.

Serving suggestions:
These "Colomba Pasquale" brioches are so good that you should eat them without restraint or moderation!!!
They are delicious with a good cup of tea or coffee.


~ Colombe De Pâques ~
Recette par Papum et adaptée par Rosa @ Rosa's Yummy Yums 2009.

Pour deux grosses brioches.

Ingrédients pour la "Première Pâte":
135g de Levain naturel (voir recette)
390g Farine à pain blanche
155g de Beurre non-salé, ramolli
105g de Sucre cristallisé
3 Jaunes d'oeufs
150g + 50g d'Eau tiède (en dessous de 50° C)
Ingrédients pour la "Deuxième Pâte":
1x Première pâte
85g de Farine à pain blanche
15g de Miel liquide
4g de Sel de mer
30g de Sucre cristallisé
3 Jaunes d'oeufs
30g de Beurre non-salé, fondu et à temp. ambiante
1 1/2 CC d'Extrait de vanille pure
1 CS de Zeste d'Orange (bio)
300g Ecorces d'orange confites, hachées (voir remarques)

Ingrédients pour le "Glaçage":
30g de Noisettes
55g d'Amandes blanchies, torréfiées
10g de Pignons
225g de Sucre cristallisé

Assez de blanc d'oeufs pour former une mixture étalable
Sucre perlé, pour saupoudrer
Sucre en poudre, pour décorer

Méthode pour la "première Pâte":
1. Faire fondre le sucre dans 150g d'eau, à feu doux.
2. Laisser refroidir afin que le sirop ne dépasse pas les 50° C.
3. Battre ensemble le levain et les jaunes d'oeufs.
4. Ajouter le sirop, 1/3 de la farine et le beurre. Battre énergiquement (au fouet) jusqu'à ce que le mélange soit homogène.
5. Ajouter le reste de la farine et continuer à battre (avec une spatule) pendant au moins 5 minutes, jusqu'à ce que vous obteniez une pâte visqueuse.
6. Ajouter 50g water, petit à petit et battre à nouveau jusqu'à ce que le liquide soit entèrement incorporé.
7. Couvrir le bol avec une feuille en plastique et laisser lever pendant au moins 12 heures à température ambiante.

Méthode pour la "Deuxième Pâte":
8. Ajouter la farine, le miel, le sel et le sucre à la première pâte. Bien battre à l'aide d'une spatule.
9. Quand la pâte sera homogène, ajouter les jaunes d'oeufs
un à un, puis incorporer le beurre fondu (tiède) très lentement pendant que vous battez la pâte.
10. Ajouter le zeste et les écorces d'orange confites. Bien incorporer.
11. Laisser reposer, couvert (linge), pendant une heure.
12. Former vos colombes (comme montré ici/en commenca
nt par les ailes puis en finissant par le corps).
13. Couvrez-les avec un linge et laissez-les lever pendant au moins 3 à 4 heures, jusqu'à ce que vous colombes atteignent le rebord du moule.

Méthode for the pour le "Glaçage et la Cuisson":
14. Hacher finement tous les fruits secs (à part les amandes). Mettre de côté.
15. Incorporer assez de blanc d'oeuf au sucre afin d'obteni
r un mélange épais qui pourra être réparti sur le dessus des colombes.
16. Recouvrir le dessus des colombes avec le glaçage, saupoudrer avec les noix hachées et entières ainsi qu'avec le sucre perlé.

17. Saupoudrer les colombes avec beaucoup de sucre en poudre afin de recouvrir entièrement le dessus de chacunes d'elles.
18. Cuire à 180° C (350° F) pendant 50 minutes.

Au lieu d'utiliser des écorces d'orange confites, vous pouvez aussi prendre des écorces de citron confites ou un mélange de fruits confits (citron, orange, angélique, cerise, etc..) que vous hacherez finement.
Comme je n'avais pas de pignons, j'ai remplacé les 10g par des amandes (65g en tout au lieu des 55g requis).
Si vous n'avez pas de moules en forme de colombe, alors vous pouvez tout à fait utiliser des moules ronds (et haut) ou des moules en papier pour Panettone.

Idées de présentation:
Ces "Colombes Pasquales" sont si délicieuses qu'elles se dégustent facilement et sans modération!!!
Un bon thé ou café sera l'accompagnement parfait.


  1. This is such a lovely thing to eat. A difficult one to make. Yours looks wonderful. Well done.

  2. Waw Rosa !!!! Comme elle est sublime cette brioche ! vraiment magnifique ! je t'en aurais pris volontiers une grosse part !

    Bisous et passe un bon dimanche

  3. This bread looks and sounds divine, Rosa! Thank you so much for letting me know about it :) And YES! I would love to add it to the article.. thank you SO MUCH!

    I just have 2 questions, because I'd love to make this.. what is "Strong White Flour"? And does it matter which kind of sea salt one would use?

    Thanks again :)


  4. Well done rosa. I love the last pic with the Lindt bunnies.

    Where in Geneva did you buy your paper mold?

  5. Tu sais que je ne me risquerai même pas... mais j'adore admirer tes grands succès! Superbe, Rosa... simplement superbe!
    Joyeuses Pâques à toi!

  6. LIS: Thanks! you are welcome to add it to the article ;-P...

    Strong flour is high protein flour (11%-14%)... I hope that helps!

    I'm looking forwards to reading your article!

    Cheers, Rosa xoxo

    ZORRA: Thanks! Yes, those Lindt bunnies are so cute ;-P... In fact, a friend of mine brought them back from Tuscany. I can't find them here! Geneva's a bad place for homebakers...

  7. C'est superbe, et chapeau pour avoir tout traduit c'est un travail culinaire et literaire impressionnant... pourrais tu me conseiller j' ai besoins de changer d'appareil numérique, on me conseil le nikkon D60, qu'utilise tu?

  8. ma chère Rosa!!..que de travail!!..tu m'impressiones toujours ;) dimanche..

    ~nancy xx

  9. Superbe recette Rosa! Je ne sais pas si j'oserai m'y lancer... ;)

    Bon dimanche!

    Je pense très fort à toi...

  10. tu as du voir (ou pas ) que j'ai aussi posté la recette sur mon blog avec mon panettone.
    finalement tu as cuit ta colomba comme un panettone, pourquoi n'as - tu pas essayé "la forme colombe" ?
    je remarque ton papier qui entoure ta brioche il est très beaux comme les panettone du commerce ! j'ai regretté de ne pas savoir où en trouver lorsque ,j'ai fait le mien ,peut être n'ais-je pas bien cherché ! ;-)
    bien appêtissant tout ça en tous cas !! et jolies photos.

  11. Superbe ! j'adore cette colombe italienne. Bon dimanche

  12. Elle porte un joli nom cette joli brioche que tu as magnifiquement résussi.
    Bon dimanche,bises!

  13. C'est magnifique, quelle réussite !

  14. MAMANCALINE: Merci! J'ai un Nikon D40. Si tu n'as jamais eu de réflexe, alors je te conseille le Nikon D40 ou le D60. Par contre si tu t'y connais bien, alors tu devrais te diriger vers les D80, D200, D300, etc... Les appareils réflexes Canon sont tout aussi bons. L'équivalent du Nikon D40 est le Canon EOS 40D (je crois). Après c'est une question de préférence.

    NADEGE: Merci! Oui, j'ai vu! Je n'ai pas fait la forme "colomba" car je n'avais pas de moule de cette forme et n'avais pas envie d'en confectionner... Ici, je ne sais pas ou trouver ces moules en papier. C'est une amie qui me les a ramené d'Italie.

  15. Trop mignons!!!

  16. WOW Rosa,
    I am so very proud of you, you colomba look so beautiful and delicious. I will definitely make the recipe again and borrow your adaptation if I may. As I e-mail you that I was not satisfied with mine at all. I am so glad that I've invited you, you did fantastic and fabulous job.
    Big kiss for that,

  17. This, Rosa, is so lovely and it does look so light and perfect!

  18. Oh Rose, this looks soooooooo good. Pure torture to look at and not taste!

  19. Waouh ! Elle est superbe cette brioche et bien gonflée !!!
    Bisous et bonne soirée, Doria

  20. What a fantastic result you got with your colombe!! Looking real good>

  21. très joli nom! ça à l'air très bon ça donne envie, je peux en prendre pour demain matin? les photos sont splendides!

  22. Rosa...first prize for you!
    For colomba and pics!
    I am astonished...a very great great good super job!
    Thanks again for supporting my event, I really loved to bake with you and all other friends!
    I posted my colomba as well, a little bit late but I had a very busy w.e....

  23. That one sure makes my heart patter. Really lovely Rosa.

  24. Looks beautiful, Rosa! If it's anything like pannetone, it must be wonderful!

  25. This looks like it was made in the heavens. I make a flat Easter dove bread - in the shape of a dove. Yours looks more enticing.

  26. This is so beautiful. Looks perfect.

  27. Wow! Beautiful Colomba!
    My first dough is proofing right now. I didn't see this recipe before I started on my own which is based on the Panettone recipe I came up with for christmas.
    I can only hope mine will be half as successful as yours! I'll post it up on my blog if it works OK.

  28. The bread looks so wonderful! It's great for easter morning breakfast :)

  29. I know I'll never get hungry when I visit you Rosa :D

  30. Thanks for sharing these wonderful recipes. Love these rich tasty celebration breads.

  31. These are so beautiful! It looks lovely and a sure sign of spring.

  32. aie, qu'est-ce que ca a l'air delicieux !!!!! bonne journee Rosa !

  33. C'est magnifique et terriblement gourmand..mais quel travail...!
    Bravo !
    Bises et bonne semaine

  34. Je suis fan de brioche donc celle la va direct dans mes favoris

  35. Rosa this looks beautiful and must taste great as well. I have never made a sourdough starter before and must attempt to make this. The photos look beautiful as well.

  36. Merci pour ta visite.
    ton blog est beau.

  37. elle est magnifique cette brioche! j'adore aussi ton moule, j'en cherche des comme ça depuis un bout de temps et j'en trouve pas :(! bisous

  38. So splendid that I do not find my words! You are so gifted Rosa! I would love being in your kitchen!



  39. Beau travail! Je ne sais pas si j'aurais le temps de me lancer à le faire cette année mais j'admire...

  40. Gorgeous, alluring and tempting.....

  41. Looks fantastic as usual Rosa :)
    LOL @ "devilish food for the gods"...pretty funny :)

  42. Quelle merveilleuse réussite, comme toujours!

  43. Looks perfect and delicious, well done!

  44. Ta brioche est magnifique, et tes photos comme toujours superbes !!! gros bisous

  45. Je laisse rarement de commentaires faute de temps mais là tu mérites amplement des félicitations :) Ce gâteau est somptueux !

  46. Beautiful!! And I am sure it tastes equally wonderful!

  47. A beautiful cake for the holiday!

  48. WOW oh WOW Rosa!! This is just stunning, perfect in every way well done!

    Rosie x

  49. mygosh, so many steps! it turned out so beautiful it looks like it is glowing from within...

  50. Mmmm, I'm always up for any type of breads!

  51. That topping looks insanely good! Ahh, I love Beth Hensperger recipes. I used to work with her when I wrote for the San Jose Mercury News food section. She is a doll to collaborate with, and her recipes are always spot on.

  52. Très jolie et gourmand pour les petits déjeuners

  53. Dear Rosa, your colomba is great and your post,as you spoilt us, very good !! Thank you for baking this super colomba !!

  54. De tres jolies photos pour une tres jolie recette !

  55. Waouh Rosa, cette brioche est une superbe réussite. Quel boulot mais cela en vaut la peine.

  56. This looks like something I would buy it looks gorgeous. What a zesty treat . :-)

  57. Le résultat est splendide de cette brioche et sûrement délicieux!
    Bises, bon après-midi

  58. Et bien quelle réalisation!! Digne des plus grands boulangers-pâtissiers!! Bravo!

  59. Wow.. that looks really delicious. Nearly wanted to eat my laptop up. hehe... But it seems like a more complicated process compared to the usual brioche that I once made. But this seriously looks good.

  60. hummm, trop trop bravo les photos sont magnifiques


  61. that's a classy looking Easter bread...I hope you made two - one for decor, the other for eating!

  62. Wouw..the cake looks really delicious and great shoots too!

  63. GORGEOUS! What a great treat for Easter!

  64. It looks so good! I barely have words to describe...such a great treat for Easter. Love your pictures, could not look better!

  65. Difficile de passer du post précédent à celui ci dans le même temps. Mais pour les chrétiens, Pâques c'est la résurrection..
    La colombe à Pâques, le panettone à Noël, je n'en ai pas souvenir qu'il en ait été autrement depuis mon enfance... La tienne est superbe, moi, je me contente de l'acheter, toujours la même marque, toujours la tradition. Peu de gens la font en Italie mais chacun à sa marque favorite..Bises

  66. PETER M: In fact, I made two and both were meant to be devoured ;-P!!!

    MARINA: Oui, malheureusement la vie continue. De plus, j'avais écrit ce billet bien avant la triste nouvelle... Dommage, car la colombe de Pâques est bien meilleure lorsqu'elle est faite maison! Bises.

  67. oh my.. thsi looks soo good. I love brioche but this is so much better.. looks intimidating to make though, for amateur bakers like me :o(.. If I don't have castor sugar, can i use regular sugar instead?

  68. JESCEL: Thanks! It is not so difficult to make, but it takes a long time to prepare... You can use any white sugar as long as it's not confectioner's suger (to fine).

  69. Happy Easter to you and your family Rosa! Thank you for the recipe.

  70. Hi Rosa
    This is such a lovely cake to eat and looks absolutely gorgeous. Loved the chocolate bunnies on the back ground. Well done, great work x

  71. What a great looking bread, I love the sound of that topping too.

  72. Isn't it so great when something you try turns out so great!

    Happy Easter!!

    My Mom used to make this bunny cake growing up that we all loved. This would be a great family tradition kind of cake!

  73. wonderful baking artistry. Liebe Grüsse

  74. Miam miam Rosa, ces brioches sont superbes et doivent fondre en bouche avec force saveurs et parfums, mmmm! Je compte sur toi maintenant pour multiplier les recettes au levain :-)

  75. Wow this looks so enticing. You did such a professional-looking job and your photos are gorgeous. I never dared try bake one of these, but I've seen so many now over the blogosphere that I want to try.

  76. Great job! It looks delicious. I love the serving suggestions. I can guarantee I would eat it without moderation!

  77. Your Colomba is absolutely stunning! Great job.

  78. Wow! Rosa, that Easter bread looks and reads like a truly wonderful loaf of baked goodness. :-) I will be baking our Greek Easter bread in the next couple days as our Easter is next week. Have a Happy Easter!

  79. Comme pour toutes tes créations boulangères je suis subjuguée Rosa, elle est parfaite cette brioche et en plus j'adore le "glaçage" avec ce mélange de fruits secs.

  80. Oh, this is beautiful! I do hope that I have a chance to have a bite. haha!

  81. Very beautiful Rosa. I love the colors. I so wish I could try it. I really need to make a sour dough starter. I will try the recipe you provided.

  82. Extra ta recette, merci pour les précieuses traductions toujours :-) , je me demande si je ne vais pas la faire pour Pâques en plus des mounas traditionnelles à la maison :-) , je la note de ce pas avant d'oublier !
    Bisous :-))

  83. Well Rosa, you know a lot of people will be jealous that you got such a gorgeous result on your first attempt with sourdough! You are one talented baker.

  84. Sublime ... c'est le mot que je cherchais ! ;o)

  85. Elle a l'air absolument délicieuse cette brioche!

  86. I love all of the different recipes I learn about on your blog!

  87. Est-ce que je peux croquer dedans ? Dis oui, j'ai trop envie!

  88. wouaw sublime!!
    joyeuses pâques

  89. Mmmh, quel travail, mais quelle folie cette colombe. Et ce glaçage croustillant... Bravo aussi pour ces jolies photos. Bon dimanche. Bz

  90. That looks very tasty! I like your round version of it. Also nice pictures of it!

  91. Joyeuses Paques Rosa

    Beautiful Colomba is so delicious... Thanks for sharing all the steps...

  92. Thats looks divine!You have such a way with breads.

  93. Thank you for this recipe! I have been trying to create one of my own this season, but it became far too hazardous for my hips to eat my mistakes! This is absolutely beautiful. I am glad to have found your blog today.