Cook's Hideout: Colomba Pasquale for #BreadBakers (Easter Dove Bread--Eggless Recipe)

April 14, 2015

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

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 squid, 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:
Biga (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)
  • 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 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

Here's our International Easter/Passover/Spring Bread Basket, in alphabetical order...

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 51.



  1. Yup ! Shape doesn't matter .. The taste does.. I liked d slices of the bread a lot .

  2. Yep, who cares if it looks like a skinny or chubby dove? Not me. And not when it's such a tasty bread like this one. Welcome to Bread Bakers!

  3. very interesting bread... am loving the great texture...

  4. I love the way the raisins stud this bread. It looks so light and airy, like a dove.

  5. It looked like a bird before baking anyway. Thanks for sharing this wonderful recipe and it does not matter what it looks like on the outside it is the taste inside that counts.

  6. WOW - you are so artistic. My shape wold have been so much worse - looks fantastic and you introduced me to new ingredients. Never heard of fiori di sicilia before

  7. Hmm, do not know if it looks like a squid or a chubby bird but the shape is cute. Bread looks even amazing with nice texture both inside and out.

  8. Looks Like a great bread.Love the raisins and apricots in it.

  9. I had to laugh a little at the thought of an Easter squid but, truly, it IS the taste that counts. Love the little studs of color from the dried fruit inside. I'm so glad you have joined us in Bread Bakers!

  10. All hail the "chubby dove!" I think it's beautiful--and what a lovely crumb! Welcome to the group!

  11. Wow!! This looks truly amazing. I am going to have to try this out, it would make for an incredible meal (or part of one). Not sure I would have the patience though to make the lattice on top like you did. Very nice!

  12. EO and me are admiring this bread and now she wants me to bake this! The slices look super good Pavani...

  13. Chubby dove :-)). The slices look extremely good and the bread has browned well. My last trial (a week back) was an extremely anemic bread :D.

  14. I haven't made Colomba in a few years. Yours are lovely. Thanks for sharing with the #BreadBakers crew this month.

  15. I've always wanted to try baking that dove bread. What a beautiful loaf you made!

  16. This loaf is so gorgeous... Well, to me it looks like a Chubby dove....

  17. It looks like a dove definitely before it went into the oven. I guess it is hard to arrive at the exact shape without the pan you mentioned. That loaf looks light and lovely, studded with raisins.

  18. Skinny or chubby your dove looks delicious!

  19. Squid? :) I see the plumb dove. I really like the sliced bread. Beautiful color

  20. skinny or chubby it looks awesome as a bread, beautiful

  21. wow what a lovely bread! the shape looks perfect.........

  22. Delicious! And the shape is very nice :)

  23. Looks fantastic beautifully done!

  24. Squid, dove, whatevs. Who cares when a bread is full of so many wonderful things! Fiori di Sicilia has the most divine aroma, doesn't it?

  25. Loved the chubby dove! The shape really doesn't matter when the bread tastes great!

  26. Beautiful loaf.. I can see the dove. very nice. Great work

  27. Such a pretty bread and I love that you used dried apricots. Delish!

  28. Very attractive bread, and the loaf came out simply awesome Pavani..

  29. It definitely looked like a bird when you shaped it. I didn't even think of free-shaping the loaves without the pan. Even with the pan, some loaves didn't really look like doves to me. So bravo to you for making a free-form dove!

  30. As Suma said it really looks like a dove before going into the oven..the texture of the bread is amazing and nicely browned.

  31. That is a stunning raisin studded bread. The shape hardly matters to me!

  32. Skinny or chubby, dove or squid....who cares! What a lovely bread and it just has an amazing texture. WOnderful choice Pavani!

  33. What a pretty bread. Looks awesome with those raisind peeping out. Shape definetely does not matter


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