Colomba pasquale

Starter yeast:
The activating agent of a fermentation process can be a fruit juice or pulp, such as apricot, grapes, or apple.
Beat the fruit, sift, and knead:

fruit 100g
flour 200g
mineral water 100g

Knead into an even dough, cover with cellophane, and allow to leaven at 26°-28°C for circa 48 hours. Wait for the dough to become three times its initial volume, then knead again with equal amounts of yeast and flour at 45-50% water. Continue renewing until the
yeast reaches correct maturation in 4 hours at 28°C.
Only at this point can one contemplate the possibility of proceeding to the preparatory renewals for the dough itself.
Preparation of the yeast for doughs
The day before making the dough, at about seven o’clock p.m., remove the yeast from the refrigerator and leave it to stand at room temperature. Knead the necessary amount of dough with double the amount of flour, one egg yolk, and 48% water. Allow to leaven overnight at a temperature of 15°C.
The next morning, knead the dough well with equal amounts of flour and water (for example, 300g yeast, 300g flour, 300g water). Allow this to ferment at 28°-30°C until it reaches three times its initial volume. Repeat the procedure, tripling the initial volume, until obtaining the desired weight. Now proceed to the kneading.

COLOMBA (dove)

sour-dough yeast 1250g
sugar 1500g
egg yolks 1000g
water 1600g
flour 4000g
butter 1500g
brewer’s yeast 25g

Knead water, sugar, egg yolks, flour and yeast together. Add butter and work until obtaining a dry dough, but not too weak. Allow it to ferment for circa 12 hours until it is three times its initial volume.
Knead again with:


cocoa-butter 100g
flour 1000g
sugar 750g
honey 500g
vanilla pods no. 5
butter 1500g
salt 40g
cubes of candied orange 2000g
flavourings 200g
small cubes of almond paste 500g

Place the dough and flour in a mixer and work for 5-6 minutes, then add the sugar and allow to rest. Then add the salt, butter and in two instances the egg yolks, the cocoa-butter, and the flavourings. When the dough is ready, mix in the fruit. Allow the dough to rest for 15-20 minutes and then divide into pieces; allow to rest for 10-15 minutes and then mould the colomba (doves).
Allow to ferment and glaze with the following recipe:

bitter almonds or apricot seeds 125g
sweet almonds, chopped 380g
roasted hazelnuts 250g
sugar 2000g
cocoa 50g
maize flour 50g
potato starch 50g
egg whites 750g

Arrange the icing and bake for circa 45 minutes at 180°C, valve closed. Remove from oven, turn upside down and allow to cool for 12 hours.

Achille Zoia

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