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Italian Easter Cake, Colomba . Recipe for 30 pcs

March 21, 2019

The ” Colomba” is an Italian Easter cake : ancient legends and stories revolve around this preparation.  The first story is about the lombard King Alboino who managed to conquer Pavia in 572 b.C. after a long siege: to pay tribute to him with gifts and presents, people proposed him a dove-shaped cake made of bread dough.

There is also the legend of Saint Columbus. When he was invited to a banquet by the queen Teodolinda, he felt uncomfortable in front of the game: so he offered to bless it and he worked a miracle turning it into bread.

The third story about the Italian Easter cake , definitely the most documented, dates back to the ‘30s of the twentieth century. Dino Villani, advertising director for Motta from the 1934 ti the 1939, thought about how to increase the seasonal business and from that the Easter cake was created. The secret is to use the same dough of the Panettone, creating a new cake.


Today the Italian Easter cake is a naturally leavened cake. Unlike the Panettone, in its dough there is candied orange peel in addition to the icing finishing. A tasty almond paste covers the dove and keeps the cake soft inside. Easter cake recipe, which one is the best? We entrust the one proposed by Let’s start with the ingredients:


For the 1°dough

Serves: 30 cake

  • 1150 culture yeast
  • W350 p/l 0,55 4000 g  flour
  • 1200 g butter
  • 1200 g  sugar
  • 2000 g water
  • 900 g egg yolks

Put the flour, the culture yeast and the water into the kneader. After 10 minutes add the sugar and then the soft butter and the egg yolks. The dough should be smooth but not too much worked. Put it to leave into the cell for 10/12 hours at a temperature of 24/25°C: it should triple in size.


For the 2° dough

  • Serves: 30 cake
  • W300 P/L 0,55 1000 g flour
  • 2000 g butter
  • 1000 g sugar
  • 1500 g egg yolks
  • 25 g. malt
  • 50 g salt
  • 1500 g orange cubes
  • 500 g cedar
  • 2000 g sultanas
  • 250 g acacia honey
  • 2 vanilla beans
  • 4 oranges (only peel)
  • 50 g powedered milk

Now we are ready for the second phase. First of all we have to put the first dough into the kneader with the flour and then mix for 15 minutes. Add the sugar and, after being absorbed, put half of the egg yolks, the salt and the flavourings.  Incorporate all the ingredients to obtain a smooth and homogeneous dough. Add the remaining yolks and the soft butter. At this point, pour 150 g of butter on the dough and incorporate the orange cubes. The new dough should rest in the cell for about 30 minutes at a temperature of 30°C.

After that, we need to create some small loaves that must rest for about 40 minutes. Then they have to be split into two parts, streched and put into the appropriate bands. It is now necessary a leavening of at least 6 hours at 30/32 °C. Ice over with a thin layer of dough, add almonds and grains of sugar, dust with icing sugar. Then, cook it in hot oven at a temperature of 180°C for about 50 minutes.

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