homepage logo

Recipe of the Week: Colomba Pasquale (Easter Bread)

By Staff | Apr 21, 2020

Chef Loretta Paganini

The Easter dove, a symbol of the Resurrection, is a traditional pastry throughout Italy. Made from a yeast dough, the Colomba is easy to prepare and simple to shape. (Chef tip: Make sure you boil the milk to kill the enzyme that would kill the yeast, then cool it before adding the yeast.)


1/2 cup milk

1 envelope yeast

1 cup All Purpose flour


2 large eggs

1 egg yolk

1/3 cup sugar

1 stick butter

2 teaspoons vanilla sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1 grated lemon zest

2 cups All Purpose flour

Almond icing:

1/4 cup whole blanched almonds

1/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon cornstarch

1 egg white

1/4 cup blanched, sliced almonds

Confectioners’ sugar

For the sponge, bring the milk to a boil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Remove from the heat and cool to warm. Sprinkle yeast on surface. Allow to stand five minutes and beat yeast into milk to dissolve. Stir in flour and cover with plastic wrap. Allow to proof for 30 minutes, or until double.

For the dough, beat the eggs and yolk together and beat in the sugar. Melt and cool the butter, then beat in. Stir in the vanilla sugar and salt, then the flour. Beat in the sponge and continue beating to form a soft dough. Beat in the lemon zest. Place dough into a buttered bowl and cover with plastic wrap.

Allow to rise until double, about one hour. Remove dough from bowl and deflate. Round dough and press into a dove shaped pan or a 10-inch springform pan, which has been buttered and lined with parchment paper on the bottom and sides. Cover loosely and allow to rise at room temperature until double, about one hour.

For the icing, combine the almonds, confectioners’ sugar, vanilla, cornstarch and egg white in the food processor and process to a smooth paste. Spread the icing on the risen Colomba carefully to avoid deflating it. Sprinkle with the sliced almonds and granulated sugar. Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes. Cool briefly in the pan and unmold carefully to avoid disturbing the icing. Dust with confectioner’s sugar before serving.