Colomba di Pasqua (Easter Dove Bread)

This version of Easter bread is an Italian specialty, sometimes described as a combination of Panettone and Pandoro.  I know it doesn’t look very much like a “dove”, but let’s just say the shape is symbolic of a dove, shall we?  The flavor and texture are all one would expect in a celebration bread.  It’s a bread rich with butter and eggs, flavored with citrus and dried fruit, and topped with a crunchy, sweet, almond and sugar glaze.  The rise is slow, and the dough is sticky and soft, but a stand mixer does all the work for you.  The handling and shaping of the dough is easy, and the final result is well worth half a day of your time.

I enjoyed a slice with a cup of tea, but you could also serve the bread as dessert, with a glass of wine.  It would be lovely toasted and buttered and topped with your favorite jam or marmalade.   You will need to start the dough the day before you want to bake, as it requires a “biga”, or overnight starter.  I used a recipe from one of my favorite baking websites:  King Arthur Flour.  The only change I made to their version is the addition of some candied orange peel, along with the dried fruit.  Here is the recipe (and always excellent instructions) for the Colomba Pasquale.  It will make an impressive addition to your Easter brunch or dinner table.