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Traditional Colomba di Pasqua

Traditional Colomba di Pasqua

(Makes one 8 x 11-inch loaf)




Ingredients:




Sponge:

1/2 cup warm milk, 105 -115 degrees F.

1 envelope (2-1/4 teaspoons) dry yeast, divided

3/4 cup flour

Pat the dough down around the edges of the mold to fill in any gaps. Cover

with a kitchen towel. Let rise in a warm place until doubled, 45 to 60 minutes.

In the meantime, make the icing.




To make the icing:

In a food processor, combine 1/4 cup of almonds, sugar, cornstarch and egg

white. Process to a smooth paste.




Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Carefully spread the icing on the risen bread. Spread the remaining sliced

almonds on top. Dust with a heavy coat of confectioners' sugar. Place the

mold on a baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 350

degrees F. Bake an additional 20-30 minutes. If the top is getting too brown,

cover the bread with a piece of foil during the last 10 minutes of baking. The

internal temperature of the bread should be about 190 degrees F. Remove from

the oven and transfer the bread to a wire rack to cool.


Dough:

2 eggs

1 egg yolk

1/3 cup granulated sugar

8 tablespoons butter, room temperature

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon fiori di sicilia or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Grated zest of 1 orange or lemon

2 cups flour

1 cup dried fruit (combination of dark and golden raisins and candied orange

peel)




Almond Icing:

1/2 cup sliced almonds, divided

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1/2 tablespoon cornstarch

1 egg white

Confectioners' sugar




Directions:




To make the sponge:

In a small bowl, sprinkle 1 teaspoon of yeast into the warm milk. Stir the yeast

into the milk and allow to sit for 5 minutes to dissolve. Stir in the 3/4 cup flour

to form a smooth paste. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Let sit in 12 hours

or overnight, unrefrigerated.







To make the dough:

Using an electric mixer, beat the eggs and yolk together. Beat in the sugar,

remaining yeast, salt, and extract. Add the sponge and softened butter; beat

to combine. Add 2 cups of flour and beat just enough to blend in the flour. If

you are using an electric mixer, switch to the dough hook. Otherwise, transfer

the dough to a lightly floured surface. Knead the dough until smooth and

elastic. By hand you will knead for about 10 minutes. If you are using a dough

hook, knead about 5 minutes. Add the dried fruit and knead just enough to

incorporate.




Place the dough in a large buttered bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and a

kitchen towel. Let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 2 hours.




Punch down the dough and transfer to a lightly floured surface. Divide the

dough into 2 equal size pieces. Form each piece into a log about 12-inches

long. Place the first piece into the dove mold in what would be the wings of the

dove. The log goes across the body and around the edges of the wings. The

second piece is placed from head to tail on
top of the first piece.

Pat the dough down around the edges of the mold to fill in any gaps. Cover

with a kitchen towel. Let rise in a warm place until doubled, 45 to 60 minutes.

In the meantime, make the icing.




To make the icing:

In a food processor, combine 1/4 cup of almonds, sugar, cornstarch and egg

white. Process to a smooth paste.




Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Carefully spread the icing on the risen bread. Spread the remaining sliced

almonds on top. Dust with a heavy coat of confectioners' sugar. Place the

mold on a baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 350

degrees F. Bake an additional 20-30 minutes. If the top is getting too brown,

cover the bread with a piece of foil during the last 10 minutes of baking. The

internal temperature of the bread should be about 190 degrees F. Remove from

the oven and transfer the bread to a wire rack to cool.






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