The perfect Easter treat! If your someone special isn't all that fond of Chocolate Easter Eggs then consider an Easter Colomba Cake. They've very popular in Italy and is a cake shapped in the form of a dove to symbolise peace.The Colomba Cake is similar to patettone but without raisons and with spiced, candied orange peal.
1.2 kg Flour
450 g Butter
300 g Candied fruit
300 g Sugar
100 g Milk
50 g Brewer’s yeast
50 g Sugar grains
Salt to taste
Leaven 200 g of flour and warm up 2 lt. of water in a big-size saucepan.
Dilute the yeast in a bowl with 50 ml. tepid water.
Add 120 g of flour and knead it until the mixture gets stiff.
Form a ball and run it into the flour. Score a cross on the surface with a knife. Lay the mixture into the saucepan containing the tepid water and let it stand approx. 10 minutes. Turn it over more times until it rises to the surface.
Let it cook for 15 minutes more. In the meantime arrange flour into a well, and then add 8 yolks and a pinch of salt.
Add the grated lemon peel, 250 g of softened butter, 100 g of tepid milk and sugar. Finally add the pastry ball and amalgamate the ingredients, soften the mixture with milk if necessary. Knead it for 20 minutes, until it looks smooth and homogeneous.
Make a ball and run it into the flour. Then cover it with a cloth and let it leaven in a warm place at 25° C. When the mixture has risen 1/3 more than its original volume, roll it out and add 75 g of butter. Form again a ball, run it into flour and let it leaven under the cloth. When it is twice its original volume, roll it out and knead it for ca. 5 minutes, adding 75 g of butter.
Add the cubed candied fruit and knead again. Grease two oven plates with butter and shape a dove with most part of the mixture, using the remaining pastry to form some small doves. Lay the big one on one plate and the small doves on the other.
Cover with greaseproof paper and let it leaven in a warm place for 30 minutes approx. Brush the surface of the doves with beaten yolk and sprinkle with sugar grains. Let it stand for 5 minutes more and then put it in the oven at 190° C.
Wait 10 minutes and then lower the temperature. Cover the doves with buttered greaseproof paper and bake for 15-30 minutes, depending on the size of the doves.