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Sourdough Colomba Pasquale - Italian Easter Bread

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txfarmer's picture
txfarmer

Sourdough Colomba Pasquale - Italian Easter Bread


 


My Christmas sourdough Panettone (blogged here) baking tired me so much that I thought I wouldn't be brave enough to deal with another sweet starter holiday bread for at least a year. Well, apparently 4 months are enough for me to forget the pain. Made two SD Colomba Pasquale over the weekend, both went to Italian friends who marveled over how authentic it looked and tasted.


 


There are many recipes, I mostly based mine on this one (thank you Google Translate!) It was very detailed, even had shaping diagrams, however, I did have two challenges:


1, I am not sure what kind of starter he used in the dough. I converted my 100% starter into Italian sweet starter and fed it every 4 hours 4 times (kept at 85F) before mixing the first dough. At which point I realized that the 50% sweet starter may be drier than what's used in the formula (doesn't sound like he used Italian sweet starter). In the end I adjusted the water amount to get a very liquid silk dough similiar to the SD panettone and pandoro dough I made before. I also noticed that the butter ratio in the formula is on the lower side, so I increasted just a little bit to about 35%.


2, The dove case I got (from here) had a recipe attached online, which says to use 250g of flour (about 680g of dough) per case. I had a feeling it was too much, after shaping, the case was already a bit less than 1/2 filled. I know from experience that a well kneaded broiche dough like this is capable of expanding to 4, even 5 times of original size. I put some extra dough in mini panettone paper moulds, only filling 1/4 full. After 2 hours of proofing, the dove case is already full, while the mini panettone ones took 3 hours to get to near the edge. In the end I baked the doves an hour before panettones, which means they are a tad underproofed, had "too much" ovenspring, looks like the birds are trying to soar away from the case! Even the mini panettone ones had great ovensping, ended up with a significant dome top. Both are very light, but the doves are just a bit less airy comparing to the mini panettones, which are lighter than air! Next time I will put only 500g of dough in the dove case, which will probably take 3 hours to get to the top and have an even airier texture.


 


SD Colomba Pasquale (very adapted from here)


-First Dough


Italian Sweet Starter (50%, fed 4 times and kept at 85F), 135g


bread flour, 390g


butter, 135g, softened


sugar, 105g


egg yolk, 3


150g+105g water


1. Mix sugar and 150g of water, heat until sugar completely disolves. Cool.


2. Mix starter with yolks, add in flour, sugar syrup, butter, knead with paddle attachement until becomes a wet smooth dough


3. Add the remaining 105g of water little by little, until completely absorbed. The dough is very wet, but smooth and can leave the bottom of the mixer bowl when mixed with the paddle attachement.


4. Leave at 75F for 12 hours, amazing how much it grew during that time, probably 4 times of the original size.


 


- Final Dough


first dough,


bread flour, 85g


honey, 15g


salt, 4g


sugar, 30g


yolk, 3


butter, 60g, softened


vanilla, 1tbsp


orang zest, 1 orange


candied orange peel, 160g


1. Mix together first dough, flour, honey, salt, yolks, vanilla, and orange zest, knead with paddle attachement until gluten develops


2. Slowly add sugar, knead until the dough is smooth and leaves the side of the bowl


3. Add butter bit by bit, knead until the dough is very smooth and elastic, passing windowpane test with a strong and thin window



4. Add in candied orange peel (soaked in rum and hot water overnight, drain before using), mix at low speed until combined.


5. Bulk rise at 75F for an hour


6. Divide and shape as shown here. I put about 680g of dough in each dove case, too much, 500g would be better. The case should only be 1/4 to 1/3 filled. Used 80g of dough for my mini panettone moulds.


7. Proof at 85F for about 3 hours. The original formula says 4, but my Italian sweet starter is faster. In reality, the dough for the dove cases only got 2 hours of proof before it completely filled the case and had no where to go, the dough for panettone cases got the full 3 hours, by which time, it filled the case 90%+.


8. Apply Glaze (about 100g of sugar mixed with enough egg whites to make it spreadable), spread on finely chopped nuts (30g of toasted and skin removed hazelnuts, 10g of toasted pine nuts, 55g of toasted almonds), decorated with toasted whole blanced almonds. Spread on sugar pearl, then a lot of powerded sugar.



9. Baked at 360F until golden and done, 50min for the 680g doves, 20min for the 80g mini panettones, estimating 40min for 500g dough.


 


The bird grew and grew in the oven, almost fell over the edge of the mould. They wanted to fly away! :P



 


The mini panettone was not so mini, can't believe 80g of dough filled up the whole mould and created such a dome. I think these are properly sized, which leads to proper proofing time and oven spring.



 


The panettones were incredibly shreddy and light, lighter than air. One recipient of the dove cut it while I was there, while the crumb was also very light and shreddy(my Italian friend and her family said it was perfect), I felt it could be improved slightly if properly portioned, probably only because I just had the mini panetonnes to compare right beforehand.The taste is lighter than the panettone I made during Christmas since there are less add-ins, but the candied orange peel, icing, and almonds on top were perfect together. I think its flavor is in between of panettone (lots of add-ins) and pandoro (no add-ins). The proofing time was much shorter than the SD pandoro and panettone I made before, probably because there's way less sugar in the dough, and a tad less butter. With all the icing and candied peel, I don't miss the sugar though.



 


Submitting to Yeastspotting.


 

Comments

ananda's picture
ananda

Fantastic and luxurious txfarmer.


Enjoy your Easter!


Best wishes


Andy

txfarmer's picture
txfarmer

Thank you Andy, have a good Easter yourself!

teketeke's picture
teketeke

What  wonderful easter breads, Txfarmer. Thank you for sharing your recipe that looks awesome.   I like the glaze that you used.  Great bread as always!


Best wishes,


Akiko

txfarmer's picture
txfarmer

Thanks! I love all Italian holiday breads, especially the traditional sourdough ones, this one is no exception.

nicodvb's picture
nicodvb

Txfarmer, exceptional execution. The crumb could't be better. There are more tasty and challenging colomba recipes in that forum. If you are interested I'll send you some link.


The mother dough used by Papum is a very stiff starter hydratated at 45%.

txfarmer's picture
txfarmer

So glad you chimed in, I would love those links, thank you so much!


 


Hmmm, so Papum's starter is even stiffer than mine huh? In that case, my dough is quite a bit wetter than his. Well, with different hydration, different butter ratio, different kneading, I am guessing my version is quite a departure from his original version already. Oh well, as long as it's tasty right? :P


 

nicodvb's picture
nicodvb

If it's good and soft there's no reason to complain.


Here are two other colombas I tried with great satisfaction:


http://www.ilpanettone.com/blog/lang/it/2010/03/la-ricetta-della-colomba-di-iginio-massari/


and this:


http://www.panperfocaccia.eu/forum/viewtopic.php?f=12&t=14523


You need the strongest flour you can get as the dough is quite rich.

txfarmer's picture
txfarmer

Wow, at 50%+ of butter, and 40%+ of sugar, that IS quite rich, must be delicious. I will try it! What are the starters they use? 50% sweet starter?

nicodvb's picture
nicodvb

a firm starter. There's almost no notion of liquid starter in italian tradition, only firm "mother dough". Liquid starters are a recent discovery down here.

txfarmer's picture
txfarmer

I see! Thanks for explaining. I love broiche, especially sourdough ones, especially especially Italian SD ones. :)

bread lover's picture
bread lover

http://www.ilpanettone.com/blog/lang/it/2010/03/la-ricetta-della-colomba-di-iginio-massari/


 


that is kind of the one that I used this year.  I wish I would have taken pictures like I wanted to.  They were very nice, though not perfect because I could not hang them upside down like they needed to be.  They were light as air coming out the oven.

arlo's picture
arlo

I'd love a slice : )

txfarmer's picture
txfarmer

I will let the dove fly your way! :D

Franko's picture
Franko

And I'd like one as well please!


They look fantastic txfarmer!


Franko

txfarmer's picture
txfarmer

No problem, one bird for you coming up!

Syd's picture
Syd

Looks fabulous, txfarmer!  I love the shot with the candied orange peel peeking through what looks like a delicate lace curtain of crumb.  Another great post. :)


Syd

txfarmer's picture
txfarmer

Thanks Syd! I used homemade candied orange peel, must say they taste MUCH better than the store bought ones.

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

Not only are they gorgeous they look absolutely mouthwatering! 


Sylvia

txfarmer's picture
txfarmer

Thanks Sylvia!

bakinginQuito's picture
bakinginQuito

Really a great job and this comment comes from an italian loving both panettone both colomba....probably I don't eat a colomba since 2003. The main difficult is if you do not get the classic mould, I know the page where you obtained the recipe...I can confirm is a recipe you can trust of. Happy baking from Quito. Paolo

txfarmer's picture
txfarmer

Thank you Paolo, it makes me happy to get an Italian seal of approval!

geraintbakesbread's picture
geraintbakesbread

Those look so good. The crumb is amazing. I'm jealous!


I struggled making panettone at Christmas as I didn't have the time to get a really strong stiff starter going & couldn't get the house warm enough for proving.


This Easter I've managed to kill a stiff (50%) starter I spent two days building, not once, but twice!


After the panettone experience I learned that the light in my top oven provided the right temperature. Unfortunately I decided to make pizza in the bottom oven while the last build of the starter was still in the top oven. I was feeling really pleased with myself that I'd used the discards from my stiff starter feeds to make the pizza. Oh the irony.


The second time I carefully removed the last build from the top oven before baking bread & then checked the temp before replacing it - obviously not carefully enough. Whilst I didn't completely kill it this time, enough of the yeast was killed that it's taken 16hrs to double instead of 4! Sadly, I don't have time to bring it back to strength before Easter.


I think I better build myself a proofing cabinet!


Your post has inspired me to give it one more ago, albeit after Easter.

txfarmer's picture
txfarmer

A proof box does make it much easier to maintain a sweet starter. Mine is just very simple one with a light bulk, a foam box, and a pet temp controller.

bread lover's picture
bread lover

my proof box consists of a large bin with a couple inches of water, a submersible aquarium heater, and and aquarium pump to move the water.  That is topped with a smaller bin that leaves about a 1 inch gap between the sides of the larger big and the small one.  I then top that with the lid of the large bin, I find this gives me wonderful humidity as well as heat.

ananda's picture
ananda

Hi txfarmer,


I'm sure Geraint will be smiling about this too.   Trying to compare ambient weather temperatures of Texas and Wales is not really going to work.   If you need a proofing box, then Geraint needs a sauna!


It's all too rare, but it's actually sunny and nice here right now.   Ordinarily?   Not quite the case!


Best wishes


Andy

txfarmer's picture
txfarmer

Ha, you are totally right. It's a lovely 90F here right now, typical of "spring weather". ;) However, my house is usually AC controlled at around 78F, stilly shy of what a sweet starter needs, hence the proofing box. Geraint would definitely need one as well then!


 


I have been practicing croissants, so when I hear about your weather, I want to move to Wales with my butter and rolling pin!

bakinginQuito's picture
bakinginQuito

crumb: A


crust: A


Passion, effort: A....can't evaluate the taste...but something tells me both doves ended very quickly..so: another A. :-) you encouraged me (and perhaps not just me) to make a dove or, why not a panettone...(easier to get a mould). Happy Baking and happy easter. Paolo


 


 

bakinginQuito's picture
bakinginQuito

Could you share us the recipe to make candied orange peel? or a link...come on!


 

txfarmer's picture
txfarmer

For the candied orange peel, I followed the recipe from "Ready For Dessert" by David Lebovitz.


Large Orange, 10


water, 750g


sugar, 900g


corn syrup, 2tbsp (optional)


sugar, 300g


1. Peel oranges, put the peel in enough water to cover, boil on medium heat for 30 to 60min depending on thickness until the white part inside can be easily removed.


2. Drain, remove all of the white stuff, and cut into 6mm whide stripes


3.Mix together 750g of water, 900g of sugar, and corn syrup, boil, add in peels, cook on medium heat until the syrup becomes thick and temperature reaches 110C. Mine needed about 45min.


4. Drain and dry on wrack for at least 2 hours. Wet peels tend to spoil faster. Roll in 300g of sugar.




 


I dipped some in dark chocolate and ate them as snack



 


Chopped some up to make shortbread cookies



 


The rest went into this bread. :)

bread lover's picture
bread lover

It looks great.  You are correct about the molds from fantes.  I ordered from them this year and I had to make sure which size they were.  They are 17oz. or 500 gram molds.  That recipe online doesn't rise as high as the traditional.  I used 300 grams to make the wings, and 200 grams to make the body, and they came out great.  If you want some bigger molds, there are some at goldaskitchen.  Last time I bought from them they were 750 gram molds.


just out of curiosity, what kind of mixer do you use?  I used to use kitchenaid, blew out the motor making panettone once, then stripped the gears using it only to grind meat, and make pasta.  Was wondering what other kind of mixer can handle the abuse of kneading high gluten flour.  I now use Electrolux and love it.

txfarmer's picture
txfarmer

Thanks for the info on moulds, I will defintely get some big ones.


I use KA pro 6 mixer. Use it to mix all kinds of bread every week, no problem whatsoever.

bread lover's picture
bread lover

Just checked golda's kitchen website, and it appears that they now are just selling the 500 gram colomba molds.  Sorry for the previous incorrect information.

gabryl's picture
gabryl

Brava! I am Italian and can say it looks better the real thing!


Could you share how you make a sweet starter? I was interested in the recipe for the sourdough pandoro by foolish poolish and sadly it is gone as the blog seems to have been deleted :-(


Would be very grateful if it could be posted again, thanks in advance!!


Ryl

txfarmer's picture
txfarmer

Sweet starter info is covered here:http://www.wildyeastblog.com/2007/12/07/panettone/

gabryl's picture
gabryl

Most appreciated! I checked out the various SFBI courses and they sound really amazing... how many did you attend?


I went to the wildyeast blog and noticed Susan has attended the full set... I wish I could just take a holiday from my life and do just that :)


Ryl

ackkkright's picture
ackkkright

Thank you txfarmer for showing your method for making this bread.


I attempted this on a lark. I had recently grown a good amount of liquid sourdough at warm temperatures. I had extra and it did not taste sour, so thought I would try this one.


Mine differed from this formula/procedure in a few ways. I used 300g of liquid starter and adjusted the formula accordingly. Decreased the hydration slightly when making the 2nd dough, not sure how much but just slightly; working the dough, it felt around the 80% range.  After mixing the 2nd dough, it was directly refrigerated for about 4 hours before being divided/shaped. I did not add the candied peel, but flavored the dough with lemon zest, vanilla and orange oil. I did not use a form, but shaped the doves as you illustrated last year, and reproduced by freerk several days ago.


 


The dough was remarkable! I was impressed by the expansion of the 1st dough. It grew over 4x in 10 hours! After shaping, I allowed the 2nd dough to prove at warm temperature for a couple of hours, when it had already more than 2x'ed; and then grew more than 2x again when baked!


My surprise was how much more expansion the dough had after the initial 1st dough rise, particularly since less than 25% more flour was added to the mix. What's going on??! Are the yeast fermenting the sugar while ignoring the flour? I had never made anything like this, what are the limits?


 


Made 2 doves and one large doughnut, each slightly less than 1lb dough



 


The shaped dough for the doves were less than 3/4" high at the high point, but the finished bread is almost 4" high


 


The 10" diameter doughnut was made from a rope less than an 1" thick, but grew to more than 3 1/2" thick



 


The finished bread is ethereal. I look forward to trying something similar again. Thank you for your effort.


 


Ackkkright

nicodvb's picture
nicodvb

tha "magic" of lecithin in the yolks :-)

txfarmer's picture
txfarmer

The extra sugar does help with fermentation, and intensive kneading+extra protein/fat helps with the total volume.

breadbythecreek's picture
breadbythecreek

I love the recipe and am eager to give it a try, but after I ordered/received the mini panettone molds, I think I got a different size.  I have a hard time believing that the ones I have will accommodate 80g of dough. Can you tell me the dimensions (height/diameter) of the mini molds you used for this bake?  Thanks. You are an inspiration.


-Pamela

txfarmer's picture
txfarmer

I didn't get the mini panettone molds from fante, Ithink I got them from amazon when it was on sale. Dimension: 3.5inch in diameter, 1.5inch in height.

breadbythecreek's picture
breadbythecreek

Makes sense.  I ended up buying ones that are only 2.25 X 2 which works out to be only about 1/2 the capacity of yours.  I'll shoot for 40g per mold vs. 80 (either that or i'll use my muffin tins with parchment collars). Hopefully the dimensions will work out such that I get the nice dome you achieved. Thanks for the info.


- Pamela

maerussell's picture
maerussell

Candied Orange Peels are fairly easy to make, but if you do not have time to make this and would rather make the bread right away then I suggest that you purchase it online. Saves you the hassle!

On the other hand, the bread looks pretty big to me, what is the mold size?

Thanks!

aronhally8421's picture
aronhally8421

Time we happily buy beverage Wind bunnies, adorn foodstuff and hide them, and fill our Wind baskets easter hindi sms, more grouping are unsure as to the origins of these Easter traditions.