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)
Italian Sweet Starter (50%, fed 4 times and kept at 85F), 135g
bread flour, 390g
butter, 135g, softened
egg yolk, 3
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
bread flour, 85g
butter, 60g, softened
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.
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