The Fresh Loaf

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colomba pasquale

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d_a_kelly's picture
d_a_kelly

Hi bakers everywhere!

I made this a few weeks ago but have only had the chance to post it now. I took the recipe from Cresci, by Massari and Zoia. In the book it's for a panettone but I thought I'd try to make it in the form of a colomba because it was around Easter and I still had a few colomba cases left to use :)

This is a very unusual panettone recipe in the all the flour goes into the first dough. The traditional method is to split the flour between the two stages. I'm not quite sure what the benefits of this are (allowing for more autolysis) but there are a few recipes in the book where this happens. I'm pretty certain that these "non-traditional" formulae are associated with Achille Zoia. I've been working on his panettone paradiso (another flour-all-in-one recipe) on-and-off now for over a month and I kid you not, I've only made it work once, despite about 15 attempts!! Fool that I am, the one time it worked I didn't take any photos, but the crumb was the softest and moistest of any panettone I've ever had, so I'm determined to persever. But back to the colomba...

The recipe calls for hazelnut paste and gianduia amara. I bought the hazelnut paste online (very expensive) because I don't have the equipment to make a truly smooth paste at home. The gianduia I made myself, using the following recipe (in grams). I took amara here to mean the use of dark chocolate rather than milk. I used Amedei toscano black - a really delicious, and Italian, chocolate.

hazelnut paste 50

dark chocolate 70% 20

cacao butter 6

icing sugar 50

melt the chocolate and cacao butter together and then blend in the icing sugar and paste. It's important to stir constantly and drop the temp as quickly as possible to 26C to prevent it from separating. I took this recipe from Valrhona's cooking with chocolate book.

I made the first impasto at about 10pm so that I could go to bed and rise the next day with it ready.

sugar 79

water 177

hazelnut paste 32

very strong flour 316

Italian sweet starter 63

butter 63

I left the flour, sugar and water to autolyse for half an hour and then added the other ingredients, working it until the dough was stringy.

The next morning it had tripled in volume (12 hours precisely) so I reworked it with the following:

sugar 47

honey 32

butter 47

gianduia (melted) 47

hazelnut paste 32

yolk 73

salt 2.5

vanilla quarter of a pod

water 9

milk chocolate 62

dark chocolate 47

 

take 991 of the  impasto and add chocolate pieces. For the milk choc I used Valrhona's Jivara, and a mix of Amedei toscano black and Valrhona's Manjari for the dark. 

My last attempt at forming a colomba hadn't been a success, so taking inspiration from thefreshloaf, I decided to fold and stretch it repeatedly until I had a nice tight ball. I let this rest for an hour and then repeated the process, before putting it into the shape. I was much happier with the shaping this time, the dough had a better, tighter skin on it.

I had just enough dough left over to make a "panettoncino" of about 85g. 

About 6 hours later (held at c. 30C) it was ready to go in the oven. I glazed it, covered it was sugar granules and almonds, and then dusted it was icing sugar.

My glaze this time was a little thicker than I've made it before - too thick I think, even though I followed my usual recipe. I should have added a tiny bit more egg white. It was just a tad too thick to be easily spreadable. In the oven then for 50 minutes at 170C. I didn't bother with steam because I was worried about the icing sugar. I'm not sure it made any difference.

Oven spring was enormous. The top photo doesn't really do it justice. I doesn't show just how much over the edge of the form it is. I slightly crushed it with my hand when I was turning it upside down (idiot!!!) but apart from a crack on the surface, it popped right back out when it was hanging during cooling. 

The colomba itself was a present, so the only crumb shot I have is from the panettoncino. I think there was just a little too much impasto in the pirottino... BakeryBits.co.uk markets them as 100g cases, but I think even 80g is too much if you are using them for a panettone. I think perhaps 70g might have been better. 

Well, my conclusions...

I tasted both the baby panettone and the colomba and I was very... disappointed!!! There was zero(!!) taste of hazelnut from it. Zero!!! The hazelnut paste I used was professional quality (it certainly had a professional price) but it didn't even leave a trace of flavour in the finished product. The photo in Cresci implies a deep brown crumb, but my crumb looks more beige. I didn't know what industrial strength paste Zoia must be using to achieve any flavour or colour on this one. The crumb itself, although very shreddy, as it should be, was also quite dry. The driest of all the panettone I've made so far. All I can say is thank God I used good quality chocoalte, because otherwise the entire thing would have been very uninteresting. 

It's a great shame, because I'd been looking at the recipe for ages, thinking it would be great. Where is the hazelnut flavour?!?!? Another thing I've noticed is the how much growth in the colomba is lost to sideways motion. The circular shape of the panettone form is very strong, so all the growth is directed upwards. The colomba seems structurally weaker, you can see how the sides have bulged out and become distored. 

I need a break from panettone making for the moment... the repeated disasters with the panettone paradiso have knocked my confidence terribly. Hopefully a break will allow me to... what? I'm not giving up on it though. I refuse to be beaten by a bit of flour, butter and egg!


David

d_a_kelly's picture
d_a_kelly

Hi Everybody,

this is my first post on TheFreshLoaf, though I've been starting in amazement at everyone's baking for quite some time. This is my attempt at Iginio Massari's Colomba Pasquale recipe from his book "Non Solo Zucchero vol.II". I'm not sure if this book is available in English yet. I bought my copy in a shop in Milan. This version seems to be quite a bit richer than that found in Cresci, and presented me with a number of difficulties :) Please be kind!

First impasto tripled in volume

1st impasto

sourdough starter (50% hydration) 59

water 69

sugar 72

yolk 50

flour (very strong) 189

butter 79

 

All measurements are in grams. It took almost exactly 12 hours to triple in volume, held at c.28 degrees C. I then went to the second impasto. This was considerably more difficult, and I didn't get it quite right. The flour I'm using is the strongest I have been able to find in a UK supermarket and it's not a "00". I think it's somewhere in the region of w320 in terms of strength. The second impasto calls for a flour of w360 (something like the manitoba you can find in Italy). I couldn't find anything this strong in the shops. I added a guestimate of vital wheat gluten to try to balance the recipe, which wasn't entirely successful as you can see from the sloppy shaping in the paper case. The dough was still a little too sticky: very usefully "non solo zucchero" has photos in the back of the book showing all of the processes, and I could see that the colomba consistency was quite different from what I had achieved. 

2nd impasto

aroma veneziana 1.2

vanilla: a quarter of a pod

flour (very strong) 51

gluten powder 1.8

sugar 50

honey 22

yolk 35

salt 3.6

water 20

butter 112

 

I then took 795g of the impasto and added in 205g of candied orange. This version is very rich in fruit! I then split the dough into two balls of 500g and put them in my homemade proving box for an hour, at c.30 degrees C. and humidity of 70%.

Then, with very very well buttered hands, I shaped the two balls and put them in the form:

 

Back into the proving box for 6 hours and then it was ready to be glazed and go in the oven (170 for 50 minutes).

and then glazed and dusted

 

When it came out of the oven I suspended it upsidedown for about 12 hours. I was reasonably happy with the oven spring. Most recipes I've seen for colomba use less candied fruit, so I was expecting this not to grow quite so much. Not because the fruit would interfer with the yeast, but simply because there was less dough in the case (only 795g of impasto, rather than the 850g to 870g I've seen in other recipes).

I had a slice of it for breakfast this morning and I was quite happy. Soft and tasty crumb, packed with fruity, buttery flavour. I'd like to try this again using the recommended flours. I've found, from limited experiments, that strong 00 flours seem to produce a more plastic, slack dough, which I'm sure must contribute to the texture and feel of the crumb. However I'm not yet prepared to buy a 25kg bag of caputo rosso or similiar just to make the occasional colomba which only uses... what? 240g? 

Here's the crumb:


One thing I ought to add: in order to save a bit of money and waste, I used powdered egg yolks in this recipe rather than fresh yolk. The recipe here is written for use with fresh yolk. (If using powdered yolk, substitute 48% of the weigh of yolk with powder, and the remainder with water). I've not noticed any difference with quality. I've also used the powdered yolks to make creme anglaise and creme patisserie with success. The only downside is they don't have that extraordinary colour which I've seen in yolks in Italian eggs - something I'm told is a result of the diet and breed of chicken.

mwilson's picture
mwilson

I know Easter has passed but I needed yet another challenge...

Here I have made the richest Colomba Pasquale of all. One which comes from Italian master baker and Cresci co-author Achille Zoia.

This was even more challenging than the Iginio Massari Panettone I made recently as this has more fat, more sugar and less water!

I only just managed to pull this off! I had some technical problems along the way but it worked out in the end...

Original recipe calls for a pinch of added yeast but I left this out because my sourdough is so very powerful! As a result, the first dough rose bang on schedule at 12hrs. I also felt there wasn't enough salt, so I doubled it to 4grams instead of the 2grams originally called for.

First dough tripled:


Mixing the second dough was problematic. I think I developed too much strength too early which made incorporating all the butter very tricky and I ended up with a slightly greasy dough that lacked extensibility which made shaping a night-mare as you can see...


Shoddy shaping!

Glazed:
 

Inverted overnight:
 

Finished and ready for wrapping. This will mature for a few days to develop its flavours.
 

Adapted recipe:

First dough:

  • 63g Lievito Naturale (Italian sourdough)
  • 200g '00' Flour
  • 80g Water
  • 75g Sugar
  • 50g Egg Yolks
  • 75g Butter

Second dough:

  • 50g '00' Flour
  • 50g Egg Yolks
  • 38g Sugar
  • 25g Honey
  • 75g Butter
  • 5g Cocoa Butter
  • 4g Salt
  • Aroma Veneziana
  • Seeds from half a Vanilla pod
  • 125g Candied Orange Peel

Total Ingredients:

Flour 100.0% 292
Water 34.6% 101
Sugar 38.7% 113
Honey 8.6% 25
Yolks 34.2% 100
Fats 53.1% 155
Fruit 42.8% 125
Salt 1.4% 4

 

 

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