The Fresh Loaf

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Colomba round 2 - Pear and Milk Chocolate

SueVT's picture

Colomba round 2 - Pear and Milk Chocolate

For my second round, I made the adjustments based on round 1, and used a different recipe to see the contrast. I developed the LM for about three days, but it was still very active from the series last week. 

I added some cocoa powder to the glaze, and baked on a stone in the regular static oven using convection for only the first few minutes. 

This time, recipe from Fabrizio Galla, faithfully followed so that I would have a baseline. It is a nice recipe, makes a dough that is easy to work with, and rises well. 

I love the flavor of this crumb. There's a small amount of lemon and orange emulsion in addition to vanilla, which is subtle but good with the chocolate.

The texture is more like a traditional panettone, very light and rich.

This dough tripled in 10 hours, as specified in the recipe. Also, final rise was 5 hours.

Here is the recipe, if anyone would like to try it. I factored it down to make enough for three 500 gram Colombas plus a little overage:



JonJ's picture

And the end result looks spectacular too.

Is this the ultimate, or are there still things you would like to tweak?



SueVT's picture

Hi Jon, thanks for asking. I am going to try at least two more recipes: first, Luigi Gallina's recipe from 2023, posted on Infarinando dot com, and Antonella Simoniello's recipe that she posted on her FB group page, Conlemaninpasta principianti e non..

I'll also reduce the oven temperature from 355F to perhaps 340F and extend baking time a couple of minutes to compensate. I'll go back to augmenting water to bring the flour hydration up to expected levels. 

I'll laminate the two portions of dough before rolling up gently to form the body and wings of the colomba.


Debra Wink's picture
Debra Wink

Hi Sue, seems like I have been on the same path as you. I used panettone dough last year, and it looked quite lovely in the end, but was a bear to shape and place. So I decided to try a colomba formula this year, and with less egg yolks and butter, it is much easier to wrangle into the molds. My molds are 12" from beak to tail with a 9" wingspan --- any idea how much dough these are sized for? I've just been winging it (no pun intended).

I am using the columba (sic) di pasqua in Advanced Bread and Pastry as my jumping off point. It calls for 360F convection, but my panettone bakes have been best at 330-335F, so I split the difference, and went 345F. It baked just right in 35 minutes, which is the time stated albeit for 500g loaves. Mine was roughly 750g. Looks more like a fat songbird than a dove, but I'll take it :)

Colomba di Pasqua

side view

Here is the shaping method I like the best (starts at the 9:30 mark):

Colomba by Fabrizio Galla and Federica Russo - YouTube

I think she mentions somewhere in the video that letting the preshape sit in open air to dry a little helps make shaping easier. (Or maybe I got that from another video, not sure, but it's a good tip.)

Here are some other methods on the same channel (Italia Squisita):

Colomba by Pepe - YouTube   (4:30)
Colomba by Sal De Riso - YouTube   (4:30)

Always enjoy seeing your bakes and what add-in flavor combinations you come up with :)   

Happy Baking!

SueVT's picture

Those are really lovely, Debra! My moulds are 10.5 inches long and just over 7" wide, so you have the next size up. I know that mine are sized for 500g of dough, because I looked it up by their metric measurements. So yours are likely the 750g size. 

Yes I was referencing the Fabrizio Galla Youtube video which is such a nice one. Federica Russo does the best job with explaining the process. I scaled the recipe down to the smallest amount that I think my Famag can handle. I may have seen those other videos a couple of years ago if they are that old... I know I've watched Pepe making panettone....

On Instagram, Mirko Iannarelli posted a story showing his Colomba shaping (this was yesterday). He doesn't make a separate piece for the wings, just one long piece, slightly wider in the middle, meant to expand into the entire width as it rises. He is probably using his panettone dough, which would make this more necessary perhaps. He takes the piece after preshaping, stretches it into a square, laminates it (not too thin), rolls it up and places in the mould. I may try this.

Tonight I am making Luigi Gallina's recipe, should be fun!

Cheers, Sue

Debra Wink's picture
Debra Wink

You're right Sue --- a search yielded this:   Colomba Form Gross (

  • 100g : 15,5 x 11,5 x 3 h cm
  • 300g : 22,5 x 16 x 4,5 h cm
  • 500g : 26,5 x 20 x 5 h cm
  •  750g : 30,5 x 22 x 6 h cm
  •  1kg : 33,5 x 24 x 6 h cm

Mine are the 750g size (inches = cm / 2.54)

100g forms, though --- how cute would that be!

... one long piece, slightly wider in the middle, meant to expand into the entire width as it rises.

That's how Pepe does it in the video, and I think you're right about it being best for panettone dough as that's what De Riso's looked like, and all those pieces looked a mess. I look forward to seeing how your laminating goes if you try it.

I didn't do this, but Suas' method in Advanced Bread and Pastry is to divide into wing and body pieces, then preshape both round and final shape each piece as for a batard.

Nice chatting with you,

SueVT's picture

I think my little forms measured about 18.5 for the width, but the paper is wavy. I would really prefer to have larger ones!!

I'm making the Luigi Gallina recipe today, it's Lemon with white chocolate. It's an interesting dough, because he makes a tangzhong that is added near the end. I used KA flour to make the tangzhong though he asked for "weak" flour. I've been making shokupan lately, and based on research, have ordered sweet rice flour to use in my next tangzhong. I wasn't sure of how it would perform for the Colomba, so I used wheat flour...


Debra Wink's picture
Debra Wink

What is the benefit of the sweet rice flour? Does it form a better gel?

SueVT's picture

I was reading about the history of shokupan, and came across this youtube video:

It's all interesting, but at about the 27-minute mark, she talks about the science behind the rice flour, which was worked out by the commercial bakers making shokupan in Japan.... 


nkotb's picture

Hi SueVT

am trying to learn in-depth of panettone and LM, if i may seek your expertise,

how the final dough rise at 5 hours? am struggling as sometimes mine at 8 to 9 hours.

hope to hear from you

thank you