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Colomba di Pasqua
Colomba di Pasqua
(Easter Dove)
 
 
Ingredients:

3/4 oz (20 grams) fresh yeast or 2 teaspoons (10 ml) dried yeast
6 fl oz (175 ml) hot milk
15 oz (400 grams) plain white or Italian type 00 flour
4 oz (100 grams) unsalted butter
3 large eggs and 1 egg yolk
4 oz (100 grams) superfine sugar
1/2 teaspoon (2.5 ml) salt
1 teaspoon (5 ml) vanilla extract
Grated zest of 1 orange
Grated zest of 1 unwaxed lemon
2 and 1/2 oz (65 grams) raisins
2 and 1/2 oz (65 grams) mixed candied peel
Icing sugar, for dusting
4 oz (100 grams) whole, blanched almonds

Directions:
 
Blend the yeast with the warm milk then leave for 15 minutes until frothy.

Stir in 4 oz (100 grams) of the flour, cover and leave for 30 minutes.

Melt the butter and leave to cool.
 
Whisk together the eggs, egg yolk and sugar, then whisk in the butter.

Stir in the salt, vanilla, orange and lemon zests.
 
Add the remaining 11 oz (300 grams) flour and mix together with a wooden spoon.

Beat in the yeast mixture until the mixture is smooth.
 
Mix in the raisins, reserving 2, and the candied peel.
 
Place the dough in an oiled bowl, cover with a clean tea-towel and leave for 1 and 3/4 to two hours until doubled in size.

Draw the outline of a dove shape onto 2 sheets of parchment paper.
 
Line 2 baking trays with the parchment sheets.

Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 2-3 minutes.
 
Divide in half and shape each piece into a dove and place each dove on a separate baking tray.
 
Use the reserved raisins for the eyes.

Cover with a clean tea-towel and leave to rise again at room temperature for about one hour until double the size.
 
Stud the doves with the almonds.

Pre-heat the oven to 375 F (190 C).

Bake the Easter doves in the oven for about 15-18 minutes until golden brown and firm to the touch.
 
Transfer to a wire rack and leave to cool. Dust with sifted icing sugar before serving. Makes 2, each to serve 6.

That's it!
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