Colomba Pasquale (Easter Dove Bread) Recipe Jump to recipe

Colomba Pasquale (Easter Dove Bread) Recipe

The Colomba Pasquale is the typical leavened cake of the Italian tradition, which is put to the table on Easter day together with the Neapolitan Pastiera and is given near the Easter holidays as a symbol of peace and love.

A sweet bread that abounds at a good price in supermarkets and pastry shops throughout Italy, which can be bought for convenience and practicality. But believe me, preparing Easter Colomba at home is quite another thing, for consistency, aroma, softness, there is not the slightest comparison with the low cost industrial ones! 

Follow this Colomba Recipe, and you will see that you will be able to make an amazing homemade Colomba in just one day, soft and fragrant, delicious just like the one bought in the best pastry shops, only a thousand times tastier and more genuine.


Colomba Pasquale (Easter Dove Bread) Recipe

Cooking method: Baking
Cuisine: Italian
Courses: Dessert
Difficulty: advanced
Prep timeCook TimeRest TimeTotal Time
60 min 55 min 120 min 235 min
Servings: 4 person
Calories: 290kcal
Best season: spring

Like any traditional recipe, there are many versions and variations, from the one with yeast, to the chocolate flavoured one, the stuffed colomba, with the addition of dried fruit, nutella without leavening, and many others.

The today recipe is the traditional Easter Colomba Recipe, the one with orange scent, candied peels and glazed with almonds. 

It is a simple but laborious recipe. 

The secret to a perfect result is only to have time for the 2 leavening and maturation in the fridge, what is essential for a soft dove even after several days. 

The Result

A very soft Easter Dove, with a crumb so soft and fragrant that it is even touching tasting. The right compromise between easy Colomba and excellent consistency!


For aromatic mix

For colomba dough

For almond glaze

To complete


  1. Mix of aromas to Easter Colomba

    For a very fragrant result

    it is good to prepare it at least 2 hours before starting. If you have time, you can also prepare it the day before. The result will be even more fragrant.

    Put all the ingredients of the aromatic mix in a small bowl. Mix well. Seal with cling film and leave at room temperature.

  2. Almond glaze for Colomba

    Chop the almonds and hazelnuts then mix with the flour, add the sugar and mix. Then add the egg whites and mix well.

    You need to get a custard-like mixture. Seal with cling film and keep in the fridge.

  3. Prepare the Colomba Pasquale dough

    Mix the yeast with sugar,

    and let it until is bubbling. Mix the sifted flour with the bubbling yeast and milk mixture, in the processor bowl. Mix with the K tool first on low speed, until you will get a grainy mixture. Add the aromatic mix.

    Turn the processor at medium speed with the K tool and add the eggs one at a time. Only when the first egg is perfectly absorbed do you add the second and finally the third.

    Turn the processor to medium-high speed and change the K tool, to knead hook. Knead until the dough clings to the knead hook. It will be mushy and disheveled. So it must be!

    At this point start to add the very soft (room temperature) butter into small pieces.

    Only when one piece is well absorbed can you add the next one.

    At this stage it takes patience. 

    Turn off the machine from time to time. Turn the dough upside down on a cold work surface and give it a few folds. The dough is soft and sticks to the hands what is very normal.

  4. Very Important!

    The dough must not heat up, otherwise the yeast that is inside if it reaches a temperature of 30° no longer works and consequently the dough does not rise.

    So if you feel that the dough heats up, turn everything off. Roll out the dough on a cold work surface. Cool the knead hoock under cold water and wait for the dough to cool down.

  5. If the dough cooled down,

    you can continue the work. With the last pieces of butter, add the salt also.

    Keep kneading at medium-high speed.

    The dough is sticky and very soft when you have finished adding all the butter. It’s normal! So don’t panic!

    Slowly the dough will be stretchy! At this point work at high speed for 2 consecutive minutes. At this stage, the dough should already be stretchy. If it still does not stretchy, turn off the machine, turn the dough upside down on a cold surface. (the dough can not heat up too much)

    Make a few folds and start kneading again with the hook at very high speed. You will see that slowly the dough will become more resistant and less soft.

    Turn off the machine from time to time and repeat the cooling operation.

    The dough is perfectly strung when is made well, it is puffy, smooth, shiny, it stretches but does not break and comes off perfectly from the parts of the machine.

  6. If the dough is not veily at stretching it is not ready. So don’t rush.

    That means that it needs a few more minutes of time. Give it to it.

    Always cool the dough and do not work consecutively!

  7. If the dough is ready, add the candied fruit and stuffing

    When the dough is

    perfectly strung, roll it out on a work surface, distribute the candied fruit inside and mix quickly with the stand mixer at medium-low speed.

    Turn the dough back onto the work surface. Shape it into a ball.

  8. Tips for the perfect leavening of the Easter dove

    Seal the dough with a film and let it rise at a temperature of 26 ° – 28 °. If the room temperature doesn’t allow, make this temperature in the oven. 

    The dough must triple in volume. It could take 3 h or 6 h depending on the humidity and the context. If it rises a little, wait, don’t be in a hurry. Create the conditions for a good leavening.

  9. Place dough into the fridge for maturing

    To obtain a

    soft and fragrant Easter Colomba that can be kept in this way for days, it is essential to “ripen” in the fridge. From a minimum of 8 hours to a maximum of 24 hours.

    As you will see, the dough in the fridge will not risen, it will have increased yes and no by a few centimeters, but it has matured. It will be very fragrant and rested!

    Leave at room temperature for at least 2 hours.

    The dough must not be cold when it is worked!

  10. To create the mold

    Fold pieces of aluminum foil over and over to form a long strip (see photo in post). Join them with metal paper clips and shape them into a “dove” shape. I didn’t have heavy duty aluminum foil on hand, but this type would be ideal because it holds its shape better.
    How to give the dough the shape of an Easter dove

    When the dough is ready, weigh the dough and divide it into 2 parts, one for the dove’s body and one for the wings.

    The part of the body must be 100 gr more than that for the wings. The part of the wings will then be further divided into two equal parts.

    Roll the dough like a sausage, and place into the dove mold. The mold to be placed before in a baking tray with baking paper.

    Cover your dove

    with a cling film and let it rise at a temperature of 26 – 28 ° until it has reached 1 cm from the edge.

  11. Add the glaze on the top of the dove bread, which you will have taken out of the fridge 30 minutes before using it.
    Distribute it with a spoon or a piping bag. Add the almonds and plenty of powdered sugar.

  12. Preheat the oven to 180°C (356F°). 

  13. Bake the dove bread

    for about 55 minutes. Taking care not to open the oven for the first 30 minutes. If the surface gets too dark, you can add aluminum foil. Always do the toothpick test before taking it out.
    Must come out completely dry!

  14. Let your dove cool for at least 4 hours before cutting it.

  15. At this point your Colomba Pasquale is ready to be served or packaged.

  16. As you will see the slices are very soft.

  17. How to preserve the Easter Colomba

    After at least 4 hours from cooking, so when the colomba is very fresh you can seal it with cling film. Seal it well underneath too.
    There must be no air holes.

  18. In this way it remains soft and fragrant even for 5 days.

    Enjoy, Good Appetite!

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