If you love eating panettone during Christmas holidays you are probably a great fan of the traditional Italian Easter cake, the colomba. The shelves of the supermarkets are overwhelmed with these dove-shaped goodies and it is certainly something that you will find in every region – and every household- of the country.
Colomba was born in the head of of Dino Villani, the marketing manager of Motta, a company that was already famous for the production of panettone. He could not take watching the empty production line and he came up with the idea to start using them also outside the Christmas season for making a similar, however different-shaped sweet. It worked.
Other – more ancient – legends say that colomba has Lombard roots and the first time this dove-shaped delicacy was prepared during the siege of Pavia in the 6th century as a gift and symbol of peace for Alboin , king of the Lombards
Well, I am more for the first, more practical story.
What will we need to make a colomba at home?
2 cups of flour
3,40 oz of warm water
1 cube of yeast
3/4 cup of butter
3/4 cup of sugar
1 tablespooon of vanille extract
the grated peel of one lemon
the grated peel of one orange
1 pinch of salt
2/3 cup of candied fruits
For the topping
How to make it?
1. crumble the yeast into the warm water and let it dissolve, then add 1 and 1/4 cups of flour and stir it with a wooden spoon until getting a homogene mix and let it rise for about 40 minutes.
2. mix the rest of the flour with sugar, yolks, 1/2 cup of butter, the vanille extract, the grated peels and a pinch of salt. Add as much milk as you need to be able to work with the dough.
3. Now unite it with the yeast-mix, knead it and let it rise again for an hour.
4. After this one hour, add two tablespoons of butter and let it rise once again, this time for 7 hours (practically overnight)
5. In the end add the the remaining butter, candied fruits, knead it on more time and then finally you can place it to the dove-shaped mold. (this can be bought at every big supermarket in Italy during the Easter season, if not you can simply order it on amazon).
6. Let it rise for an hour in the mold, then brush it with the topping you prepared in the meantime by mixing the albumes and sugar. Decorate it with almonds and bake it for 40 minutes at 190°C Eat it!