Easter Pigeon – Colomba Di Pasqua

5 from 5 votes
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Rest Time 6 hours 40 minutes
Total Time 8 hours 5 minutes
Course Dinner
Cuisine European
Servings 1 people



  • 25 g Yeast fresh
  • 40 Lukewarm water
  • 60 g Wheat flour type 550

Main dough:

  • 540 g Wheat flour type 550
  • 100 g Sugar
  • 1 Pck. Vanilla sugar
  • 1 whole Organic lemon, zest
  • 1 Pck. Orange baking flavor
  • 0,5 tsp Salt
  • 3 Eggs size M.
  • 100 ml Milk lukewarm
  • 200 g Butter, very soft
  • 150 g Candied fruits (here pineapple, raisins, orangeate)


  • 100 g Raw marzipan
  • 1 Egg white (from the main dough)
  • Granulated sugar
  • Flaked almonds
  • Powdered sugar



  • This Easter dove is a traditional pastry in Italy. You can't compare it to the panettone, but it comes a bit close to it in terms of its airiness. It is also not baked with Lievito madre, but with a specially prepared pre-dough and is not rocket science. The main dough just needs to be left to rest overnight. This means that since the pre-dough also has to go for 3.5 hours, it should be started around 3:30 p.m. the day before. So he is ready around 7:00 p.m. to make the main dough with him. The dried fruits used here corresponded to "our taste". But ground almonds and lemon peel can also be incorporated.
  • For the "dove shape" there are special paper baking molds on the Internet. The shipping was more expensive than the molds .... However, I always have panettone paper molds in stock and made a "dove-like" shape out of it ... Please forgive me if it looks more like a thick clover leaf ... ;-))) The colomba can of course also be baked in a springform pan, then it would be a 24. However, the original edge would have to be lined with a double-layered strip of parchment paper at least 11 cm wide in order to increase it by a lot. The colomba is very open. Double layer for better stability. Then line the base of the springform pan with baking paper. This is no longer necessary with a paper form.


  • In a bowl that is not too small, dissolve the slightly crumbled yeast in the lukewarm water, stir in the flour and knead everything thoroughly. Shape the firm dough into a small ball, seal the bowl airtight and place in the oven preheated to 35 ° for 5 hours.

Main dough:

  • Mix the flour, sugar, vanilla sugar, lemon zest, orange baking flavor and salt in a larger bowl. Separate one egg, keep the egg whites for the icing in the refrigerator until the next day. Then add the 2 whole eggs, the egg yolk, the lukewarm milk, initially only 100 g butter and the pre-dough and knead everything until a firm dough is formed that turns away from the bowl wall. A food processor would be ideal for this, as it takes a while until everything is well kneaded and also requires a little force ..... but I don't have one, and so I had to do it - with a little effort - with a hand mixer ... That was it then "fitness" ... ;-)), but it is quite feasible. Then put the finished dough in a very large (at least 5 l), lightly oiled bowl, seal it tightly and absolutely airtight and place in a warm place. It has to stay there overnight (see foreword) and until the next morning. After resting the dough, it should have at least tripled its volume. Do not put the remaining 100 g butter in the refrigerator overnight so that it is not too hard the next day.


  • The next day either leave the dough in the existing bowl or put it back into the food processor and knead it briefly and vigorously. Then work in the dried fruit first, and when they are well distributed, add the remaining 100 g of soft butter. Then keep kneading until the butter has completely bonded with the dough and it is now softer, shiny and does not stick.
  • Now shape 2/3 of the dough into a thick, 24 cm long roll and place it lengthways in the mold (it doesn't matter which one). Shape the rest of the dough into a roll and place crosswise over it. Then cover the mold with a cloth, preheat the oven to 35 ° and put the mold - standing on the tray - in for another 2 hours to rest. Then the dough should have risen enough that it completely fills the mold.


  • While the dough is resting for the last time, pluck the raw marzipan into a bowl, first crush it with the egg white (from the main dough) with a fork and then stir it into a spreadable mixture using the hand mixer. Preheat the oven to 190 ° O / bottom heat.
  • After the 2 hours have elapsed, and when the dough has reached the required volume, carefully spread the marzipan mixture onto the surface, sprinkle some sugar sugar over it and spread a few flaked almonds. Slide the mold into the oven on the 2nd rail from below. After 10 minutes of baking time, switch the temperature down to 175 ° and bake for another 30 minutes. Then do the wooden stick sample once. The dough must no longer adhere when it is pulled out. Otherwise, extend the baking time by 5 - 10 minutes and cover the surface with some aluminum foil if necessary. If no more dough sticks during testing, switch off the oven immediately, but leave the cake in it for 10 minutes with the door slightly open.
  • Before serving, dust it with powdered sugar and add butter and jam ..... or just enjoy it on its own.
  • The rest time below only refers to that of the pre-dough and that in the form. The overnight time is not included. The actual workload is low over the individual steps, only the dough rest is long ..... The number of people mentioned above relates to a colomba of approx. 1300 g.
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Written by John Myers

Professional Chef with 25 years of industry experience at the highest levels. Restaurant owner. Beverage Director with experience creating world-class nationally recognized cocktail programs. Food writer with a distinctive Chef-driven voice and point of view.

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