Colomba Pasquale by Achille Zoia

This is one very rich Colomba Pasquale (Easter Dove). The recipe comes from Italian master baker and Cresci co-author Achille Zoia. This was very challenging and I had some technical problems along the way but I just about managed to pull this off…

Achille’s formula calls for a small addition of yeast but I chose to leave this out because my sourdough is so very powerful! The first dough tripled on schedule at 12hrs. I also felt the recipe was a little lacking in salt, so I doubled it to 4 grams.

First dough tripled:

Mixing the second dough was problematic. I think I developed too much strength too early which made incorporating all the butter very tricky and I ended up with a slightly greasy dough that lacked extensibility which made shaping a night-mare as you can see…

Shoddy shaping!


Inverted to cool overnight:

Finished and ready for wrapping. This will mature for a few days to develop its flavours.

Adapted recipe:

First dough: (26C for 12hrs)

  • 63g Lievito Naturale (Italian sourdough)
  • 200g ’00’ Flour
  • 80g Water
  • 75g Sugar
  • 50g Egg Yolks
  • 75g Butter

Second dough: (28C until tripled ~8hrs)

  • 50g ’00’ Flour
  • 50g Egg Yolks
  • 38g Sugar
  • 25g Honey
  • 75g Butter
  • 5g Cocoa Butter
  • 4g Salt
  • Aroma Veneziana
  • Seeds from half a Vanilla pod
  • 125g Candied Orange Peel

Total Ingredients:

Flour 100.0 292
Water 34.6 101
Sugar 38.7 113
Honey 8.6 25
Yolks 34.2 100
Fats 53.1 155
Fruit 42.8 125
Salt 1.4 4
  % grams


  • 1g Maize flour
  • 1g Rice flour
  • 1g Cocoa powder
  • 20g ground nuts. I used just almonds but really you should use a mix of, sweet and bitter almonds, hazelnuts and apricot kernels.
  • 40g caster sugar
  • And enough egg white to make a paste, ~15g.

Once glazed I covered with whole almonds, nib sugar and then dusted generously with icing (powdered) sugar.