Colomba di Giorilli

I recognise Piergiorgio Giorilli to be a true master of baking. I followed the recipe from Fables de Sucre. For me the first and second dough’s rose very quickly.

Being so soft and light, unfortunately when hanging this dove upside down, it tore open at the wing but other than that mishap this was a perfect colomba di pasqua. I let this mature for a week before slicing into. Of course it was delicious!

Some minor crumb issues.

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.