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Pane Dolce di Pasqua

This is typically how I make Columba di Pasqua for Easter each year. Since I am not using the traditional dove-shaped pans - 'columba' means 'dove' in Italian - I'll just call it 'pane dolce,' sweet bread.


  • 2 T active dry yeast
  • 1/2 C warm water (approx. 110 degrees)
  • 1/2 C butter, room temperature
  • 5.9 oz package almond paste (in the baking aisle of most grocery stores)
  • 1/2 C organic granulated sugar
  • 4 T candied kumquat
  • 1 T pure vanilla extract
  • 1 t pink Himalaya salt
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 C warm milk (approx. 110 degrees)
  • 4 1/2 to 5 1/2 C white whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 C raw pecan
  • 1 t bee pollen
  • 1/2 t fennel pollen


  • 1/2 C organic granulated sugar
  • 1/2 C ground almonds
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1 C sliced almonds
  • raw turbinado sugar


In a small cup or bowl, stir the yeast into water to soften.

In a large bowl, cream the butter, almond paste and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the softened yeast, candied kumquats, vanilla, salt, eggs, milk, 3 cups flour, bee pollen, and fennel pollen to the creamed mixture. Beat vigorously for 2 minutes.

Gradually add flour, 1/4 cup at a time, until the dough begins to pull away from the side of the bowl. Gently stir in pecans.

Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface. Knead, adding flour a little at a time, until you have a smooth, elastic dough. Put the dough into an oiled bowl. Turn to coat the entire ball of dough with oil. Cover with plastic wrap or a tightly woven cloth and let rise about 1 1/2 hours. Due to the almond paste, this recipe doesn't double in size.

Divide dough into thirds. Place the three round paper pans on a large baking sheet, then arrange dough in the pans. Cover with a towel and let rise 45 minutes. Although the dough won't rise as high as other types of yeast dough, it will rise during baking.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Beat all glaze ingredients except almonds and turbinado sugar together. Gently mix in almond then spoon over the breads. Sprinkle with turbinado sugar. Bake for 45 minutes.

Remove pans to a cooking rack and cool completely.

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I am sharing this recipe with girlichef's Bake-Your-Own-Bread series.
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  1. Looks like your Easter was off to a great start.

  2. Oh, this sounds delicious - I love the sound of the glaze! Fantastic treat :D


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