Colomba – Italian Easter Cake

This version reminds me of a Polish Easter Cake, but lighter. A cross between a Brioche, a German Stollen and and a Cake, this recipe is also easier to make than a Panettone.
I have included raisins, candied cherries and orange peel. You can use any fruit you have at hand.

INGREDIENTS
STARTER
250 Gr. All purpose Flour – ( If you have Manitoba flour; bread flour, it works very well)
12 Gr. Fresh Yeast – or 4 Gr. dry active yeast
100 Gr. Caster Sugar
2 Gr. Salt
90 Gr. Water at room temperature
Zest of 1 Large Orange
Zest of 1 Large Lemon
Mix everything using a stand mixer with a flat paddle.
Set aside and let rest and rise for two hours.

DOUGH
50 Gr. All purpose flour
2 Large eggs
12 Gr. Dark Rum
100 Gr. Butter – Cool
40 Gr. Candied Fruits of choice – orange peel / lemon peel or a mix of both.
100 Gr. Raisins soaked in rhum

METHOD
Once your starter has risen, using a stand mixer with a paddle, mix the flour, eggs and rum until well incorporated. Switch to a dough hook and mix for 5 minutes. Add the butter, a few pieces at a time until fully incorporated. Add the fruits and mix again for a few minutes.
Let the dough rest for another 90 minutes.
Place the dough on a work surface slightly oiled, cut the dough in half and using a “colomba” card board, cut in two strips you place along each side, creating a cross.
Let the dough rest for another 2 hours –

Preheat the oven at 160 Celsius and bake the cakes for 1 hour.

Well worth the time and efforts !

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