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How to make a homemade Easter dove – Italian Cuisine



If Christmas at the table is embodied by the panettone and from Pandoro, the sweet that Easter announces is the dove. There is no more traditional dessert, soft and delicious, to celebrate one of the most important Christian holidays on the calendar. But the soft leavened dough in the shape of a dove, bird symbol of peace, can be transformed if necessary and also become vegan, gluten-free or simply chocolate, or it can incorporate fruit or even be flavored with liqueur. Discover on Salt and pepper all the recipes, from that traditional to variants, and curiosities about the Easter dove.

What does it represent?

There Easter cake it is the symbol of peace par excellence. This meaning comes from the Bible, to be precise from the history of Great Flood. To ensure that the flood was really over, Noah sent a dove in exploration. The bird returned with an olive branch, another symbol of Easter and peace. Between Noah and the soft Easter cake there are thousands of years and many theories about the origin of the leavened dove, perhaps sprinkled to hide less noble births.

How to prepare the traditional dove

There traditional recipe of the Easter dove it is very laborious because of the 3 leavening necessary to give the dough the right softness. It is indeed necessary to create a first dough made from flour, water, milk and yeast, let it rise for a couple of hours and then move on to a second dough based on flour, sugar and butter, to add to the first and let rise for another 1 1/2 hours.

After the rest time has passed, switch to third dough to do with flour, butter, eggs, sugar, salt, candied oranges (and according to some recipes also vanilla, raisins and candied oranges), to add to the previous dough and let rise for 16 hours. At the end of this long procedure the dough must be placed in the dove-shaped mold and covered with icing based on flour, corn starch, brown sugar, egg white and almonds. Use the granulated sugar and whole almonds as a garnish. Finally the Easter dove is ready to be baked at 180 ° C for 45-50 minutes.

How to prepare the dove with the Thermomix

If you have the Thermomix at home, let the food processor assist you in the laborious preparation of the Easter dove. You can perform the three doughs and let them rise in the bowl until the mass is doubled. At the end of the process the dough should be sticky. Only then can you put the dough in the dove-shaped mold and proceed to the last leavening in a warm but off oven.

The Thermomix can also help you in preparing the icing. All you have to do is insert the sugar and the almonds into the bowl together with the beaten egg whites. Once the leavening is finished, use the icing to decorate the raw Easter dove. Then sprinkle with sugar and almonds to taste. Bake for 45-50 minutes at 180 ° C.

Easter dove: the recipes

How to prepare a vegan dove or without eggs

To prepare a vegan Easter dove in the first place it will be necessary to replace the milk vaccine with that vegetable or with water. You can prepare an Easter dove without butter, using the margarine or theolive oil. For the icing uses a mixture of water and malt of rice, replacement also valid for those who want to make a Easter cake without eggs.

How to prepare a gluten-free dove

To prepare a Easter dove without gluten, you will need to make replacements for flour. For the dough, use impalpable rice flour and brown rice flour, corn starch, dehydrated yeast, sugar and xanthan. To prepare a Easter dove without yeast you can fold up the commercial leavening powders, free of chemical yeasts.

Flavored recipes

The recipe of traditional Easter dove it can include the addition of other aromatic ingredients such as raisins, the aroma of almonds, a vanilla pod and, as for the panettone, candied fruits. If you love mixing aromas together, try the scented dove, where honey and lemon rind will inebriate your guests.

Simple alternative recipes

Just like the panettone, even the Easter dove has undergone many revisitations over the years. Among the simple alternative recipes to prepare at home, try the dove of cake paradise, the dove with berries, the dove soup or i meringue dove muffins.

How to do it if you don't have a dove mold

The mold for the Easter dove you can buy it on the internet or in a store that specializes in kitchen and pastry supplies. Or you can do it at home, in a traditional way. All you need is an aluminum baking tray to shape according to the desired shape. Help yourself with cups of different sizes to shape head, wings and tail. At the end of the processing, cover everything with baking paper. At this point, take the mold and place it on the baking tray: as it will not be rigid, it will be better to fill it with the mixture directly on the support.

How to frost the Easter dove

It's so easy! Once realized the icing for the Easter dove, spread the mixture on the raw dough, helping yourself with a spatula. After that sprinkle the surface with the whole almonds and the granulated sugar.

How to stuff and decorate the dove

The Easter dove can be flavored or declined in the version al chocolate or al cocoa both as regards the dough and the filling. The can also be varied decorations in sugar and dried fruit to put on the dough raw, or you can indulge yourself with the fillings. For example, together with almonds, you can drop a cascade of pistachios or walnut or walnut kernels onto the icing layer. As regards the fillings, you can try to enrich your Easter dove with della chocolate cream, of the mascarpone cream or wild berries.

How to keep the Easter dove at its best

For best preserve the Easter dove start taking precautions before serving. Make sure you keep it in an unventilated environment, so as to allow the butter in the mixture to soften and make the cake more fragrant.

At the end of the lunch, if a dessert is left, wrap the Easter dove in film for food and keep it in a cool, dry place: this way you can get it to stay for a few soft days. Otherwise try recycling it in recovery recipes like the meringue dove muffins.

How and where the Easter dove is born

According to tradition the Easter dove is more widespread in Lombardy, to be precise a Pavia. It is said that around 610 lived here queen Teodolinda. The noble hosted a group of Irish pilgrims, led by San Colombano. To them they offered game and numerous delicacies, but the saint declined because of Lent. Teodolinda was outraged by the refusal, but San Colombano, blessing the meats, turned them into white pigeons of bread.

The second theory binds the Easter dove always in the Pavia Longobard, but prior to those of Teodolinda. In 572 he lived in the city on re Alboino. Cross the Alps, the noble made war against Byzantine Italy besieging Pavia. After three years of battles the Pavese surrendered and, when the barbarians arrived, offered gifts fluffy sweet shaped dove as a gesture of peace. This would have prevented the sacking of the city and made Pavia the capital of the newborn kingdom of the Lombards.

A third theory links the birth of the Easter dove with the battle of Legnano. We are in 1176: the municipalities of the Lombard League fight against Federico Barbarossa. A leader of the carroccio saw two doves perch on the symbol of the League, despite the battle raging around. To encourage his men, the warrior had pigeon-shaped breads made using eggs, yeast and flour.

There Easter cake that we know – whether it is homemade or bought in a pastry shop or at the supermarket – it has much more recent origins. The current formula ai is traced back to thirties. While in Turin we work on the Easter egg, the Mantuan artist and advertiser Dino Villani he had an idea: to use the same machines as Motta used for panettone, to create a new Easter cake similar in recipe. And here the Easter dove began its flight towards our tables!

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